This article presents essential car battery maintenance tips. These helps how to control your battery, how to maintain it and methods to extend its life. Maintenance tips include, acid level check, voltage testing, terminal cleaning, prevent vibration and other auto maintenance tips for battery.
How to Maintain Car battery to last it longer
Car maintenance can never be complete without the battery maintenance. Regular car battery maintenance can guarantee a battery that can start your car any time, in any condition without any trouble. Regular maintenance can extend the life of your car battery and it perform better in its lifespan.
Check the acid level
The battery contains electrolyte, a liquid composed of water and sulfuric acid. A battery with an insufficient level of electrolyte will give signs of weakness. To check its level, simply remove the plugs or the closing bar of the filling holes.
All the parts of the battery mainly lead plates must be immersed in liquid electrolyte. The electrolyte level must exceed the plates by about 1 to 1.5 cm.
“Maintenance-free” batteries: The above operation is not possible on so-called “maintenance-free” batteries. It is because these batteries have sealed plugs and their electrolyte (mixture of distilled water and sulfuric acid) is replaced by an acid gel.
If one or more plates or (other parts) are not dipped in the water, you need to top up. It is highly recommended to add distilled or demineralized water only. However, if your battery is completely empty, do not hesitate to add some tap water. This will be less serious than continuing to ride under these conditions.
NOTE! Never add extra sulfuric to acid battery because it is only used to fill a new dry battery.
Among various car maintenance tips, checking acid level is very important. Skipping this check can ruin the battery.
Clean the battery terminals
Keep the battery terminals clean and inspect them at least once a month.
A slight deposit of sulphate (resembling limestone) between the terminals or above it, is sufficient to limit the flow of the current. This can even prevent the car from starting in a cold weather. A metallic brush or fine sandpaper makes it easy to remove this whitish residue.
If this is not enough, consider replacing the pods.
Safety tips: Clean only the terminals, not the cells. DO NOT open the battery cells to avoid exposing you to battery acid.
Grease the pods: Coat the pods with universal grease and plastic. This will delay the formation of sulphate.
Testing car battery voltage
Car battery maintenance can never be complete without testing the voltage. Battery voltage is a fair indication of the battery’s health.
To check the voltage of a battery, the use of a voltmeter is necessary. This device is located in all the car centers for about 15$.
How to check voltage via multi-meter?
The two voltmeter probes must be applied to the terminals of the battery:
- If the voltmeter is showing about 12.7 volts: everything is fine.
- The needle stabilizing below 12.5 volts means that that battery discharged below the minimum limit. It makes the use of the charger is mandatory. If you are not sure, please read how to charge car battery with charger. In case you dont have a charger, learn how to start a car without charger
Prevent the battery from vibrating
Make sure the battery is secure and does not vibrate.
- Vibrations shake the battery and damage its plates.
- There may be short circuit in the battery.
- Regular inspection of battery terminals can help you detect loose connections.
- Protect the battery tray
- Occasionally, the metal bracket will suffer acid attacks from the battery resulting in vibration. In case of any damage to the tray, remove the battery, scratch and remove the rust on the bin. Furthermore, repaint the tray with anti-rust .
Replace defective components
Defective parts and components can drain the power of your battery even when the vehicle is not running.
- Short circuits, faulty alternators or problematic accessories must be repaired or replaced to protect your battery.
- The alternator voltage must be 14V to 14.7V. Below this, the battery will not charge and above it the battery will be damaged.
The experts always advice to replace or repair the defective components in your vehicle. Skipping this vehicle maintenance tip can lead to severe problems and costly repairs.
Car battery maintenance when not in use:
Rolling the vehicle often helps to keep the battery charged.
- If you own a sports car or a demonstration car that remains without rolling for long periods in your garage, consider investing in a charger to maintain the battery life.
- A charger is recommended for a car that does not frequently have the opportunity to ride.
Signs suggesting battery replacement:
Even with careful maintenance of the car battery and performing recommended car battery test, it could possibly need repairs or replacement by a professional.
Here are some signs that indicate that you have a problem with your battery:
- Even after running the engine, the car does not start.
- The lights do not light
- The engine refuses to restart
- You must make great efforts to start your vehicle.
In conclusion, regular car maintenance can help to avoid expensive service or repairs without the worry of being stranded on the road.