But many men and women find that they need 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 automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 simple tips and techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this article 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 Should 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 one 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”…
Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and maintenance…that you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most dependable, 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 perfect performance stage, 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 a while, but must 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 not able to begin your vehicle for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection 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 vehicle and many batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be readily treated simply by pouring a small amount 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 in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away. After the rust is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. Be sure to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Don’t 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 isn’t 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 automobile batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They’re not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for). Using your car battery for a battery which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly utilized in this fashion. So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the car 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 will be impaired and could short circuit. This will ruin the battery — and even cause damage to your car whilst creating a security risk. The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they’re not connected properly). 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 car 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 doesn’t have one, you can easily set up 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 website where you can place in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will match their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are typically made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These car 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 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 the automobile computers. This is 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 maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not in use. They do this by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t always draw current from the car battery when the car is off. They’re also helpful 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 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 since it will greatly increase the life span of your battery. Do this using 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 if there’s a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, 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 — that shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator. If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to look at your vehicle’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.