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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 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?

Well… That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

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 easy tips and techniques 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 be able to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s get started! …

First, You Should Know That Every Car Battery 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.

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

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

Instead, they die early due to 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.

Lead Acid Batteries have three life phases — formatting, peak, and decline.

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

  • 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 slowly ends in the conclusion of the battery.

Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite a while, but have to 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 start your car for work).

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

Tip 1: Do a monthly review 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 corrosion around the terminals.   Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the car and many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this is easily treated by simply pouring a small quantity 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 in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away.   After the rust is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.  Make certain to allow it to 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 on the vehicle ignition and driving the car.   When the vehicle is on, the auto alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car is not on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

This is detrimental to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this sort of use.

Instead, car batteries are supposed to offer 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, instead of a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it is repeatedly used in this fashion.   So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has good battery cables.   The battery has 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 damage your car whilst creating a security risk.   The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected properly).  So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.

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 insulating material.   Newer model cars already have these kits installed typically.  But if your car doesn’t 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’ll tell you if your battery will fit 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 car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect 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 vehicle is off.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the automobile computers.   This is the reason why people come home from long vacations and locate 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 electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t always draw current from the car battery when the vehicle is off.   As you can imagine, these chargers are very useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for a while.  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 so will 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…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 simply 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’s a need for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen 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: Assess your vehicle’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check your car’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).