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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 modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

And what can you do to prolong your vehicle’s battery life?

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

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

The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anybody will be able to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s get started! …

First, You Should 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 1 day.

This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how often the battery was charged or discharged.

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

Rather, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…which 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 needs to be used gently.

  • Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we seek 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 have to 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 review of the battery terminals to make sure they are clean and corrosion 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 car and several batteries are replaced due to 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) within the corroded areas. 

The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away.   After the rust is eliminated, 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: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle ignition and driving the car.   When the car 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 electronic equipment. 

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

Instead, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They are not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for).   Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly 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 secure 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 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 be sure they have a secure connection as well.

Protecting your vehicle 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 doesn’t have one, you can easily set up 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 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 appropriate 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 vehicle is off.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the car computers.   This is why folks come home from long vacations and find 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 keep 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 do not always 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 a while.  They’re also useful if you go on plenty 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 shorten 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 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: Assess your vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there is a need for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be explosive.

Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are dying early, you’ll 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.