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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 many men and women find that they need to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

Why is this?

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 prevent this from happening.

We’ll also offer 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 simple to do…and anyone 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’s 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 called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how often the battery was charged or discharged.

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

Rather, they die early because of 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 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 has to be used lightly.

  • Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we seek to keep for as long as possible.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one that 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 start your vehicle for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection 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 rust around the terminals.   Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the vehicle and several batteries are replaced due to a lot of 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) over the corroded areas. 

The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.  

Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the car ignition and driving the vehicle.   When the vehicle is on, the auto alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle 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 just relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

This is detrimental to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.

Rather, car batteries are supposed 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 for a battery which powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s 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 safe and has great battery cables.   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 security risk.   The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected properly).  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 vehicle battery from large 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 does not have one, you can easily install one yourself.   Just make sure it fits your car’s battery compartment.  Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their website where you can place 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 typically made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard 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 automobile computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays and find 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 being used.   They do this by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t always draw current from the vehicle 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 this 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 main thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it’ll greatly increase the life span 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: Assess your car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there’s a need for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re 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 vehicle’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll 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.