Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of men and women find that they need to modify 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 keep this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 easy tips and techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we will teach you in this guide will be easy to do…and anybody will be able 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’s 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 one day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s 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.
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.
Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most reliable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used gently.
Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we seek to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite some time, but must 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 unable to begin your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they’re clean and corrosion 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 vehicle and several batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this can be easily treated by simply pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas.
The acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.
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 auto alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car isn’t on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is damaging to the car battery because automobile batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant to provide 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 would be for). Using your car battery for a battery which powers electronics, rather than 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 used in this fashion. So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has good battery cables. The battery has 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 cause damage to your car whilst creating a safety risk. The same could happen when you have bad 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 big 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 does not have one, you can easily set up one yourself. Just make sure 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 place in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually made of 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 control 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 car is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the car computers. This is the reason why people come home from long vacations 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 car is not being used. They do it by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t always draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off. They’re also useful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this will dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully control. 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’ll greatly increase the life span of your battery. Do this with a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply 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 significant, 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 are overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be volatile.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — that shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator. If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you will want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).