Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of people 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 easy tips and techniques to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anybody will have the ability 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 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 1 day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how often the battery was charged or discharged.
After 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 because of 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.
Lead Acid Batteries have three life phases — formatting, peak, and decline.
Formatting is when the battery is new and needs to be used lightly.
Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we seek to keep for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly 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 before a problem arises (like being not able to start your car for work).
8 Simple Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Car’s Lead Acid Battery
Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to make sure they are 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 because of 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) over the corroded areas.
The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.
Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the car. When the vehicle is on, the auto 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’re just relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is damaging 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 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 for a battery that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives 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 vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has great battery cables. The battery has 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 while creating a security risk. The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. Protecting your vehicle battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize 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 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 will tell you if your battery will match their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are typically made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These automobile 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 interchange batteries if you have to). Your car battery drains even when the vehicle is off. This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the automobile computers. This is the reason why people come home from long holidays 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 (solar or regular ) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used. 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. As you can imagine, these chargers are extremely useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for some time. They’re also useful 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 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 will 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: Assess your car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether 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 oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.
It can be volatile.
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 are doing everything we have recommended in this article but your car batteries are dying early, you will want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).