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?
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 keep this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 simple tips and techniques to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we will teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anyone will have the ability 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’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 was charged or discharged.
But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…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 gently.
Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we attempt to maintain for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite a while, 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 not able to begin your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they are 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 car and many 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 glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas.
The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat 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 to 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 are using the car’s electronics, you’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.
Rather, car batteries are supposed to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They are 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 as a battery that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives 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 car accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure 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 might short circuit. This will 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 properly). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.
Protecting your car battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize 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 fit their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are typically made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect it while still allowing appropriate 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 automobile computers. This is why people come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used. They do this by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t always draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off. As you can imagine, these chargers are extremely useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for a while. 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 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 one at home to fully control. The most important thing to remember with this suggestion is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it’ll greatly increase the life 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: Check your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there is a need 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 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.
Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you will want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).