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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 car’s battery life?

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

We’ll also give you 8 simple tips and techniques 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 have the ability 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’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 called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.

After 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 because of poor maintenance and maintenance…that you can do something about.

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 has to be used gently.

  • Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we seek to maintain 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 must be watched.

Around this time, you may either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it before a problem arises (like being unable 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 be certain they’re clean and corrosion free.   One of the first 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 can be easily treated by simply pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas. 

The acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.   After the rust is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.  Be sure to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Don’t operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the car.   When the vehicle is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle 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 electronics. 

This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile 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’s 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 gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly used in this fashion.   So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the car is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure 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 could short circuit.   This will ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a safety risk.   The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected properly).  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 already have these kits installed typically.  But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily install one yourself.   Just make sure 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 will tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as 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 protect it while still allowing appropriate 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 vehicle is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the car computers.   This is the reason why people come home from long vacations and find their car battery dead.  

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 this 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.   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 this will dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully control.   The main thing to remember with this suggestion is…make 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: Check your vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s 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.  

  1. It can be explosive.

Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you’ll want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).