Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But many people 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 car’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 life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we will teach you in this guide will be simple to do…and anybody will have the ability to perform these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s get started! …
First, You Ought to 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.
However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.
A Little Background About Lead Acid Batteries Before Our 8 Battery Tips and Tricks…
Lead acid batteries are the earliest, 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 gently.
Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we attempt to keep for as long as you can.
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 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 unable to start your car for work).
8 Simple Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Car’s Lead Acid Battery
Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to make sure they are 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 many 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) within the corroded areas.
The acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away. After the rust is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. Be sure to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Don’t run 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 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 aren’t meant for this type of use.
Rather, car batteries are meant 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 could be for). Using your car battery for a battery that 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 is repeatedly utilized in this fashion. So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has good 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 will ruin the battery — and even cause damage to your car whilst 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 make 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 already have these kits installed typically. But if your car does not 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’ll tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like here (top of page). These protective battery sleeves are usually 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 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 (lights, radio, etc.) or even the automobile computers. This is the reason why people come home from long vacations and locate 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 being used. They do it by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so that they do not always draw current from the vehicle battery when the vehicle is off. As you can imagine, these chargers are extremely 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 each day) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this will dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge. The main thing to remember with this suggestion is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because 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: Check your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate if there is a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.
It can be explosive.
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’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to check your vehicle’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).