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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.

Why is this?

And what can you do to prolong your car’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 offer you 8 simple tips and techniques to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we will 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 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 take care of 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 often the battery was 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 full”Calendar Life”…

Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.

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 needs 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 nevertheless be used for quite some time, 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 not able to begin your vehicle for work).

8 Simple Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Car’s Lead Acid Battery

Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to be certain they’re clean and rust 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 car and many batteries are replaced due to too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be easily treated by simply pouring a small amount 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 at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.   After the corrosion is eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. 

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

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

Rather, car batteries are meant to provide 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 for a battery which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it is 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 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 could short circuit.   This will ruin the battery — and even cause damage to your car while creating a security risk.   The same could happen if you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected properly).  So check your cables and make 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 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 matches 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 of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile 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 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 (radio, lights, etc.) or even the automobile computers.   This is the reason why people come home from long holidays and find their car battery dead.   But to avoid this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger. 

Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not in use.   They do this by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t always draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off.   They’re also useful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back each day) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing this can dramatically shorten 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 since it will greatly increase the life span 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: Assess your vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there’s a demand for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be explosive.

  2. It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — that shortens its lifespan

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