Car Battery Maintenance

November 10, 2007

Behind the well performance of the car, there is an essential component making every drive possible and that is the car battery. Made of plastic, lead and electrolyte, batteries start to activate the engine of the vehicle through a short blast of high power.

However, due to external conditions and extent of time, auto batteries may fall short. Normally, they can only last for about four or five years under the finest conditions. The verve and length of service of the battery can even be shortened to two or three years when exposed in very hot temperature and environment. Other factors likewise make them “sulfated” ahead of time and affect their performance. These include continuous charging problems and constant short-period driving. Very hot climate and overcharging can dry off the battery, making the water inside lower than the top of the cell plates and not in the ideal level.

Just like other auto parts, batteries need proper maintenance. For unsealed type of battery, adding distilled water must be done once in a while so as to maintain the proper water levels. This is especially required during summer period since water evaporates more rapidly. It is important to not let batteries run out of water in order to avoid battery cell problem and further damages. Unsealed batteries can be maintained and recognized without difficulty because of the small vent caps above the battery that can simply be twisted open. On the other hand, the sealed battery does not require adding water to its cells unlike in the unsealed type of battery.

Whether your car uses a sealed or unsealed battery, certain measures must be done in order to lengthen its service and keep it functioning properly. The following are the significant ways on maintaining the battery of your vehicle.

1. Make the cables clean.

Before the cleaning process, make sure that the cables are disconnected from the auto battery. After that, the cables can be cleaned using a wire brush which has been soaked in a home-made mixture. Same solution is employed when cleaning the top portion of the battery. The mixture is a combination of one cup of water and one tablespoon of baking soda.

2. Apply lubricants on the posts.

Aside from keeping the cables clean, applying petroleum jelly on every post can aid in preventing rapid corrosion just like in auto radiators. The lubricant likewise makes an easy sliding of the cables when attaching them back on the battery.

3. Ensure connections.

There are cars that does not use or require a battery hold down bar. However, if the vehicle has one, it is important to keep it in a secure position.

Maintaining the auto battery is a very simple task and must be done once a year. A properly working battery not just makes any travel hassle-free but easy as well.