Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many men and women find that they need 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 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 will 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 get started! …
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 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 has been charged or discharged.
However, most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…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 has to be used gently.
Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we seek to keep for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still 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 begin your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they are clean and rust free. One of the initial 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 is easily treated simply by 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 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 let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the car ignition and driving the vehicle. When the car is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle 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 just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this sort of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant to provide 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 would be for). Using your car battery as a battery which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides 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 automobile accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has great battery cables. 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 cause damage to your car while creating a security risk. The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. Protecting your vehicle battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize 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 set up 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 site where you can place in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will fit their kit — such as here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually made of 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 control 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. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the car computers. This is why folks come home from long holidays and find their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used. They do this by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they do not continuously draw current from the car 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 some time. They’re also helpful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing so can dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully charge. The most important 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 span of your battery. Do this with 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 car battery water level indicator regularly and when water is needed, 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. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.
It can be volatile.
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 are doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you’ll want to look at your vehicle’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.