Ray Mears Jungle Camp

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 car batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent 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 perform 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 (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 one day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.

Once a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.

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

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

A Little Background About Lead Acid Batteries Before Our 8 Battery Tips and Tricks…

Lead acid batteries are the oldest, most dependable, and most widely used type 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 ideal performance stage, which we seek to keep for as long as possible.

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

Batteries in decline can still be used for quite a while, 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 before a problem arises (like being unable to begin 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’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 because of too much corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be easily treated simply by pouring a small amount 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.  

Tip 2: Do not run any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning to 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 electronics. 

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

Rather, car batteries are meant to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They are not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that is what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for).   Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly 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 cables.   The battery needs to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and could short circuit.   This will ruin the battery and even damage your car whilst creating a security risk.   The same could happen if 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 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 currently have these kits installed typically.  But if your car does not 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 site where you can put in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will match their kit — like here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are typically 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 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.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or the car computers.   This is why folks come home from long holidays and locate their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used.   They do this by providing enough electricity for the car accessories and car computer, so that they do not always draw current from the car battery when the vehicle is off.   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 so will dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge.   The main thing to remember with this tip is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will greatly increase the life span of your battery.  Do this with 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’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 is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Lead-acid batteries release oxygen and hydrogen gases when they’re overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be explosive.

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