Car Maintenance 101: How to Keep Your Auto Battery in Tiptop Shape

August 2, 2008

Battery problems seem to be one of the most popular auto concerns for drivers around the world. While most of the tips listed below may be “common knowledge” for the great majority of drivers out there, it’s good to be reminded once in a while on what you can do to help keep your auto battery in great shape.

The older your auto, the more frequent you’ll have to replace your battery. While you can keep jump-starting a dead battery for some time, you’ll need to replace your old battery eventually. If it took your first auto battery two years before it finally became useless, your succeeding batteries would usually expire a little earlier compared to your first battery. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations on how often you need to replace your auto battery.

The best way to avoid having to jump-start your auto all the time or having to replace your battery frequently is by exercising proper auto battery maintenance. The following are some tips on how you can prolong your auto battery’s life.

Tip #1: If the main problem with your battery has to do with a faulty solenoid or alternator, then replace the busted auto part immediately. Sometimes the reason behind a malfunctioning battery isn’t damage on the battery itself. Since the alternator is responsible for re-charging and supporting your battery, a faulty alternator could cause your battery to break down frequently.

Tip #2: Before turning off your vehicle, make sure all your accessories are turned off as well. Leaving some of your auto accessories on, like your radio, windshield wipers or auto lights, can instantly drain your battery. Even something simple like a door left open can cause your auto cabin’s lights to switch on even if you’re already outside your vehicle. So avoid draining your battery by double-checking that all accessories are “off” before exiting your vehicle.

Tip #3: Follow the instructions and recommendations from the manufacturer regarding adding water to your battery. Some battery manufacturers recommend adding water directly on the cells. After replacing your auto battery, make sure you’ve browsed through (and thoroughly understood) the recommendations and instructions on how to add water to your auto battery.

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