8 simple tips to considerably extend the life of your car battery!
A car battery normally lasts 3 to 5 years. However, some drivers have to replace their batteries after 1 or 2 years.
Are you curious as to why some batteries need to be replaced sooner or what you can do to extend the life of your car battery ? Then read on.
In this article you will find out why some car batteries fail early and how you can prevent this.
We are also happy to give you 8 simple tips to get the most out of your 12-volt car battery.
Our tips are really very simple and even though you know nothing about cars or car batteries, our tips will help you.
Here we go!
- Everyone knows that a car battery has a limited lifespan. (Yet there are a lot of people who help their car battery to the pans way too early)
- 8 simple tips to extend the life of the lead-acid battery in your car
- Tip 1) Monthly inspect the poles of the battery to ensure that they are clean and corrosion-free
- Tip 2) Make sure that all car accessories such as the radio, the lights or other electronic gadgets are switched off before you start the car
- Tip 3) Make sure that the battery is stuck in the car and that the battery cables are in good condition
- Tip 4) Insulate your battery so that it cannot undergo extreme temperature fluctuations
- Tip 5) Fully charge your car battery at least once a week. Use a special charger for this or change the battery if necessary
- Tip 6) Check the water level of your battery from time to time
- Tip 7) Make sure you do not overcharge your battery
- Tip 8) Check the alternator of your car
- Important safety measures
- What if your battery fails …?
Everyone knows that a car battery has a limited lifespan. (Yet there are a lot of people who help their car battery to the pans way too early)
Every car battery has a limited lifespan.
Even if you maintain your car battery perfectly … one day it will nevertheless fail.
This lifetime of each battery is called the ‘calendar life’ of the battery and is completely independent of how many times the battery is used up and recharged.
Once a battery has reached the end of its calendar life, it becomes unusable.
However, many batteries never reach their calendar age and the reason for this is usually poor battery maintenance. However, you can ensure that your battery does well throughout its calendar life.
Before we reveal our 8 tips, we are happy to give you some background information about lead-acid batteries.
Lead acid batteries have three phases of life: formation, peak and decline.
A new battery must be formatted. This means that it must be used with care.
The battery performs best during peak times. It is therefore also important to maintain the battery properly at this stage so that a long service life is assured.
- In the final phase, the battery starts to work less well and the performance deteriorates. This entire process takes a while, but the battery will eventually give up. Batteries in this phase can still be used for a while, but must be kept in mind. At this time you can have the battery reconditioned or replace the battery before more serious problems occur (such as not starting the car anymore).
8 simple tips to extend the life of the lead-acid battery in your car
Tip 1) Monthly inspect the poles of the battery to ensure that they are clean and corrosion-free
A problem that often occurs is the accumulation of corrosion around the poles. As a result, the connection between the battery and the vehicle is broken and many batteries have to be replaced due to corrosion.
However, this corrosion can easily be solved by applying some cola or home-made anti-corrosion paste (one fourth water and three fourth baking powder) on the affected terminals. The acid in the cola or in the self-made anti-corrosion paste will dissolve the corrosion.
If the corrosion has dissolved, clean the poles with a damp cloth or sponge and ensure that all residues and moisture are completely removed. Allow everything to dry thoroughly and apply vaseline to the poles to prevent them from corroding again.
Note: read our safety tips carefully at the end of this article before you connect or disconnect the battery.
Tip 2) Make sure that all car accessories such as the radio, the lights or other electronic gadgets are switched off before you start the car
When the car’s engine is running, the alternator ensures that electricity is generated that charges the car battery. If you use the car accessories without the engine running, the battery consumes energy to make these accessories work. This is disadvantageous because car batteries are not intended for this.
After all, car batteries cause an energy burst so that the car can be started. These batteries are therefore not at all used to supply energy to all kinds of electronic accessories (semi-traction batteries are suitable for this). By often using your battery for the operation of all kinds of electronic accessories instead of just using it to start the engine, it will eventually be damaged and the life of your battery will be shortened.
So always avoid using car accessories when the car’s engine is not running.
Tip 3) Make sure that the battery is stuck in the car and that the battery cables are in good condition
The battery must always be properly secured in the car. If the battery is shaken from one side to the other, it will be damaged and cause a short circuit.
This will not only completely destroy the battery, but can also cause damage to your car. You can also end up in particularly dangerous situations.
Poor or loose battery cables can also cause a lot of damage, both to the battery and to the car. So check occasionally if these cables are still in perfect condition and if they are still tight.
Tip 4) Insulate your battery so that it cannot undergo extreme temperature fluctuations
Protecting your car battery against large temperature fluctuations will improve the life of your battery. With a battery insulation kit you can perfectly isolate your battery.
Such a kit is already fitted as standard with the newest cars. If your car is a bit older and it does not have a battery insulation kit, you can easily buy and install one yourself.
However, make sure that this kit is suitable for your car. On the website of the producers of these kits you can usually find a form in which you can easily enter the type of car, the model and the year of manufacture in order to find a suitable kit. These kits are usually made from special materials that can compensate for temperature fluctuations.
The material that makes up a battery insulation kit not only insulates your battery, but also provides the necessary ventilation around the battery.
Tip 5) Fully charge your car battery at least once a week. Use a special charger for this or change the battery if necessary
Even if the engine is not running, your battery still consumes energy. It is mainly the car accessories such as the radio and the lights or the computer in your car that use the energy from your battery.
Many people who come home from vacation find their car back with an empty battery.
To prevent this, you can use a car battery charger or a solar charger. Such chargers ensure that the various car accessories do not consume any energy from the battery.
These chargers are therefore very interesting, especially if you are not using your car for a while.
Even if you drive a lot of short distances with your car (such as every day to work and back) and your battery does not get the chance to fully charge itself, such chargers are a great tool. If your battery cannot fully recharge while driving, this will shorten the life of your battery.
To prevent this, it is very important to fully charge your car’s battery at least once a week. You can do this with a charger, you can change the batteries regularly for this or make a long drive.
Tip 6) Check the water level of your battery from time to time
Most car batteries indicate when water needs to be topped up. So check the indicator of your car battery occasionally and top up with distilled water if necessary. Never use ordinary water for this.
Tip 7) Make sure you do not overcharge your battery
Never overcharge your battery! If you transfer lead-acid batteries, they release oxygen and hydrogen, which can cause the following problems:
- The battery may explode.
- It can affect the water in the battery, shortening the battery life.
Tip 8) Check the alternator of your car
If you follow our tips, but your battery nevertheless fails, check the alternator (or alternator) of your car. After all, an alternator that does not work properly ensures that your battery is not charged properly, causing it to fail much too quickly.
Important safety measures
Read the manual of your car carefully before removing the battery from the car. In most cases (unless otherwise stated in the manual), first remove the cable from the negative pole and only then the cable from the positive pole. When replacing the battery in the car, first connect the positive pole and then the negative pole. Doing this in the wrong order can damage the fuses and electronic devices in your car. It may sound logical, but make sure you remove the key from the socket before working on the battery.
If you are charging your battery, do so in a well-ventilated area. Also leave the bonnet open a little before you remove the battery from the car.
What if your battery fails …?
If your battery fails or starts to deteriorate, do not despair. There is still hope! You can still overhaul your battery and bring it back to life and this is certainly not as difficult as you might think. In our Battery Overhaul Program you will learn more about how you can get a 12v lead battery working again.
If you tackle this properly, this will ensure the lifespan of your 12v lead battery even better than all the previous tips.
You can also save a lot of money with it! After all, overhauling your lead battery is cheaper than purchasing a new, expensive battery.
Want to know more about this? Then read on!