“Out of sight, out of mind” is common when it comes to car batteries, and most people will only look when there is a problem. Like with most parts of your vehicle it should never be the case. Maintaining a car battery is important and if you take care of it, it will take care of you.
We thought we would share 5 Tips You Should Know, To Keep Your Car Batteries Healthy.
1. Check the acid level.
Our first tip is quite simple and you would only need to do this once every few months (no longer than 6 months apart) and that is checking the acid level of your battery.
- Be on the lookout for acid stratification (the accumulation of sulfuric acid at the bottom of the cell). This is common when batteries have a charge below 80% or the battery has never received a full charge.
- Your battery is particularly at risk if your car is primarily driven short distances with power-robbing accessories in use (chargers, usb powered devices, etc.).
2. Add water.
If you see that the electrolyte levels are low on your battery (the plates will be exposed), you can top them up with distilled water. Here is the part where you have to be careful when doing this. Only fill the cells to cover the plates. Once the water levels are where they need to be, use a battery charger to recharge the battery.
Useful tip – Use a funnel (if you don’t have a funnel you can use a bottle with a small nozzle) when adding water as you can control the flow of water.
3. Battery load tests.
Our next tip you can do once a month. That is to do load testing on your batteries. We recommend you go to a reputable mechanic or supplier to do these load tests. This test is to ensure that your batteries are charged properly and to give you peace of mind. As temperatures rise and fall in different seasons, this step will make sure your batteries are in good health and that they receive maintenance if needed.
4. Clean the battery.
Dirt and debris is horrible to have around your batteries. Dirt and debris can get into the battery cells and cause corrosion on the metal parts around the battery. Cleaning is a very important part of your car battery maintenance. Just by cleaning the top of the battery and around the terminals will ease the risk of dirt and debris getting into the battery cells and corrosion on the metal parts around the battery.
- Baking soda and water works wonders to remove any ‘crust’ around the battery (use a wired brush).
- Ammonia-based window cleaners are great for cleaning off excess dirt.
- Once you have cleaned the battery. You need to wipe down the battery, so no baking soda residue is left (this can cause additional corrosion).
5. Keep Cables Secure.
Our last tip is also quite simple, but just as important as the rest. It’s important that your cables don’t move (secure them tightly). This will help to keep everything in place and stop unnecessary movement of your battery.
Bonus tip: Change your battery four years.
It’s recommended that each car battery is replaced after four years. There’s nothing worse than losing power along the way, so don’t try to extend battery life longer than you should.
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