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8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery

But many men and women 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 simple 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 have the ability to do 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 care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s 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.

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

Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…which you can do something about.

Lead acid batteries are the oldest, 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 needs to be used lightly.

  • Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we seek to keep 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 still be used for quite a while, 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 until a problem arises (like being not able to begin your car for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly review 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 several batteries are replaced because of 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 paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas. 

The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the rust away.   Make certain to allow it to 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 vehicle.   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 is not on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you are just relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.

Instead, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of power 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 power for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s 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 great battery wires.   The battery needs to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it will 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 when you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ).  So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.

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 insulation kit.   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 matches your car’s battery compartment.  Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their site where you can place 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 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 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.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the automobile computers.   This is why people 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 keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used.   They do this by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t always draw current from the car battery when the vehicle is off.   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 chance to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing so will 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 suggestion is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it’ll greatly increase the life 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 car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there is a need for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.  

  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’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are still 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.