Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…
But lots of men and women 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?
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 will teach you in this guide will be easy to do…and anyone 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 (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 known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s 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.
But most car batteries never make it their complete”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…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 reliable, and most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.
Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used gently.
Peak is the ideal performance stage, which we seek to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one which slowly ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can nevertheless be used for quite some time, 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 until a problem arises (like being unable to start your vehicle for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review of the battery terminals to be certain they are 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 vehicle and several batteries are replaced because of too much corrosive build up. But often times, this is readily treated by simply 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 acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the rust away. Be sure 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 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 are 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 sort of use.
Instead, car batteries are supposed to provide a sudden burst of power for ignition. They’re 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 provides you a burst of electricity 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 safe 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 while creating a safety risk. The same could happen when you have awful battery cables (or they’re not connected correctly ). So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature. Protecting your car battery from big changes in temperature will help maximize 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 set up one yourself. Just make sure it matches 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 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 car is off. That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or the automobile computers. This is the reason why folks come home from long vacations and find their car battery dead.
Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will keep 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 always draw current from the car battery when the car 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 daily ) and never give your battery a opportunity to fully recharge. Repeatedly doing this can dramatically shorten your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving one at home to fully charge. The most important 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 with a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.
Tip 6: Check your vehicle battery’s water level. Most car batteries indicate whether there’s a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is significant, ONLY use distilled water to refill your vehicle 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:
It can be explosive.
Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this article but your car batteries are dying early, you will want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).