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But many people 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 automobile 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 guide 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 Lifespan Has A Limit (however 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 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 because of poor maintenance and care…which you can do something about.

Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.

  • Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used lightly.

  • Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as you can.

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

Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite a while, but must 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 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 rust 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 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 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 in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the rust away.   Make certain to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle.   When the vehicle 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 are 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 meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity 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 electricity 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 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 while creating a safety risk.   The same could happen if 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 optimize 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 set up 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 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 car 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 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 the car computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not in use.   They do it 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.   They’re also useful 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 can dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully control.   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 with 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 whether there is a need for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.  

  1. It can be volatile.

Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you will want to check your car’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.