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Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But many people find that they need to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

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 easy 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 simple 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 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 is 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.

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

Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…which 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 reliable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.

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

  • Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we seek to keep for as long as possible.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly 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 before a problem arises (like being unable to begin your car for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to make sure they are 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 glue (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 rust away.   Make certain to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the car 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 isn’t on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

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

Instead, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They are not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery could 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 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 good battery wires.   The battery has to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and could short circuit.   This may ruin the battery and even cause damage to your car while creating a safety risk.   The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected properly).  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 vehicle battery from large changes in temperature will help maximize the battery’s lifespan.   To do this you can use a car battery insulation kit.   Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically.  But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily set up 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 website where you can place 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 of 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 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 car computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays and find their car battery dead.   But to prevent this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger. 

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not in use.   They do it by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the car battery when the car 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 useful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) 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 you at home to fully control.   The main thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because 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 if there is a need for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

Tip 8: Assess 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 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.