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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.

And what can you do to prolong your car’s battery life?

We’ll show you why automobile batteries die early…and what you can do to keep this from happening.

We’ll also give you 8 simple tips and tricks 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 be able to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s begin! …

First, You Ought to Know That Every Car Battery’s 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 1 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.

But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…

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

Lead acid batteries are the earliest, 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 attempt to keep for as long as you can.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually 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 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 start your vehicle 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 first 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 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 consume the corrosion away.   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 on the car ignition and driving the car.   When the vehicle is on, the auto 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’re just 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 type 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’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for).   Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives 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 car is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has good battery wires.   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 whilst creating a security risk.   The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected properly).  So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.

Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature.  Protecting your vehicle 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 doesn’t 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 website where you can place in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like 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 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.  This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the car computers.   This is the reason why people come home from long holidays 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 maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not in use.   They do it by providing enough electricity for the 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 extremely 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 each day) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing so can dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you 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 because it’ll greatly increase the life span 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 car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there’s a need for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be explosive.

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

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