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

But lots of people find that they need to change 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 prevent this from happening.

We’ll also give you 8 simple tips and techniques 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 have the ability to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s begin! …

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

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

Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.

Lead acid batteries are the earliest, 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 perfect performance phase, which we seek to maintain 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 some time, 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 unable to start your vehicle for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to be certain they are clean and corrosion 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 several batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this is easily treated by simply pouring a small quantity 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 at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion 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 on the car ignition and driving the vehicle.   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 is not on, and you’re 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 automobile batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.

Rather, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of power 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 that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly utilized in this fashion.   So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has great 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 will ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a safety risk.   The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected properly).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.

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 insulation kit.   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 make sure 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 put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are typically 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 proper 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 car is off.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the automobile computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays and find 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 this by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off.   They’re also helpful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing so can dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one 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’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 vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there’s a need for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

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

  1. It can be volatile.

Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we have recommended in this article but your automobile 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.