Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of men and women find that they have to change 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 keep this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 easy 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’s 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 called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.
However, 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.
Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used lightly.
Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we seek to keep 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 nevertheless 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 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 vehicle and several batteries are replaced due to a lot of 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) over the corroded areas.
The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away.
Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the car. 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 simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They’re not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery could 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 significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it is repeatedly used in this fashion. So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the vehicle 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 may ruin the battery — and even damage your car whilst creating a security risk. The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected properly). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. Protecting your vehicle 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 already have these kits installed typically. But if your car does not have one, you can easily install 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’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 car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect it while still allowing proper ventilation.
Tip 5: Fully control 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. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the automobile computers. This is the reason why people 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 your car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t always draw current from the vehicle 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 so can dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully charge. The main thing to remember with this tip is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since 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: 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 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. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged.
It can be explosive.
Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or find 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.