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 car batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 easy 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 simple to do…and anyone will have the ability to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s get started! …
First, You Should Know That Every Car Battery’s Lifespan Has A Limit (but 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 called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.
However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early due to 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.
Lead Acid Batteries have three life phases — formatting, peak, and decline.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used lightly.
Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we seek to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly ends in the conclusion of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite some time, but have to be watched.
Around this time, you can 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’re 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 several batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up. But often times, this can be easily treated simply by 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away. After the rust is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (lights, radio, 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 electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition. They are not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s 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 electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly used in this fashion. So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the car is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has great battery wires. The battery needs 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 security risk. The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.
Protecting your car battery from big 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 place in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually 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 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 (radio, lights, etc.) or the car computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations 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 in use. They do it by providing enough power for the 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 helpful 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 this can dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully charge. The main thing to remember with this suggestion is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it will 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 car battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water. So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be explosive.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — which shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Check your car’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 vehicle’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).