Your car battery is an essential part that keeps your car running. With a bit of simple maintenance, you can get the most out of it and potentially save yourself money by extending its service life.
We’re here to help so read on and we’ll share a few simple maintenance tips to keep your car battery in top condition.
How to Maintain your Car Battery
Working on your car doesn’t need to be complicated, often the hardest thing is knowing where to start. Given your car battery is integral to keeping you on the road, we thought it would be a good place to begin. Simply follow our tips below.
Practical tips for maximising your car battery’s lifespan
- Keep the battery and connections clean. Locate your car battery and look for the terminals (connecting points). First clean the top of the battery, then check the terminals for dirt and debris which can lead to corrosion. Clean off with a scrubbing brush, if it’s really bad you can use a mixture of 1 tablespoon baking soda and one cup warm water, just be sure to clean it all off thoroughly by flushing with some clean water and then drying off with a cloth. If you’ve already got signs of corrosion on your car battery you should be able to clean this off with the brush and baking soda mixture also, but failing that a scouring pad should do the trick.
- Check the connecting points. Are the cables connecting to the terminals loose? You can test this by pulling on the cable lightly. If they come off when you do this they are too loose and you can simply take a spanner and tighten the bolts (just don’t over-tighten them). Loose terminals can cause breakdowns.
- Keep your battery charged. Leaving your car battery unused for too long will cause your battery to drain. If you leave your car battery (your engine also for that matter) just sitting for extended periods it will deteriorate at a much greater rate. So take it for a good drive regularly or put a battery charger on it over night.
- Ensure your battery is secure. Unsecured batteries are not only dangerous, but the vibration from the movement can damage the battery plates and put added tension on the battery cables. Your battery is usually held in place by a mounting bracket or clamp, check it’s attached and securely fastened.
- Try to minimise heat exposure. Constant exposure to high temperatures can rapidly decrease your car battery’s life. To reduce your battery’s exposure to excessive heat, try to park in the garage or in the shade.
- Avoid using the car lights (internal and external) and radio without the engine on. When you find yourself parked and waiting, it can be nice to listen to the car radio or perhaps in the evening to use the car light so you can read while you wait. However, using electronics such as the radio or lights with the engine off can drain your car battery and depending on where your battery is in its lifespan, you run the risk of a flat battery when you go to start your car.
- Make sure everything is switched off when you leave your car. Whilst this may sound like common sense, it can also be surprisingly easy to forget so it’s good to get in the habit of checking everything is switched off each time you hop out of the car. Lights off, doors properly closed, so that sneaky interior light isn’t inadvertently left on so it can suck the life out of your battery overnight), potentially saving you a whole lot of frustration and stress in the morning.
Keeping your car battery healthy needn’t be complicated and by following these simple tips you can get the most out of your battery and help to reduce the likelihood of battery deterioration that can lead to a sudden breakdown. When your car battery is on the way out, it will generally warn you with signs such as:
-your car turning over slower than usual
-terminals starting to get build up
-battery fumes or smells when charging.
These warning signs can save you the hassle and headache of being caught out unexpectedly and allow you the time to sort out a replacement car battery.
For expert advice and quick affordable battery replacement Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm and Saturday 8:30am to 12pm, pop into the Battery Warehouse and the guys will be happy to help you out.