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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 car’s battery life?

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 simple 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 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 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 is completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.

After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.

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

Rather, 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.

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

  • Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we attempt to maintain 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 must 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 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 are 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 vehicle and many batteries are replaced because of too much 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 eat the rust away.   After the corrosion is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.  Make certain to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle 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 isn’t on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment. 

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

Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They’re not made to offer 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 gives 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 automobile accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has great battery cables.   The battery has to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and might short circuit.   This will ruin the battery and even cause damage to your car while creating a security risk.   The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.

Protecting your car 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 doesn’t 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 put 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 car 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.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the car computers.   This is the reason 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 being used.   They do it by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they do not continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off.   They’re also helpful 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 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 since 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 is a need for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you will want to check your car’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.