2004 Dazon Dune Buggy

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.

Why is this?

And what can you do to prolong your car’s battery life?

We’ll show you why automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent 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 will teach you in this article 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 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 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 is completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.

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

Rather, they die early due to 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 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 phase, which we seek to keep 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 nevertheless be used for quite a while, but have to be watched.

Around this time, you may 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).

8 Simple Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Car’s Lead Acid Battery

Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to make sure 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 vehicle and several batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be readily treated simply by pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas. 

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

Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the car.   When the car is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car isn’t on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you’re just relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

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 are not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for).   Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, instead of 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 used in this fashion.   So avoid operating any automobile accessories or electronics while the car 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 damage your car whilst creating a safety risk.   The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they’re not connected properly).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.

Protecting your car 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 already 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 site where you can put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will match their kit — like here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are typically made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard 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 vehicle is off.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the car computers.   This is why people come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used.   They do this by providing enough electricity for the 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 some time.  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 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 main 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 vehicle 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 if 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 hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

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

Tip 8: Assess your car’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 check your vehicle’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.