Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of men and women find that they have to modify 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 keep this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 easy tips and tricks 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 have the ability to perform 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 care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.
However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, 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 type 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 phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite some time, but must 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 begin your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to be certain they’re clean and corrosion 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 several batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up. But often times, this is readily treated simply by 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 corrosion away. After the rust 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 run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle 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 is not 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 are not meant for this sort of use.
Instead, car batteries are supposed to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They’re 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 which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s 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 wires. 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 are not connected correctly ). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. Protecting your car battery from big changes in temperature will help optimize 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 does not 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 will tell you if your battery will match their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These automobile 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 vehicle is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the automobile computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead. But to avoid 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 car is not being used. They do it by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so that they do not always draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off. As you can imagine, these chargers are very useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for a while. 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 this 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 main thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will greatly increase the life of your battery. Do this using 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 if there’s a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be explosive.
Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).