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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 lots of people find that they need 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 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 article will be easy to do…and anybody will be able to do 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 care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.

This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is 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 care…which you can do something about.

Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most dependable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.

  • Formatting is when the battery is new and needs to be used lightly.

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

  • Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the termination of the battery.

Batteries in decline can still 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 until a problem arises (like being not able to begin your car for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to be certain 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 due to a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this is easily 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at 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. 

Tip 2: Don’t 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 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 are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment. 

This is damaging to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this type of use.

Instead, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They are not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery would 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’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 secure 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 damage your car while creating a security risk.   The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected properly).  So check your cables and be 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 optimize 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 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 site 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 usually 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 control 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 car is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the automobile computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will keep 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 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 some time.  They’re also useful 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 most important thing to remember with this suggestion is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it’ll 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 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 required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge 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 — which shortens its lifespan

Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this article but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to look at 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.