Car Battery Maintenance Tips
Car batteries have come a long way since they first appeared in the early 1900’s. Automotive manufacturers quickly realized that using a battery to start a car engine worked much better than the commonly used human-driven crank. We now demand more work from our car batteries than ever before.
The proliferation of electronic accessories requires power storage that is available immediately when needed. Extreme temperatures and sudden climatic changes no longer have the same detrimental effects as they once did on old types of batteries.
Almost all automotive-type batteries today are “maintenance free,” which simply means that they are sealed and do not require service of any kind. This doesn’t mean, however, that they should be ignored.
To keep your battery at its best performance while optimizing the lifespan, follow the manufacturer’s recommended applications and these simple additional steps:
Always keep the top of the battery clean
-A quick wash down with plain water neutralizes acid and removes oxidization. Grip your connections and make sure they are tight with no movement between the wire and terminal. Check that the battery is still properly mounted and positioned in the tray
-A substantial jolt from hitting a pot hole may dislodge a battery if not safely secured
-Never attempt to boost a vehicle without first checking why the battery discharged in the first place
-If the battery is weak due to an accessory being left “ON,” a boost from another vehicle can temporarily restore power
-Boosting from one vehicle to another is not recommended on late model vehicles
-Only qualified persons can avoid a costly “cross boost” that could potentially destroy some automotive computers.
-Finally, if the top of the battery routinely becomes wet or smells like rotten eggs, it is an indication that the electrolyte is leaking out or is boiling due to over-charging. In these cases, have the charging system and battery tested by a qualified technician for a more thorough diagnosis.