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8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery

But lots of people find that they need to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

Why is this?

And what can you do to prolong your car’s battery life?

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

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 easy 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 anybody 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 Lifespan Has A Limit (but most people kill their battery well before it’s time)

Even if you care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.

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

Rather, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…that 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 needs to be used gently.

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

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

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

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they’re clean and corrosion free.   One of the initial 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 vehicle and many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this is easily treated simply by 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 in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.  

Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the car ignition and driving the car.   When the vehicle is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car is not on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you are just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment. 

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

Instead, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They’re not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for).   Using your car battery as a battery which powers electronics, rather than a battery that just provides 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 vehicle is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has good battery wires.   The battery needs to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and could short circuit.   This will 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 are not connected correctly ).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.

Protecting your car 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 currently have these kits installed typically.  But if your car does not 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 site where you can put 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 car 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 interchange batteries if you have to).   Your car battery drains even when the car is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or 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 maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not in use.   They do this by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they do not always draw current from the vehicle 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 some time.  They’re also useful 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 can dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one 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 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: Check your vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there is a demand for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you will want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).