Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many people find that they need 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 car batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.
We’ll also offer 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 be able to perform 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 (however 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’s completely independent of how often the battery was charged or discharged.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and maintenance…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.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used lightly.
Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we attempt 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 nevertheless 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 before a problem arises (like being not able to begin 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 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 too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be easily treated by simply pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas.
The acidity 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 let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the car ignition and driving the car. When the car is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the car 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 simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They are not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for). Using your car battery for a battery which powers electronics, rather than a battery that just provides 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 car accessories or electronics while the vehicle 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 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 correctly ). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.
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 insulating material. 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 make sure it matches 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 — 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 guard it while still allowing appropriate 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 vehicle 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 people come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead. But to avoid this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger.
Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used. They do it by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they do not always draw current from the vehicle 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 daily ) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this can dramatically shorten 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 tip 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: Check your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there’s a demand for water. So check the car battery water level indicator regularly 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. Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be explosive.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — which shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you will want to check your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).