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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 people find that they have to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

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 keep this from happening.

We’ll also give you 8 easy 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 simple to do…and anybody will have the ability 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 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’s completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.

However, most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…

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

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

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

  • Peak is the ideal performance phase, which we seek to maintain for as long as you can.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually ends in the conclusion 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 review of the battery terminals to make sure they’re clean and rust free.   One of the initial 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 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 glue (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 eliminated, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture. 

Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle ignition and driving the vehicle.   When the vehicle 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 are 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 meant to provide a sudden burst of power 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 which powers electronics, instead of a battery that just gives 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 automobile accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has great battery wires.   The battery has to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and could short circuit.   This will ruin the battery and even cause damage to your car whilst creating a security risk.   The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ).  So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.

Protecting your vehicle battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize 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 make sure 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’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 proper 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.  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 car is not being used.   They do this by providing enough power for the car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the car battery when the car is off.   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 chance to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing so can dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully control.   The main thing to remember with this tip is…make 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: Check your car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there is a need for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle battery).

Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be explosive.

Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are dying early, you’ll want to look at your car’s alternator (or find 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.