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8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery

But many men and women find that they have to change 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 car 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 lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we will teach you in this article 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 get started! …

First, You Should Know That Every Car Battery 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 1 day.

This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.

Once 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…which you can do something about.

A Little Background About Lead Acid Batteries Before Our 8 Battery Tips and Tricks…

Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.

Lead Acid Batteries have three life phases — formatting, peak, and decline.

  • Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used gently.

  • Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as you can.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually ends in the conclusion of the battery.

Batteries in decline can nevertheless 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 before a problem arises (like being not able to start your vehicle 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 corrosion around the terminals.   Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the car and several batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this is readily treated simply by 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 acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away.   After the rust is eliminated, 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 to the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle.   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 just relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

This is detrimental to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.

Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They’re not made to offer 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 that powers electronics, rather than 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 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 will ruin the battery — and even damage your car whilst creating a security 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 as well.

Protecting your vehicle battery from large changes in temperature will help maximize the battery’s lifespan.   To do this you can use a car battery insulating material.   Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically.  But if your car does not have one, you can easily set up one yourself.   Just be certain it fits your car’s battery compartment.  Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their site where you can put 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 of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard 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.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the car computers.   This is why folks 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 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 car battery when the vehicle is off.   They’re also useful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing this can 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 because it’ll greatly increase the life 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: Check your car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there is a need for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

  2. It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — which shortens its lifespan

Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).