Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of men and women 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 offer 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 article 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 (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 one day.
This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is 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.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most dependable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used gently.
Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we seek to keep for as long as you can.
Decline is a slow process, but one that slowly ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite a while, 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 until a problem arises (like being not able to begin your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they’re clean and rust free. One of the initial 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 can be readily treated simply by pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (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. Be sure to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the vehicle ignition and driving the car. 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 isn’t on, and you are 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 automobile batteries are not meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity 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, rather than a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly utilized 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 great battery wires. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and might 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 bad 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 optimize the battery’s lifespan. To do this you can use a car battery insulating material. Newer model cars currently 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 site where you can place in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will fit 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 car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard it while still allowing appropriate 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 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 vehicle is not being used. They do it 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 car is off. As you can imagine, these chargers are very useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for some time. 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 will dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge. The most important 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 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’s a need for water. So check the car 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).
Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be explosive.
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are dying early, you will want to check your car’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.