8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery
But lots of men and women find that they need to change 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 car batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.
We’ll also give 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 easy to do…and anyone will be able to perform 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 one 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.
But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early due to 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 oldest, 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 perfect performance phase, which we seek to maintain 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 a while, 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 begin your vehicle for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to be certain they’re clean and rust free. One of the first 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 readily treated simply by pouring a small quantity 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. Make certain to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the car. When the vehicle 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 just relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this sort of use.
Rather, 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 would be for). Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it is 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 secure and has great battery cables. The battery needs 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 cause damage to your car while creating a safety risk. The same could happen if you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.
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 insulating material. Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically. But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily install 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 site where you can put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will match 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 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. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the car computers. This is why folks come home from long vacations 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 in use. They do it by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off. They’re also useful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so can 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 tip is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it’ll greatly increase the life of your battery. Do this with a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.
Tip 6: Check your car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there’s a need for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be explosive.
Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check your car’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).