Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of people find that they need to modify 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 automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also offer you 8 simple tips and techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we will teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anyone will be able to perform 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 (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 1 day.
This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.
Once 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.
A Little Background About Lead Acid Batteries Before Our 8 Battery Tips and Tricks…
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and needs to be used gently.
Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we seek to keep 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 nevertheless be used for quite a while, but have to be watched.
Around this time, you can either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it until a problem arises (like being not able 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 review of the battery terminals to be certain 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 car and several batteries are replaced because of too much 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) within the corroded areas.
The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away. Be sure to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the car. When the vehicle 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 electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition. They are not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s 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 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 will be impaired and could short circuit. This may ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a safety risk. The same could happen if 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 vehicle battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize the battery’s lifespan. To do this you can use a car battery insulation kit. Newer model cars currently 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 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 appropriate ventilation.
Tip 5: Fully charge your car battery at least once a week (use a car battery charger or interchange batteries 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 car computers. This is why folks come home from long vacations and find their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not in use. They do it by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so that they do not always draw current from the car battery when the vehicle is off. They’re also helpful if you go on plenty 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 enhance 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 tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it will 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 vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there is a need for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be volatile.
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 guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to look at your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).