Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of people find that they have to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
And what can you do to prolong your vehicle’s battery life?
We’ll show you why automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also offer you 8 easy tips and techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anyone will be able to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s begin! …
First, You Ought to 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 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.
Once 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 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 earliest, most dependable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.
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 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 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 until a problem arises (like being unable to begin 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 car and many batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up. But often times, this is easily 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 in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away. Be sure to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle 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 are just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Instead, car batteries are supposed 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 could be for). Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, rather than 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 car is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has good battery cables. The battery has to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and might short circuit. This may ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a safety risk. The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. Protecting your car battery from big changes in temperature will help optimize 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’ll tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard it while still allowing proper ventilation.
Tip 5: Fully charge 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 car is off. This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the automobile computers. This is why folks come home from long holidays and find 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 it by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they do not continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off. 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 opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so will dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully charge. The most important thing to remember with this suggestion is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it will greatly increase the life 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: Check your car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there’s a need for water. So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery. Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged.
It can be explosive.
Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).