Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
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 automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to keep 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 article will be simple to do…and anyone 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 (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 one day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times 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 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 form 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 stage, which we seek to maintain 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 some time, 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 before a problem arises (like being not able 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 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 many batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be easily treated simply by pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (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.
Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the car ignition and driving the vehicle. 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 isn’t on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They are not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for). Using your car battery for a battery that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s 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 wires. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and might short circuit. This may ruin the battery — and even damage your car whilst creating a security risk. The same could happen if you have awful battery cables (or they’re not connected properly). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. 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 insulation kit. Newer model cars already 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 — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are typically made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect it while still allowing proper ventilation.
Tip 5: Fully charge 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 (radio, lights, etc.) or the car computers. This is the reason why people come home from long holidays and find their car battery dead. But to prevent this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger.
Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not in use. They do this by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off. They’re also useful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so can dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge. The most important thing to remember with this suggestion is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will greatly increase the life span of your battery. Do this with a charger, interchanging batteries…or just going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.
Tip 6: Assess your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there’s a need for water. So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged.
It can be volatile.
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 are doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are dying early, you will want to look at your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).