8 Wonderful Tips to Keep Your Car Battery Running Smoothly
Just as heart is to our body, a battery is to our car. Unless and until the battery doesn’t provide all parts of our car the energy needed, our car cannot start and run, just as our body cannot run unless our heart doesn’t supply blood to it. Most car batteries work well for 5 to 7 years. But you should ensure to maintain your car regularly and remember certain things you can do yourself. Here are a few.
1. Understand the Structure of the Battery
Most car batteries are enclosed in a heavy-duty plastic case with two terminals to connect the positive and negative wires to the car. The terminals looking like thimbles are typically made of brass or lead. They can also be in the form of two-threaded screws or holes on the front of the battery. Before you remove the cables, take picture to make sure you don’t reverse the positive and negative cables.
2. Check Battery’s Water Level
The battery’s water level should be checked every 2-3 months, if it’s non-maintenance-free wet-cell battery. You may possibly have either a wet-cell battery or an AGM (Absorbed Glass Matt) battery. If you have AGM battery, never try to open it. It’s advisable to get a maintenance-free battery checked for its water levels by a battery expert – they hardly need water.
3. Clean the Battery Terminals
Clean the battery terminals every 6 to 8 months with a wire brush. Move the terminals from side to side and then pull them up gently so as to remove them. Make a paste of baking soda and distilled water, and rub the brush in it. Scrub the terminals gently to remove dried acid build-up and achieve a shine.
4. Use Grease Designed for High Temperatures
Use grease meant for high temperatures to coat the battery. This will protect the battery from rust and corrosion.
5. Handle with Care
The car battery should be handled extremely carefully, as it can lead to many hazards. Some of the risks include:
Battery acid can cause burns. If electrolyte is trickled on skin or clothes, wash immediately with plain water and apply a solution of baking soda and water to neutralize it. If it’s spilled in eyes, splash eyes with cold water for at least 5 minutes. Take medical help.
You should take following precautions:
- Charge batteries always in a well-ventilated area and not in a closed space
- Turn ignition or battery charger off before disconnecting a battery
6. Check Cell Voltage
Every time you have your car in for maintenance or get an oil change, inspect cell voltage. Your mechanic will have a dependable technique for testing the voltage. There will be 12.5 to 12.6 voltage in a fully charged battery.
Take your car to an auto parts store or car battery store for battery testing between visits to your regular mechanic. They can check the charge and voltage for you, and also suggest you products that may help you for battery maintenance. Keep in mind that you should never test a battery under 12.5 volts unless it reaches a fully charged level. Often a battery tester will show “Bad Battery” if the battery isn’t fully charged even if the battery is good.
7. Battery Insulator
If your car has it, you should also check the battery insulator. Some cars have it to protect the battery against extremely high temperatures, which can quickly dry out its fluid. If it’s there, the insulator should be undamaged and in place.
8. Regular Servicing
Getting your car inspected every 3,000 miles (4,800 km) or 3 months, whichever is sooner, is the best way to maintain your battery as well as your entire car.
Follow these tips to keep your battery running smoothly and have a pleasant car driving experience.