Reconditioned Prius Battery Portland

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

Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But many men and women find that they have to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

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 keep this from happening.

We’ll also give you 8 easy tips and tricks to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we will teach you in this guide will be easy to do…and anybody will have the ability to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s get started! …

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 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 is completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.

But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…

Instead, 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 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 has to be used lightly.

  • Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we seek to maintain for as long as possible.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually 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).

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they are clean and rust 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 many batteries are replaced due to a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this is readily treated by simply pouring a small amount 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.   After the corrosion is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.  Make certain to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle.   When the car 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 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 aren’t meant for this type of use.

Rather, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition.  They’re 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 as a battery which powers electronics, instead of 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 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 whilst creating a security risk.   The same could happen if you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected properly).  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 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 matches 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 — such as here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are usually made of 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 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.  This 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 vacations and find their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not in use.   They do it by providing enough electricity 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 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 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 since it will greatly increase the life of your battery.  Do this with 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 if there’s a demand for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and if water is needed, 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 oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.  

  1. It can be volatile.

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

Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you will want to check your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).   If your alternator is bad it will results in ineffective recharging of your battery and dramatically shorten your battery’s lifespan.