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.
And what can you do to prolong your vehicle’s battery life?
Well… That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.
We’ll show you why car batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also offer you 8 simple 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 simple to do…and anybody will have the ability 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 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 often the battery has been charged or discharged.
Once a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and maintenance…that you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used lightly.
Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we attempt to keep 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 still 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 until a problem arises (like being unable to start your vehicle 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 corrosion around the terminals. Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the vehicle and many batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be easily treated by simply pouring a small amount 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 in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away. After the corrosion is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.
Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle. 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 are just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this sort of use.
Rather, car batteries are supposed to provide a sudden burst of power for ignition. They are not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for). Using your car battery as 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 is repeatedly utilized in this fashion. So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has great battery cables. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and might short circuit. This may ruin the battery — and even cause damage to your car whilst creating a security risk. The same could happen if you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. 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 insulation kit. 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 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 of 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 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 (lights, radio, etc.) or even the car computers. This is why people come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used. They do this by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so that they do not always draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off. 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 this can 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 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 car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water. So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill 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.
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to look at your car’s alternator (or find 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.