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Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But many 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 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 lifespan 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 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 known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.

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

Rather, 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 earliest, most reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.

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

  • Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we attempt to keep for as long as you can.

  • 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 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 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 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 car and several batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be easily treated simply by 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 acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away.   Make certain 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 to the car ignition and driving the car.   When the vehicle is on, the auto alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car isn’t 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 automobile batteries are not meant for this sort of use.

Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They’re 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 provides you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly used in this fashion.   So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the car is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has great battery cables.   The battery needs to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and could short circuit.   This will ruin the battery and even cause damage to 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 be sure they have a secure connection also.

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 already have these kits installed typically.  But if your car does not have one, you can easily install 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 site where you can put in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are typically made of 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.  That 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 vacations and locate their car battery dead.   But to avoid this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger. 

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used.   They do this by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so they don’t always draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off.   As you can imagine, these chargers are extremely useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for a while.  They’re also helpful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing this will dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully charge.   The main thing to remember with this suggestion is…be 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 just going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.

Tip 6: Assess your car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and if water is needed, 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 are overcharged.  

  1. It can be volatile.

  2. It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — that shortens its lifespan

Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you will want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or find 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.