But lots of men and women find that they need to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
And what can you do to prolong your car’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 offer you 8 simple tips and techniques 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 have the ability to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s begin! …
First, You Ought to Know That Every Car Battery’s 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 1 day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.
After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and maintenance…that you can do something about.
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 has to be used lightly.
Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we seek to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still 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 until a problem arises (like being unable to start your car 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 car and several batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be readily 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 acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away. After the rust is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.
Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle. When the vehicle 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 damaging to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of power 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 for a battery that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly utilized in this fashion. So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the car is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has good battery cables. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and could short circuit. This will ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a safety 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 car battery from big 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 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 site where you can put in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will match their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually 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 charge 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 even the automobile computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead. But to prevent this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger.
Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not in use. They do it by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the car battery when the vehicle 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 chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this will dramatically shorten 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…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it’ll 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: Assess your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged.
It can be volatile.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — that shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you’ll want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).