16 Things To Do To Make Your Car Battery Last Longer Than Ever

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Car batteries do not last forever. They usually last for about 3 to 4 years but most new car batteries cannot last for more than 2 years. With their ever increasing price, here are 16 things to do to make your car battery last longer than ever.

1. Select the Right Type of Car Battery

Different types of car batteries are available in the market. Make sure you select the exact same type of car battery which your car manufacturer recommends or one that you have installed previously and found effective. 

Whether your car has an SLI lead-acid battery, AGM battery, gel cell battery, or a dry cell battery. Try not to change the type of the battery as this can affect the new battery’s performance.

2. Ensure the Car Battery can provide needed Volts

Car batteries are labeled as 12 volts, but they will provide anything from 12.44 to 12.66 volts when charged. 

Make sure the battery you are installing is capable of delivering between 12.4 to 12.66 volts. The maximum they can go is 12.8 volts and the lowest can be 11.8 volts. 

So, make sure the new battery you are installing is capable of meeting your requirements to operate properly.

how many volts car battery has
how many volts car battery has

3. Make Sure Car Battery Has Required Amps Hour Capacity

Ampere-hour (Ah) is the most important working parameter of a car battery that you need to consider. Ampere hour is the amount of battery that can deliver in an hour. 

Most modern cars have a lot of electronic devices and sensors that need a continuous flow of charge from the battery to operate properly. 

So, always try to select a battery that has a bit higher Amps hour rating then the car required or at least have the same rating required by the car electronics. 

Remember that a battery with a too high ampere hour rating may cause slow charging 

4. Evaluate CCA or EN Ratings

The battery’s Cold Crank Amps (CCA) is the battery’s ability to deliver a specific amount of amperes for a very short interval of 30 seconds, which is the amperes required by the engine Starter Motor. 

The higher the CCA, the better it is. Choose a battery with a high CCA if you live in a place where the temperature falls very low. The European norm EN is an alternate standard of CCA.

5. Check Dimensions for Fit

Each company makes the battery differently. So make sure the battery you are selecting for your car has the dimensions that can fit inside your car. 

A car battery with larger or smaller dimensions will create problems in the long run. Cars vibrate during driving and this can create problems. A battery that is not properly installed can damage other components too.

6. Perform ECU Relearning

Most modern cars have a computer system called ECU or ECM. This controls all the core electronics and thus also controls the battery charging and discharging. Make sure to relearn the ECU when you install a new car battery. 

If you don’t relearn the ECU, there are chances that the computer of the car might overcharge or always keep the battery under charge. This will seriously affect the battery health and shorten the battery life.

7. Check Alternator Charging Amps

When you drive the car, the alternator charges the car battery. Make sure that the alternator in your car is capable enough to charge the newly installed battery properly. 

Make sure that the amperes provided by the car alternator fall within the required limit of the amps needed by the car battery to be charged at a steady rate. 

If the alternator provides too much amps, then this will affect the battery health and reduce the battery life. 

If the alternator does not provide the required amps, then your battery will remain undercharged, and this will surely affect your car battery performance and shorten its life.

8. Charge Manually if You Have Short Drives

If you mostly drive for short distances, then the alternator will not have the required time to charge your battery fully. 

If that’s the case, make sure that you have a small car battery charger at your home. You can do manual charging every night. Most home car battery chargers are small and they do not overcharge the car battery.

9. Always Charge at Lower Amps Hours

When charging the car battery using a car battery charger at your home or at the workshop, make sure you are charging at lower amperes per hour. 

Charging at higher amperes per hour will charge your battery much quicker than charging at lower amperes per hour, but this can seriously affect your battery health and shorten its life if it is done too frequently. 

So, make sure you are charging at a moderate amperes per hour.

10. Check Car Battery Volts Frequently

Once you have installed the car battery, try to check its voltage on a weekly or at least on a monthly basis. This is to make sure that the alternator is charging the battery at an appropriate rate and to the proper level. 

A good car battery should maintain its voltage at about 12.4 to 12.66 volts. If you find it continuously showing anything from 11.8 to 12 volts, then your car alternator is not properly charging your car battery. 

If your car battery shows anything above 12.88 volts, then your car alternator has overcharged your car battery. 

With the engine running, your alternator should be charging your car battery from anything about 13 to 15 volts. If you observe anything above 15 volts, then it’s not good for your battery health.

11. Check Amps Hours Frequently

Just like the voltage, try to measure the amps provided by the car battery in different conditions, like when the battery is providing cranking amps and when the battery is being charged. 

Because the battery can provide anything from 100 to 350 cranking amps to the engine starter motor, and during charging, the alternator can provide anything from 3 to 6 amps per hour to charge the battery. 

Too much amps provided by the car alternator will damage your car battery life.

car battery cold crank ampere CCA
car battery cold crank ampere CCA

12. Avoid Overcharging and undercharging of Car Battery

Try to avoid overcharging your car battery. Anything from 50 to 80% of charge is considered a good charged battery. If your battery continuously remains above 80% or reaches 100% charge too often, or if it remains below 25% or 20% for too long, then this will seriously affect your battery health and can reduce its life.

13. Make Sure the Wires are Properly tighten on Terminals

You need to make sure that the wires are properly tightened on the car battery terminals. If the wires are not properly tightened they can get disconnected while you are driving the car. As a car vibrates a lot during driving, a loose wire can produce spark and thus has potential to start a fire. 

14. Prevent Corrosion

Car battery terminal corrosion is a common issue, especially in non-sealed lead-acid batteries. So, make sure the battery terminals are free from any type of corrosion or dust. 

A car battery with corroded terminals will not be able to charge or provide the required current to the car electronics and sensors. 

If it does not charge properly, the car battery life and health will be seriously affected.

15. Do Proper Maintenance

To protect your car from being corroded, it is highly recommended to do proper maintenance and clean the car battery terminals on a weekly or at least on a monthly basis. 

Make sure to use proper safety and cleaning tools. Do not use any inappropriate chemical solution to clean the battery terminals. Properly maintained corrosion can easily last for 4 to 5 years.

16. Check Specific Gravity of Battery

If you have a non-sealed lead-acid car battery, try to check its specific gravity using specific gravity checking tools. 

If the specific gravity falls below the required standard, then you need to refill or change the car battery’s electrolytic solution. 

Here, you need to make sure that you are doing it in a proper manner. In most countries, it might be illegal to do DIY on a car battery as the materials used in the car battery are dangerous for the environment and some governments don’t allow it.

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