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If you don’t take the right actions to prevent long term damage to your car, it can result in needing to replace parts altogether. When it comes to car battery maintenance, it’s more cost-efficient if you prolong the life of your current car battery as it can cost hundreds for a new one.
Maintaining your car battery doesn’t take long – it’s these small acts that can help avoid any costly work or replacement. Here, we dive into the things you can do to ensure your battery remains healthy.
Clean your battery
Built up corrosion on your battery directly affects electrical connection by wearing through the terminals and wires. Without this electrical connection, your car simply can’t function properly, meaning you require a whole new battery.
Corrosion occurs due to hydrogen gas created from natural chemical reactions occurring in the battery, as well as from the dirt that arises on the terminals.
The easiest way to avoid built up corrosion is by checking your battery and cleaning dirt or liquid residing on it. At the same time, it’s important to check that the cables, clamps and screws aren’t loose, dirty or damaged. For extra protection, add a thin layer of high temperature grease to posts and cable connections.
Cleaning your battery in the winter time is even more important. Think of the times during the winter when your car is harder to start. This occurs due to a mixture of the crud interfering with terminal connections, and the cold.
There tends to be a bigger build up of corrosion during winter months. This is due to the fact the summer heat evaporates battery fluid. As the fluid escapes through the terminal connections, it further corrodes the additional components as it touches them.
Avoid draining your battery
Actions such as leaving lights on while the car isn’t running, will gradually damage the battery as a result of lead sulfate buildup on the plates when they are discharged. The build up will eventually cover the entirety of the plates, and mean your battery will no longer be able to hold charge.
It’s important to get into the healthy habit of turning your lights off as you exit, to avoid draining your battery.
Respond to warning signs
When it comes to warning signs, cars will either have a battery warning light or a check engine light appear on the dashboard when its battery needs servicing. Although, it’s recommended to get your battery checked in a yearly car service.
If you’d like to inspect further, the majority of batteries have a State of Charge Indicator on top of them which reveals the condition of the battery. Or using a voltmeter like this one, the battery should have an SG reading above 1.240 and a stabilized voltage above 12.5 volts.
Get a yearly service
Just like for other components of your car, if things go unchecked, they will get damaged beyond the point of no return. In car talk, that means replacing parts. If you are not a professional and don’t have the right equipment, there is no way to do a thorough check of your car battery. For this reason, you need an actual service at local car servicing and repairs mechanics.
With these simple tips on hand, you should be able to keep your car battery up to scratch. Although, car batteries usually reach their life span around every five years, so there is no need to panic if things start to wear down after this amount of time.
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