Recondition My Old Battery

8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery

But many men and women find that they have to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

And what can you do to prolong your car’s battery life?

Well… That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

We’ll show you why automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.

We’ll also offer you 8 easy tips and tricks to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we’ll teach you in this article will be easy to do…and anyone will have the ability to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s begin! …

First, You Ought to Know That Every Car Battery Lifespan Has A Limit (but most people kill their battery well before it’s time)

Even if you take care of your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.

After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.

But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…

Rather, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…that you can do something about.

A Little Background About Lead Acid Batteries Before Our 8 Battery Tips and Tricks…

Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.

Lead Acid Batteries have three life phases — formatting, peak, and decline.

  • Formatting is when the battery is new and needs to be used lightly.

  • Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we seek to keep for as long as you can.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the termination of the battery.

Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite some time, but have to be watched.

Around this time, you may either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it before a problem arises (like being unable to begin your vehicle for work).

8 Simple Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Car’s Lead Acid Battery

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they’re clean and rust free.   One of the initial problems most people have with their car battery is the build-up of corrosion around the terminals.   Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the car and several batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this is readily treated simply by pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas. 

The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away.   After the rust is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.  Make certain to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle.   When the vehicle is on, the auto alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car is not on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this type of use.

Rather, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They’re not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for).   Using your car battery as a battery which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it is repeatedly utilized in this fashion.   So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the car is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has good battery cables.   The battery has to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and could short circuit.   This will ruin the battery and even damage your car while creating a security risk.   The same could happen if you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected properly).  So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.

Protecting your vehicle battery from large changes in temperature will help optimize the battery’s lifespan.   To do this you can use a car battery insulating material.   Newer model cars already have these kits installed typically.  But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily set up one yourself.   Just make sure it matches your car’s battery compartment.  Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their site where you can place in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will match their kit — like here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are typically made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect it while still allowing appropriate ventilation.

Tip 5: Fully charge your car battery at least once a week (use a car battery charger or interchange batteries if you have to).   Your car battery drains even when the vehicle is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the car computers.   This is why folks come home from long holidays and find their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used.   They do it by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the car battery when the car is off.   As you can imagine, these chargers are very useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for a while.  They’re also helpful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing this can dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully charge.   The most important thing to remember with this suggestion is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it will greatly increase the life span of your battery.  Do this using a charger, interchanging batteries…or just going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.

Tip 6: Assess your car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there’s a demand for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to check your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).