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

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.

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 car batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.

We’ll also give 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 guide 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 get started! …

First, You Ought to Know That Every Car Battery Lifespan Has A Limit (however most people kill their battery well before it’s time)

Even if you care for 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 was charged or discharged.

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

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

Instead, they die early because of 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 oldest, most dependable, 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 perfect performance stage, which we attempt to keep for as long as you can.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly ends in the termination 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 until a problem arises (like being unable to begin your car for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they are 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 car and many batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this is readily treated by simply 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.  

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

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

Instead, car batteries are supposed to offer 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 for a battery which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives 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 automobile accessories or electronics while the car is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has great battery cables.   The battery has to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and might short circuit.   This will ruin the battery — and even damage your car whilst creating a safety risk.   The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ).  So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.

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 insulating material.   Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically.  But if your car doesn’t 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 site where you can put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are usually 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.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the automobile computers.   This is the reason why people come home from long holidays and locate 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 maintain 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 that they don’t continuously draw current from the car battery when the car is off.   They’re also useful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a opportunity 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 most important thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it’ll 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: Check your vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is significant, 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.   This causes two problems:

  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 article but your automobile batteries are dying early, you will want to look at 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.