Basic Maintenance Tips for a Car Battery

Every car owner should have a basic understanding of how the car’s battery functions and how to maintain one in good condition. A car battery Gold Coast is used to start, light and ignite the starting of an engine and once the engine is running, an alternator supplies power to the car. Thus, the battery discharges current and recharges quickly. Most car batteries these days are lead-acid batteries and are six cells connected in series. Let’s move away from the technical aspects and talk about tips to take good care of these batteries.

Remember safety is primary. So remove all kinds of jewelry like watches, rings, etc. while working with car batteries. Also, wear safety goggles, avoid cotton clothes and disconnect the ground cable since working with a car battery involves 1000’s of volts and explosive acids. It is said that a well-maintained battery would work well for about 4-5 years. Proper maintenance includes keeping the battery dry and clean. If a battery is dirty, it tends to get heated quickly which is not desirable.

Open the hood of your car to inspect if the battery terminals have undergone any corrosion. If so, they need to be cleaned and a mixture of baking soda and water in the ratio 3:1 does the trick. Using a toothbrush and this mixture, the corrosion can be removed. Then, wipe the terminals with a wet towel and allow them to dry. Later apply some petroleum jelly to prevent further corrosive buildup.

One should understand what kind of things can drain the car battery significantly. Turning the headlights on for a long time, watching a DVD player, or switching on the air conditioner while the car engine is off will deplete the battery quickly. Your car’s battery should never be drained completely. Also, taking too many short trips tends to drain a battery quickly. It is advised to drive for 20 minutes continuously twice a week in order to maintain the specified battery capacity. If you know that your car is not going to be used for two or more weeks, disconnect the cable from the negative terminal of the battery and keep it away from the terminal when you close the hood. This will avoid gradual loss of charge of the battery.

Batteries in cars thriving in cold weather can undergo much more taxation than those in warmer weather conditions. An important tip is that when you start your car in winter, everything else like the heater, audio system, GPS, etc. should be turned off to reduce the load on the battery. Also, change the oil regularly and get the battery tested by a technician at automotive centers. High heat is also damaging to a car battery. If there is an extreme heat wave, then the chemical reactions in the battery speed up and the battery might fail. The radiator fluids must be checked if they are at the correct level so that the engine does not overheat. Most importantly, when your technician says it’s time to replace the battery, go ahead and get it replaced. Batteries are quite affordable and come with a warranty too.