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Top Tips for Keeping Your Car Battery Healthy

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car battery problems

A dead battery is the most common reason car breakdown services are needed. A car battery can go dead for a variety of reasons, such as leaving on lights or using excessive electronic accessories before the battery is
fully charged.

Guide To Perfect Car Battery Maintenance

However, it can also die for no apparent reason; that's when you probably will need to replace it, which can be inconvenient and expensive, even if you are getting a discounted battery due to replacement warranty. There are steps you can take to ensure your battery’s health and longevity.

Unless you live in an extreme climate which shortens battery life, your car battery should last three to five years. Follow the basic maintenance tips below to ensure your battery works for as long as possible.

1) Keep the battery clean and inspect the terminals regularly

The terminals and clamps on a car battery are especially prone to corrosion, so inspect them regularly. Corrosion
build-up can cause the battery to malfunction, as electrical charge can no longer pass between the battery and the cables.

If you notice corrosion around the terminals, gently scrape it off with some pliers The casing should also be regularly inspected for cracks or other signs of damage.

2) Ensure the battery is held in place firmly

Make sure the battery doesn't rattle when the engine is on, as constant vibrations can damage the battery and cause it to short-circuit or leak. If there is enough room around the battery, it may be worth investing in a thermal protector, which will help to prevent vibrations and keep your battery at the correct temperature.

This can greatly improve the life of the battery and prevent it from draining during cold weather.

3) Try to avoid short journeys

Frequent short journeys place stress on your battery and shortens its lifespan. The alternator charges your battery when you drive the car, and when you frequently drive short distances, the alternator doesn't get time to charge the battery properly. Try to avoid short journeys whenever possible, especially in cold climates.

4) If you don't use your car often, invest in a high-quality charger

If you don't use your car often, you'll find your battery prone to dying, especially in colder months. Before buying a charger, you'll need to know what sort of battery your car has If your car has start-stop technology, you'll need
a smart charger.

You should consider investing in a battery tender, here are two options. They're both industry standards, and you can't go wrong with either choice. If it's really cold out, or if you just aren't using your car for a while, you'll want to grab this smaller battery tender or spend a little bit more for this battery tender instead, which will serve you much better.

 

5) Refer to the car's manual before disconnecting the battery

If you are required to disconnect the battery for any reason always refer to the car's manual for the correct procedure. On the majority of cars, the negative terminal is disconnected first, followed by the positive terminal
(vice-versa to reconnect them.) However, this can vary in some models, so check first. There may also be certain procedures required to reset on-board computers and seat positions following removal of the battery, so you will need to be familiar with the security codes.

6) Jump-starting your battery in an emergency

If you find your car with a dead battery and you don't have a charger, a jump-start is a quick fix that will get you moving again. If possible, put your car in neutral and roll it into sunlight for an hour or two before jump-starting it if you're in colder weather.

This will warm your battery slightly and make the job much easier. Don't use jumper cables on a car which utilizes an alternative fuel source or electronic ignition system, as it could cause irreversible damage. To mjump-start your car, the second vehicle must have at least equal voltage to yours; ensure both vehicles are placed in neutral or park, with ignitions off and parking brakes on.

Attach one of the red clips to the battery's positive terminal, which will be marked “+” or ”Po5.” Re peat this mwith the second vehicle. Attach the black lead to the negative terminal of the second car, and then attach the other black clip in a place away from your battery on an unpainted surface. Start the working car, and run the engine for a few minutes.

Your car should now start; if it doesn't, it may be time to buy a new one. If your car starts successfully, it is important to drive it around for a while to top up the battery.

7) Know when it's time to re place your battery

If you notice any of the following it's time to get a new battery:

  • The case looks swollen, the sides are bulging outwards, or if fluid is leaking from the battery. Don't operate the car; call a professional to re place the battery as soon as possible.
  • A smell of sulphur or rotten eggs
  • The battery won't hold charge, even when hooked up to a charger
  • Interior lights and fault lights flicker
  • The engine is slow to turn over
  • The new battery needs to be exactly the right type. You may be able to find the model and manufacturer labelled on your previous battery.
  • If you're unsure, consult a professional.

8) Automobile Battery Safety

When you replace the battery, ensure you dispose of it in an environmentally responsible manner; a car battery is a dangerous item if disposed of in the wrong way. If you aren't sure, call your local garage for advice. When cleaning testing, or re placing your battery, wear eye protection, gloves, a long-sleeved sweatshirt, and thick jeans; battery acid is extremely corrosive and dangerous.

Car batteries aren't designed to last forever, but with some basic knowledge and maintenance you can ensure yours runs reliably for as long as possible. Developing good habits such as avoiding short journeys and turning all the electrical appliances off before switching the engine off will reduce stress on the battery and lessen the chance of your battery going dead when you least expect it. If you've had your battery for a couple of years, have it checked by a professional annually to ensure it's still functioning as it should be.

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