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Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

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 car’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 give you 8 easy tips and tricks to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we’ll teach you in this article will be easy to do…and anybody will have the ability 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 often the battery has been 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 complete”Calendar Life”…

Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…that you can do something about.

Lead acid batteries are the oldest, 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 perfect performance stage, which we seek 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 vehicle for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they are clean and corrosion free.   One of the initial 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 many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be easily treated by simply 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 corrosion away.   After the corrosion is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. 

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 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 detrimental to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.

Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They are 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 provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it is repeatedly utilized 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 great battery wires.   The battery has 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 safety risk.   The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.

Protecting your vehicle battery from large changes in temperature will help optimize 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 set up 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 car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard it while still allowing appropriate 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 car is off.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the car computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays 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 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 a while.  They’re also useful 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 can dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully control.   The main 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 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 if there’s a need for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is 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.  

  1. It can be volatile.

Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you will 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.