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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 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?

We’ll show you why car 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 life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be easy to do…and anyone 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 care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die one day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.

After 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 earliest, most reliable, 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 perfect performance stage, which we attempt to maintain for as long as possible.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one which 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 not able to start your car for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure 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 vehicle and many batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this is easily treated by simply pouring a small amount 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 in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.  

Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the vehicle.   When the car is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the car 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 simply relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

This is detrimental 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 power 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 which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides 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 secure and has good battery cables.   The battery has to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and might short circuit.   This will ruin the battery and even damage your car whilst creating a security risk.   The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.

Protecting your vehicle battery from big 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 doesn’t 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 website where you can put 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 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 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 car is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the automobile computers.   This is the reason why people come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.   But to prevent this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger. 

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 your car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t continuously draw current from the vehicle 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 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 using a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.

Tip 6: Assess your car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there’s a demand for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is significant, 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.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check 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.