But lots of people find that they need to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
Why is this?
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 offer you 8 easy tips and tricks to maximize the life span of your car’s 12 volt battery.
The tips we’ll teach you in this article will be easy to do…and anyone will be able to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).
So let’s begin! …
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 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’s completely independent of how many times the battery was charged or discharged.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and maintenance…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 oldest, most reliable, 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 gently.
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 slowly ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite some time, but must 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 begin your car 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 be certain they’re 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 many batteries are replaced due to 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 consume the corrosion away.
Tip 2: Don’t 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 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’re simply relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment.
This is detrimental to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.
Rather, car batteries are supposed to offer 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 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 used 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 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 damage your car while creating a safety risk. The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they are not connected correctly ). 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 maximize 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 from 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 interchange batteries 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 (radio, lights, etc.) or even the automobile computers. This is why folks come home from long holidays and find their car battery dead. But to prevent this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger.
Car battery chargers (regular or solar) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used. They do this by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t always draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off. As you can imagine, these chargers are extremely useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for a while. They’re also helpful if you go on plenty of short car trips (like to work and back each day) 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 you at home to fully charge. The most important thing to remember with this tip is…be sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week since it will 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: Assess your vehicle 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 when water is required, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, 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.
It can be volatile.
Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we have recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you will want to look at your vehicle’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).