Victoria Auto Racing

But lots of men and women find that they have to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

Why is this?

And what can you do to prolong your vehicle’s battery life?

Well… That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.

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 tricks to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we’ll teach you in this guide will be simple 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 Should 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 1 day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s 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 complete”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 dependable, 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 gently.

  • Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we seek to maintain for as long as possible.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually ends in the conclusion of the battery.

Batteries in decline can still be used for quite a while, but must be watched.

Around this time, you can either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it until a problem arises (like being unable to begin your vehicle for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure 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 several batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this is readily treated simply by 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 eat the rust away.  

Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle ignition and driving the car.   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 are 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 automobile batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.

Rather, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of power for ignition.  They’re not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for).   Using your car battery for a battery that 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 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 safe 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 may ruin the battery and even cause damage to your car whilst creating a safety risk.   The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they are not connected properly).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.

Protecting your car battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize 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 does not have one, you can easily install 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 put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will fit 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 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 shut-off 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 (lights, radio, etc.) or the car computers.   This is why folks come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used.   They do this by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the car battery when the vehicle is off.   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 this can dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully control.   The most important thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since 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 vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.  

  1. It can be volatile.

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