Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of men and women find that they have to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
Why is this?
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 offer you 8 easy tips and techniques to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this article will be simple to do…and anyone 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’s 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 known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.
However, most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…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 reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and needs to be used gently.
Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we attempt to maintain for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite a while, but have to be watched.
Around this time, you can either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it before a problem arises (like being not able to begin your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to make sure they’re clean and corrosion free. One of the first 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 several batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be readily treated by simply 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away. Be sure to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the car. When the car is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car isn’t on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you are just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They’re not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for). Using your car battery for a battery which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly used 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 good battery wires. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and might short circuit. This will ruin the battery — and even damage your car whilst creating a safety risk. The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. Protecting your vehicle battery from big changes in temperature will help optimize the battery’s lifespan. To do this you can use a car battery insulation kit. Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically. But if your car does not have one, you can easily install 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 website where you can put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will fit their kit — such as 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 proper ventilation.
Tip 5: Fully charge 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 (lights, radio, etc.) or the car computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays and find their car battery dead. But to prevent this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger.
Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used. They do it by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t continuously draw current from the car battery when the vehicle is off. They’re also helpful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this will dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully control. The most important thing to remember with this tip is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because 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: Assess your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there’s a need for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery. Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to look at your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it). If your alternator is bad it will results in ineffective recharging of your battery and dramatically shorten your battery’s lifespan.