8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery
Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many people find that they need to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
Why is this?
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 keep this from happening.
We’ll also offer you 8 simple tips and techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we will teach you in this article will be simple to do…and anyone 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 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 known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is 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 because of poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, 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 ideal performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite some time, 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 not able to begin your vehicle for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain 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 car and many batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up. But often times, this is easily treated by simply pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas.
The acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away. After the rust is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. Be sure to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the vehicle. 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 isn’t on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you are just relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is damaging 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 offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s 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 provides you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly 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 wires. 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 damage your car while creating a safety risk. The same could happen when 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 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 site where you can place in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as 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 guard 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 vehicle is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the automobile computers. This is why folks come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used. They do it by providing enough electricity for the 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 a lot of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so can 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 tip is…make 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 whether there’s a need for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and when 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’re overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be volatile.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — that shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).