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 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?
We’ll show you why car batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 simple tips and tricks 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 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 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’s completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.
After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, 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 form 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 ideal performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite a while, but have to be watched.
Around this time, you may either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it until a problem arises (like being unable 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 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 a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this can be easily treated simply by pouring a small amount 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 in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume 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 operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the car ignition and driving the vehicle. When the vehicle 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’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 automobile batteries are not meant for this sort of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition. They’re not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for). Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it is 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 safe and has great battery wires. 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 while creating a security risk. The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they’re 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 insulating material. Newer model cars currently 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 website where you can put in your car model and year, and it will 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 automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect 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 vehicle is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the car computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays 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 in use. They do it by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so that they do not always draw current from the car battery when the vehicle is off. They’re also helpful 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 shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge. The main thing to remember with this suggestion is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will greatly increase the life of your battery. Do this with 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 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 is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be explosive.
Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’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 car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).