1987 Nascar Cars

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

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 car batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.

We’ll also give you 8 simple 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 simple to do…and anyone will have the ability 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 (however 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.

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

Rather, they die early because of 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 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 gently.

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

  • Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the termination of the battery.

Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite some time, 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 unable to start your vehicle for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to make sure they’re clean and corrosion 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 vehicle and many batteries are replaced because of 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) over the corroded areas. 

The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away.   Be sure to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the car ignition and driving the vehicle.   When the vehicle is on, the auto 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’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

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 power for ignition.  They are 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 for a battery which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly 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 safe and has good 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 will ruin the battery and even damage your car whilst creating a safety risk.   The same could happen if you have awful 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 vehicle battery from large changes in temperature will help optimize the battery’s lifespan.   To do this you can use a car battery insulation kit.   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 website where you can place 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 typically made from 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.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the automobile computers.   This is 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 car is not in use.   They do this by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so that they do not always draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off.   As you can imagine, these chargers are extremely 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 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 one at home to fully charge.   The main thing to remember with this suggestion is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will greatly increase the life of your battery.  Do this using a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.

Tip 6: Check your vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there’s a demand for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.  

  1. It can be explosive.

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

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