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

The tips we will teach you in this article will be easy to do…and anybody 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 is completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.

After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.

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

Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and maintenance…which you can do something about.

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 has to be used lightly.

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

  • Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually ends in the termination 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 before a problem arises (like being unable to begin your vehicle for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to make sure 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 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.  

Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle.   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 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 car batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.

Instead, car batteries are supposed to provide 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 could be for).   Using your car battery for a battery which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly used in this fashion.   So avoid operating any automobile accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has great battery cables.   The battery has 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 damage your car whilst 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 make sure they have a secure connection also.

Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature.  Protecting your vehicle battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize 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 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 website where you can place in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are typically made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard 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 vehicle is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the automobile computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations and find their car battery dead.   But to prevent this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger. 

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not in use.   They do this by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off.   They’re also helpful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) 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 you at home to fully control.   The most important thing to remember with this tip is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it’ll greatly increase the life of your battery.  Do this using a charger, interchanging batteries…or just going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.

Tip 6: Check 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 if 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 explosive.

Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are still dying early, you will want to look at your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).