Jeremy Clarkson Petition

Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But lots of men and women 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?

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 lifespan 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 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 one day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how often 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”…

Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…which you can do something about.

Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most reliable, and most widely used type 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 maintain for as long as possible.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually 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 may 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 review of the battery terminals to be certain they’re clean and rust free.   One of the first problems most people have with their car battery is the build-up of corrosion around the terminals.   Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the vehicle and many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be readily treated by simply pouring a small amount 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 in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away.   After the rust is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.  Make certain to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the car 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 is not on, and you’re using the car’s electronics, you are simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment. 

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

Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They are not made to provide prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s 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 is repeatedly used 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 great battery cables.   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 while creating a safety risk.   The same could happen if you have awful battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ).  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 insulation kit.   Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically.  But if your car doesn’t 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 place in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will match 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 automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect it while still allowing appropriate 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 vehicle is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the automobile 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 power for your car accessories and car computer, so that they do not continuously 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 some time.  They’re also helpful 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 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 span 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: Check your vehicle battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there’s a demand for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator regularly and if water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car 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 explosive.

Tip 8: Assess your car’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we have recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you will 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.