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8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery

Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But lots of people find that they have to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

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 offer you 8 simple tips and techniques to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we will 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 Should 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 known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.

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

Instead, 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 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 phase, which we seek 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 still be used for quite a while, 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 until a problem arises (like being unable to begin your car for work).

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

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 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 by simply pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas. 

The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.   After the corrosion is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. 

Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (lights, radio, 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 vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car is not 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 automobile 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 is what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for).   Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it is 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 wires.   The battery needs to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it will 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 are not connected correctly ).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.

Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature.  Protecting your car 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 already have these kits installed typically.  But if your car does not have one, you can easily install 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 place in your car model and year, and it’ll 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 automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect 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.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the car computers.   This is why people come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead.   But to avoid this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger. 

Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used.   They do it by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they do not continuously draw current from the car battery when the car is off.   They’re also helpful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing so will dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully charge.   The most important thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it’ll greatly increase the life span 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: Check your car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be explosive.

  2. 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 have recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you will want to check your car’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.