But lots of people find that they need to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
And what can you do to prolong your car’s battery life?
We’ll show you why automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 simple tips and tricks to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we will teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anybody will be able to perform 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 care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.
This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.
However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early due to 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 earliest, most dependable, and most widely used form 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 has to be used gently.
Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite a while, 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 start your vehicle for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they’re clean and rust free. One of the initial problems most people have with their car battery is the build-up of rust around the terminals. Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the car and many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this is readily treated simply by pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas.
The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away. After the corrosion is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.
Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the car. When the vehicle is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car is not on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you’re just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition. They’re not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for). Using your car battery for a battery that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly utilized in this fashion. So avoid operating any automobile accessories or electronics while the car is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has great battery wires. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and could short circuit. This may ruin the battery and even damage your car while creating a safety risk. The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.
Protecting your vehicle battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize the battery’s lifespan. To do this you can use a car battery insulating material. Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically. But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily set up one yourself. Just be certain it fits your car’s battery compartment. Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their site where you can put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard it while still allowing appropriate ventilation.
Tip 5: Fully control your car battery at least once a week (use a car battery charger or shut-off if you have to). Your car battery drains even when the car is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the automobile computers. This is why people come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used. They do it by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so that 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 useful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so will dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge. The most important thing to remember with this tip is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it’ll greatly increase the life span of your battery. Do this with a charger, interchanging batteries…or just going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.
Tip 6: Check your car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there’s a need for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be explosive.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — that shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to look at your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).