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Do you find yourself replacing your car battery every 1-2 years? Car batteries have a calendar life meaning at one point whether you use them or not, you will need to replace them. If you find yourself replacing your car battery every 1-2 years, this article provides you with valuable knowledge about car batteries along with some quick tips and more extensive guides to extend your car battery life.
1. Keep the battery terminals clean and inspect regularly (i.e. monthly) for corrosion.
2. Start the car before operating car accessories and operate (drive) the car to allow the battery to get topped off by the car alternator which produces electricity and as a by-product charges the car battery after voltage drops in the battery.
3. Keep the battery secure and free from vibration. Batteries that shake can become damaged and short circuited or worse cause damage to your car.
4. Insulate the battery from extreme temperature changes with a car battery insulation kit. These usually come with new cars already, however you can find replacements specifically made to fit your car’s battery compartment. The sleeves are usually plastic or an acid resistant/thermal resistant material that insulates your battery but still allows it to vent.
5. Invest in a car battery charger that will maintain an optimum charge level when your car is not in use or when you go on vacation.
One last recommendation:
Check the car battery water level indicator on a regular basis! Most car batteries will indicate if it needs more water. It may never require water, but if so only use distilled water.
The battery loses capacity from self discharging. If it is connected to your car, it could also have a small load from accessories or car computers that will draw current from the battery which will also aids in the battery losing capacity if it is not being recharged. Bad cables causing short circuits and bad alternators which don’t effectively recharge the battery are sometimes the culprit as well. If you suspect a bad alternator you should take your car to a car battery specialist or a mechanic that can test the battery and check for parasitic drain.
If you plan to disconnect your car battery from your car, be sure you read your car owner’s manual! In most cases (unless otherwise stated in your manual) you will need to disconnect the negative cable first and then the positive cable. When you reconnect the battery you use the reverse order by connecting the positive cable first and then the negative cable. Doing this simple step incorrectly can have adverse affects on fuses and other electronics especially in Mercedes Benz and BMW type vehicles resulting in $$$ hundreds of dollars in repair. Even keeping the keys in the ignition when connecting or disconnecting may have negative effects so always read the manual.
You can also invest in a specialized 12v battery or specialty device that will maintain power to the electronics in your car so onboard computers, lighting, fuses and car radios do not get affected. Many things you wouldn’t think about are actually controlled by computers in cars. So read the Car Manual before attempting removal of your car battery.
Car computers control things like your car idle settings and when reset may force you to make a visit to your mechanic. Also some car stereos may require a special code provided by the manufacturer to be entered if power is disconnected.
Never overcharge your car battery! When lead-acid batteries are overcharged, they could release oxygen and hydrogen gases which could be explosive. Also this causes decomposition of the water in the battery leading to premature aging of the battery. Hit
Never try to open a sealed lead acid battery to attempt something crazy like cleaning the lead plates. That’s just way too dangerous and not worth the health risk. It will also damage your battery and likely cause bodily injury. Batteries contain dangerous chemicals and heavy metals and create explosive gases when charging so never tamper with them and always charge in a well ventilated area. Before handling a car battery that is installed in your car, open the hood and allow time for natural ventilation to take place.