Jay Leno’s Garage Condor

Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But many people find that they need to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

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

Well… That’s what we’ll discuss in this report.

We’ll show you why car 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 lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we will teach you in this guide 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 begin! …

First, You Should Know That Every Car Battery Lifespan Has A Limit (but most people kill their battery well before it’s time)

Even if you care for your car battery perfectly…it will still die 1 day.

This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.

After 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 care…which 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 perfect performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as possible.

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

Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite a while, but have to be watched.

Around this time, you may either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it before a problem arises (like being not able to start your vehicle for work).

Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to be certain they are clean and corrosion 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 vehicle and several batteries are replaced due to a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this can be readily treated by simply pouring a small quantity of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) within 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 eliminated, 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 operate any car accessories (lights, radio, or electronics) before turning on the vehicle 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 isn’t on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you are just relying on the car battery to power those electronics. 

This is damaging to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.

Rather, car batteries are supposed to provide a sudden burst of power for ignition.  They’re 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 significantly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s 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 great 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 when you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected properly).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection also.

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 already have these kits installed typically.  But if your car doesn’t have one, you can easily install one yourself.   Just be certain 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 put in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will fit their kit — like here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are usually made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard it while still allowing proper ventilation.

Tip 5: Fully control your car battery at least once a week (use a car battery charger or interchange batteries 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 the car computers.   This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations 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 it by providing enough electricity 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 useful if you go on plenty 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 you at home to fully charge.   The main 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 with a charger, interchanging batteries…or just going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.

Tip 6: Assess your car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate whether there is a demand for water.   So check the vehicle battery water level indicator frequently and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that’s important, 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.  

  1. It can be explosive.

Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are still dying early, you will want to look at your vehicle’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.