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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 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?

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 prevent this from happening.

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

The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be easy to do…and anybody will be able 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 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”…

Rather, 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 oldest, most dependable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.

  • Formatting is when the battery is new and needs to be used gently.

  • Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as possible.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually 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 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 start your car for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they’re 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 vehicle and many batteries are replaced because of a lot of 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) within the corroded areas. 

The acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away.  

Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the vehicle.   When the vehicle is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car isn’t on, and you are 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.

Rather, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of electricity 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 that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it is repeatedly used 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 has 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 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.

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 does not have one, you can easily install 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 — such as here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are typically made from plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect it while still allowing proper 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 car is off.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the car computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead.  

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 the car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t always draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle 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 daily ) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing this will 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…make 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 car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there is a need for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.  

  1. It can be explosive.

  2. It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — that shortens its lifespan

Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we have recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you will want to look at your car’s alternator (or get 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.