3 Easy Ways to Look After Your Car Battery
There are three easy ways to look after your car battery. It happen’s at the most unfortunate time, you are on your way to an important event and your car battery is dead. Inconvenient and costly, you might have been able to prevent the flat battery, if you had your car serviced regularly but many times they fail suddenly for many reasons.
Because most new cars have fully sealed batteries, problems are difficult to detect without a professional vehicle diagnostic. Gone are the easy to maintain batteries that were easy to detect pending problems.
Car Batteries Fail for a Number of Reasons:
- cold weather (low air temperature can cause frozen batteries)
- excessive strain
- frequent short trips
- battery age
- leaving headlights, interior lights, signal or flashers on while car is off
- leaving the radio or air conditioner on when the car engine is not running
- storing a car for long periods of time (not starting to car for a long time)
- lack of battery maintenance and upkeep
- failure of the diode bridge
- malfunctioning voltage regulator in the alternator
Battery failure is the number one reason for roadside assistance services.
Corroded terminals are an easy to spot sign that all is not well. A white powdery substance around the terminals signals that the terminals are corroding. This happens due to the action of acid leaking from the battery. If these problems are not fixed quickly, the engine may not start. If the corrosion affects the wiring, a more expensive repair may result, as the wiring and battery will need replacement.
3 Ways to Avoid Battery Corrosion
- Make sure the terminals are clean. Check both positive and negative terminals of the battery at least every month. Remove the wiring and using a post-scrubber, clean both terminals to ensure optimal contact. Use a solution of baking soda and water to clean the cables and the terminals. Always wear protective gloves when you are dealing with the engine as well as goggles to protect your eyes.
- Make sure the battery is filled with distilled water to the optimum level. Most batteries have indicators which will determine the level to which you should fill. Correct electrolyte levels are vital to optimum performance of your car battery. To avoid battery fluid loss, check the casing for cracks. If you find a casing crack, replace the battery immediately.
- Use a hydrometer to check your battery acid to make sure it is in peak condition and then squirt a solution back into the same chamber. A fully charged battery should have a reading of 1.265 or higher. Anything lower than this means that the battery should be recharged.
Many car owners don’t want to mess with the above procedure. A quick call to book a maintenance appointment will save you the time and hassle of guessing what to do. But if you are comfortable doing this procedure yourself, perform these three simple tests on a regular basis. This will ensure maximum life for your battery and protect your investment. Make it a habit to check your battery regularly and get it to the service station before trouble occurs and remember to turn everything off when the engine is at rest.