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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 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 car batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.

We’ll also offer 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 easy to do…and anyone 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’s 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 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”…

Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.

Lead acid batteries are the oldest, 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 lightly.

  • Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we seek to maintain 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 some time, 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 before a problem arises (like being unable to start 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 corrosion 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 many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be easily treated by simply pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion glue (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: Don’t operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the car.   When the car is on, the auto 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’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment. 

This is damaging 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 offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for).   Using your car battery as a battery which powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives 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 great battery wires.   The battery needs to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and might 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 bad battery cables (or they’re not connected properly).  So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection also.

Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature.  Protecting your vehicle battery from large changes in temperature will help maximize 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 set up one yourself.   Just be certain 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 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 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 the car computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long holidays and find their car battery dead.  

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 electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so they do not 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 a while.  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 so 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 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 span of your battery.  Do this with a charger, interchanging batteries…or just 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 need 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 significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

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

  1. It can be volatile.

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

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