Does Trickle Charging Extend Car Battery Life?

For those unfamiliar with the concept of trickle charging– It is simply charging an almost full car battery at a proportional or lower current than its self-discharge rate. 

Having your battery charged at a slow and steady rate results in increased battery life and even a better overall charge…. Is what they say! 

So does trickle charging actually increase a car’s battery life?

Though you might think with all the patience and perseverance, you could extend your battery’s life, we hate to be the bearer of the bad news- Trickle charging does not really make a big difference. A trickle charge does very little to prolong your car battery life compared to the amount of time and effort you put into it. Further, Some trickle chargers are able to detect when the battery is full while others may go on indefinitely, resulting in the complete opposite of what you would wish for. Still, if you wish to try trickle charging yourself to here’s all that you need:

How Is Trickle Charging Done?

Set The Current On The Trickle Charger

Firstly you need to have that special charger. Then, change the voltage values according to your car battery.

Clip The Connectors

Decide on a permanent parking spot as your vehicle cannot move in this process and then clip the connectors firmly to the terminals. 

Plug Into Power

The last step is to just lay down the charger, plug it into the switch, and observe.

How long does Trickle Charging take?

A trickle charger can take anywhere from 1-2 days to complete a full charge. One benefit of using a trickle charger is less heating of the battery as it only uses 1-2 amps.

Does trickle Charge Help Rejuvenate a dead car battery?

A trickle charger cannot revive a dead battery it can only be used to keep one charged.

As for a corroded car battery, again restoration cannot be done simply through a low voltage charger. It requires a thorough cleaning, straining the acid, removing the corrosion, and reassembling although there’s much more to that process.

Other Ways To Extend Car Battery Life

Though the advice of trickle charging to extend battery life is not completely apocryphal, it promises high hopes to people looking to preserve their battery’s health. So then what really helps maximize the life of a car battery? Let us take a look at some ways to extend battery life that actually work-

Limit Short Rides

This is a tip you might have heard time and again and it’s rightly so. The most important function of a car battery is to start the engine and while doing so it loses some of its power but this energy is put back again piece by piece by the engine while it is moving. So, If you only drive for a short distance the battery will not be able to recuperate fully and with repeated short trips the battery voltage will slowly be stripped off until it is drained off any power to start the vehicle.

To avoid this common mistake, you can keep your battery pack in good condition by going on a long drive once every week if you cannot help with having a short commute. You also consider investing in a battery charger to maintain optimum balance, if short trips are unavoidable.

Keep Battery Tightly Fastened

The road is full of bumps and humps giving occasional jumps of significant impacts. These hits can knock your battery clamp unfastened which causes shaking of the battery components that can potentially lead to internal damages or even short circuits. You should try to check for a properly held down battery clamp frequently or when and if you hit a sizable pothole.

Note- Do not check for a fastened battery with full strength. You only need to tighten the nuts firm enough so they do not shake on a normal drive. Anything beyond that can be damaging to the battery itself.

Check For Corrosion

It is not uncommon for corrosion to build on the battery terminals over time and you might not even feel its effects until it’s too late. Regularly checking the top of your battery and probing for corrosion build-up can greatly help you extend the life of your car battery. You can scrub the terminals with a brush dipped in a mixture of baking soda and water. 

This will prevent the corrosion from accumulating and also keep blights and grime at bay.

Park In Shade

Heat is commonly known to be an enemy of your engine, while the battery’s most bitter foe is the cold. But the battery might just be another reason why you wanna protect your car from the sun. Car batteries die off in the winter as a result of the heat damage they endured in the previous summer. 

Too much heat exposure expedites water evaporation from the cells and can be detrimental to the health of the battery. When the damage from the sun has been done, winter cold wears the remaining power the battery has left

Parking in shade, using a car cover, and avoiding extreme heat where possible is an effective solution to limit heat damage on the battery and prolong its life.

Check The Water Level Of battery

The acid inside a car battery requires a certain amount of water to keep its concentration in check. Over time the water is depleted due to regular contact with the acid causing it to get stronger. Depleted battery water is one of the main causes of corrosion buildup in the terminals. It is recommended to check your car battery every few weeks to avoid the complete sapping of water from the system.

Avoid Long Disuse Of The Car

If you plan on leaving the town for a while maybe some pandemic has made you unable to go for a long drive, We recommended disconnecting the terminals of your car’s battery to cut the power off from the vehicle completely. Even as the vehicle is turned off, it is able to draw power from the battery, slowly and steadily draining it. A long enough non-use of the vehicle can lead to complete draining of the battery and would even require you to jump-start the car.

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Team VC Digital | Automotive Enthusiast |

Dorson Joseph

Team VC Digital | Automotive Enthusiast |

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1 Response

  1. Richard Platts says:

    A smart charger such as a ctek is invaluable if your vehicle is unlikely to be used for some time. They charge the battery to an optimum level and thereafter maintain that level when the voltage drops. E.g. where there is a minor drain due to alarms and various other demands made on the battery by modern cars.

    They will also save you a lot of money if you use them with leisure batteries when the vehicle isn’t in use. Such as in the recent lockdowns.
    It is not unusual for the life of a leisure battery to be as short as 2 years. I’ve had the leisure battery in my camper for five years and it’s still in good condition. It wasn’t new when I bought the van.

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