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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 lots of men and women find that they have to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

Why is this?

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 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 easy 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 care for 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 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”…

Rather, they die early due to poor maintenance and care…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 form 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 phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as possible.

  • 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 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 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 are 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 vehicle and many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this is easily treated simply by pouring a small quantity 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.   Make certain to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Don’t run any car accessories (radio, lights, 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 vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car isn’t 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 automobile batteries aren’t meant for this type of use.

Instead, car batteries are supposed to offer a sudden burst of electricity for ignition.  They’re not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery would be for).   Using your car battery as a battery that 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’s 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 safe 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 may ruin the battery — and even damage your car while creating a security risk.   The same could happen when 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.

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 — such as 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 guard it while still allowing appropriate ventilation.

Tip 5: Fully control 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 vehicle is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (lights, radio, etc.) or even the automobile computers.   This is the reason why people come home from long vacations 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 in use.   They do it by providing enough electricity for your car accessories and car computer, so that they don’t always draw current from the vehicle battery when the car is off.   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 so can dramatically enhance 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 suggestion is…be 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: Assess your car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there is 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’s important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

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

  1. It can be volatile.

  2. It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — which shortens its lifespan

Tip 8: Check your car’s alternator.   If you are doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your automobile batteries are still dying early, you will want to check 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.