Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of men and women find that they need to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
Why is this?
And what can you do to prolong your vehicle’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 lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we will teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anybody will have the ability to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s begin! …
First, You Should 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 one day.
This set lifespan is known as 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 complete”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 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 needs to be used lightly.
Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we attempt to keep for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still 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).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to make sure they are clean and rust free. One of the first 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 readily treated by simply pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (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 rust away. 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 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 just relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They’re not made to provide 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 that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just provides you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it is 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 good battery cables. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and might short circuit. This may ruin the battery and even damage your car while creating a safety risk. The same could happen when 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.
Protecting your car 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 already have these kits installed typically. But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily install one yourself. Just be certain it matches your car’s battery compartment. Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their website where you can put in your car model and year, and it’ll 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 control 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 the automobile computers. This is why people come home from long vacations 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 in use. They do it by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the car 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 daily ) and never give your battery a chance 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…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 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 whether there’s a need for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).
Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are still 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.