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

But lots of men and women 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 vehicle’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 techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we will teach you in this guide will be easy 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 (but most people kill their battery well before it’s time)

Even if you care for 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.

However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…

Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…that 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 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 gently.

  • 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 gradually ends in the termination of the battery.

Batteries in decline can still be used for quite some time, 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 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 corrosion around the terminals.   Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the car and several batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be readily treated simply by 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away.   After the corrosion 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 (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the car.   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 is not 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 aren’t meant for this type of use.

Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of power 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 that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly utilized 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 needs 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 whilst creating a security risk.   The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected properly).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.

Protecting your vehicle battery from large changes in temperature will help maximize the battery’s lifespan.   To do this you can use a car battery insulation kit.   Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically.  But if your car does not 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 place 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 typically made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard 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 car is off.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the car computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations 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 power for your car accessories and car computer, so that they do not continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off.   As you can imagine, these chargers are very useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for a while.  They’re also helpful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing so 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 main thing to remember with this suggestion is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it’ll greatly increase the life span 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 is a need for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, 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.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be explosive.

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

Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we have recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to look at your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).