But lots of people find that they need to change 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 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 simple to do…and anyone will be able to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s get started! …
First, You Should 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 known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.
However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, 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 form 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 needs 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 conclusion 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 not able 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 review of the battery terminals to make sure they are clean and corrosion 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 car and many batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up. But often times, this is readily treated simply by 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 acidity in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat 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 allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the car 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’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 sort 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 gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly utilized in this fashion. So avoid operating any automobile accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has good 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 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 are not connected properly). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.
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 set up one yourself. Just be certain it fits your car’s battery compartment. Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their site where you can place in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will fit 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 car is off. This happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the automobile computers. This is the reason why people come home from long vacations and find their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not in use. They do this by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so they don’t always draw current from the car battery when the vehicle 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 helpful 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 charge. The main 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 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 vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there’s 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’s significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).
Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they are overcharged. This causes two problems:
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you will want to look at your car’s alternator (or get a mechanic to check it).