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Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But lots of men and women find that they need to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

Why is this?

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

The tips we will teach you in this article 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 begin! …

First, You Ought to Know That Every Car Battery’s Lifespan Has A Limit (however 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 known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.

Once 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 due to poor maintenance and maintenance…which you can do something about.

Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most dependable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.

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

  • Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we attempt to keep 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 still be used for quite a while, 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 begin your vehicle for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they’re 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 vehicle and many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be readily 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 acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away.  

Tip 2: Do not operate 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’re using the car’s electronics, you’re 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 type of use.

Rather, car batteries are supposed 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 for a battery that 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 utilized 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 great battery wires.   The battery has to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and might short circuit.   This may ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a security risk.   The same could happen when you have awful 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 vehicle battery from large 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 set up 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 website where you can put 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 typically 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 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 vehicle is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the car computers.   This is why folks come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not in use.   They do it by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the car battery when the car is off.   They’re also useful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing so will dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge.   The most important thing to remember with this suggestion is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it’ll 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: Assess your vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there’s a need for water.   So check the vehicle 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).

Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be explosive.

Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you will want to check your car’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).