Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of men and women find that they have 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 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’ll teach you in this article will be simple to do…and anybody will be able 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’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 one day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.
After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most dependable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and needs to be used lightly.
Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we attempt to keep for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite some time, 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 unable to begin your car 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 car and several batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this is readily treated simply by pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas.
The acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away. After the corrosion is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. Be sure to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the car 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 isn’t on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is damaging to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this sort of use.
Instead, 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’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for). Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, rather than 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 safe and has good battery wires. The battery has to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and might short circuit. This will ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a security risk. The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected properly). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.
Protecting your vehicle 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 already have these kits installed typically. But if your car doesn’t 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 website where you can put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will match their kit — like 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 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 (lights, radio, etc.) or the automobile computers. This is why folks come home from long holidays and find their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not in use. They do it by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they do not 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 each day) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so will dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully control. The most important thing to remember with this suggestion is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it will 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: Assess your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there’s a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.
It can be explosive.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — which shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this article but your automobile 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.