But lots of men and women find that they need to modify their car battery every 1 to 2 years.
Why is this?
And what can you do to prolong your vehicle’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 prevent this from happening.
We’ll also give you 8 easy tips and techniques 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 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 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 one day.
This set lifespan is known as the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it is completely independent of how many times the battery has been charged or discharged.
After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.
But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…
Instead, they die early because of poor maintenance and care…that you can do something about.
Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most dependable, 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 has to be used lightly.
Peak is the perfect performance stage, which we seek to maintain for as long as possible.
Decline is a slow process, but one which gradually ends in the termination of the battery.
Batteries in decline can still be used for quite a while, but must 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 begin your car for work).
Tip 1: Do a monthly review 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 due to 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 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 corrosion away.
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 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 damaging to the car battery because car batteries aren’t meant for this sort of use.
Instead, car batteries are meant 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 could be for). Using your car battery for a battery that powers electronics, rather than a battery that just gives you a burst of electricity for ignition, will damage the battery and significantly 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 cables. The battery needs to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and might short circuit. This will ruin the battery — and even cause damage to 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 be sure they have a secure connection also.
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 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 place 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 usually made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material. These automobile battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect 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 car computers. This is the reason why people come home from long holidays and find their car battery dead. But to avoid this, you can use either a car battery charger or a solar battery charger.
Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will keep the optimum charge level of your car battery when the car is not being used. They do it by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t always draw current from the vehicle 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 chance 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 control. The main 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 span of your battery. Do this using 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 whether there’s a demand for water. So check the vehicle battery water level indicator regularly and when water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is significant, 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 are overcharged.
It can be volatile.
It also breaks down the composition of the water in the battery — which shortens its lifespan
Tip 8: Check your vehicle’s alternator. If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this guide but your car batteries are dying early, you’ll 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.