Auto Racing Data Logger

Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But many men and women find that they have 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 lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be simple 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 Ought to Know That Every Car Battery 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 1 day.

This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.

But 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.

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 needs to be used lightly.

  • Peak is the ideal 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 conclusion of the battery.

Batteries in decline can still be used for quite some time, but must 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 begin your car for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they are 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 is 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.   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 on the vehicle 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’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 sort of use.

Rather, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They are not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for).   Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it is repeatedly utilized 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 great battery wires.   The battery needs to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and could short circuit.   This may ruin the battery — and even cause damage to your car whilst creating a safety risk.   The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.

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 currently 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 will tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are usually 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 appropriate 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 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 the reason why folks 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 vehicle is not being used.   They do this by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the car 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 this will dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully control.   The most important 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 span 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 if there’s a demand for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are 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’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are dying early, you will want to look at 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.