Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many people 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 vehicle’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 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 easy 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 Should Know That Every Car Battery Lifespan Has A Limit (however 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’s completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.
But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most dependable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and needs to be used gently.
Peak is the perfect performance phase, 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 can either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it until a problem arises (like being unable to begin your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to be certain they are 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 vehicle and several batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this can be readily treated by simply 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion 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 (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 vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop. But if the car is not on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you are simply 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 provide 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 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 significantly 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 safe and has good battery wires. The battery has 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 while creating a security risk. The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.
Protecting your car 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 doesn’t have one, you can easily install 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’ll tell you if your battery will fit 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 guard 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. This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the car computers. This is the reason why people come home from long vacations and locate 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 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 that they do not always draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off. 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 chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so can dramatically enhance 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 tip is…be 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 using 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 if there’s a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and when water is needed, 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’re overcharged.
It can be volatile.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — which shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to check 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.