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 make sure they are clean and corrosion free
One of the first 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 can be easily treated by simply pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion paste (one part water to three parts baking soda) over the corroded areas.
The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties in the DIY anti-corrosion paste will eat the corrosion away.
After the corrosion is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.
Be sure to let it dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
*note: see our safety tips at the end of this article before disconnecting/re-connecting your battery.
Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning on the car ignition and driving the car
When the car is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the car battery after the battery has a voltage drop.
But if the car is not on, and you are using the car's electronics, you are just relying on the car battery to power those electronics.
This is detrimental to the car battery because car batteries are not meant for this type 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 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 car accessories or electronics while the car is off.
Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is secure and has good battery cables
The battery has to be secured at all times. If a battery is jostling around it will be impaired and could short circuit.
This will ruin the battery – and even cause damage to your car while creating a safety risk.
The same could happen if you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected properly). So check your cables and make sure they have a secure connection as well.
Tip 4: Insulate your car battery from extreme changes in temperature
Protecting your car battery from large changes in temperature will help maximize the battery's lifespan.
To do this you can use a car battery insulation kit.
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 website where you can put in your car model and year, and it will tell you if your battery will fit their kit - like here (top of page).
These protective battery sleeves are usually made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.
These car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and protect it while still allowing proper ventilation.