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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 have 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?

We’ll show you why car batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.

We’ll also offer you 8 easy tips and techniques to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we will teach you in this article will be simple to do…and anyone will be able 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 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 1 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.

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

Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…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 lightly.

  • 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 termination of the battery.

Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite some time, 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 until 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 because of too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be easily treated by simply pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas. 

The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away.   Make certain to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the car ignition and driving the vehicle.   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’re using the car’s electronics, you are 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 type of use.

Instead, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition.  They are not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s 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 greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it is repeatedly utilized in this fashion.   So avoid operating any automobile accessories or electronics while the car is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe 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 may ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a security risk.   The same could happen if you have awful battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ).  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 car battery from large changes in temperature will help optimize 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 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 website where you can place 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 usually 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 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.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the automobile computers.   This is the reason why people come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not in use.   They do this by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off.   As you can imagine, these chargers are extremely useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for some time.  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 opportunity to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing this can dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully control.   The main thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it’ll greatly increase the life span of your battery.  Do this using a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.

Tip 6: Assess your car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there is a demand for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen 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 are doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you will want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).