Tips for Car Battery Maintenance

To maintain your cars battery you need follow to these steps.

Table of Content:
  • Apply grease
  • Check cell voltages
  • Battery insulator
  • Regular check up

Locate the battery in your car.

Most car batteries have a heavy-duty plastic case with two terminals to connect the positive and negative (ground) wires to the car. The terminals are usually made of lead or brass and can look like two thimbles. The terminals can also be two threaded screws or two threaded holes on the front of the battery. Take a picture before removing the cables to make sure the positive and negative cables do not get reversed.

Check battery water level

Check the battery’s water level every 2 to 3 months, only if it’s a non-maintenance-free wet- cell battery. You will likely have either a wet-cell battery or an Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) battery. With an AGM battery, never attempt to open the battery. It is a good idea to only have a battery expert check the water levels in a maintenance-free battery-they rarely ever need water. For non-maintenance-free wet-cell batteries you can check the battery’s water level every 2 or 3 months. The water should just touch the bottom of the battery’s refill hole.

Pull up the fill caps on the battery to inspect the fluid level. Some batteries do not have fill caps because they are made so they do not need any water.

Refill the battery only with distilled water, if the level is low. Pour the water into the cell using a funnel. Do not overfill. Wait for the water to reach the bottom of the refill hole. Never overfill into the fill holes.

Clean battery terminals

Remove the connectors from the battery terminal by moving them from side to side and gently pulling them up.

Rub the wire brush into a paste of baking soda mixed with distilled water. Gently scrub the terminal to achieve a shine and remove dried acid build-up.

Never use a rubber mallet to put terminals on a battery. Always use terminal spreaders to widen the terminal connectors opening to fit over the battery terminals.

Apply grease

Coat the battery with grease made for high temperatures. Applying the grease will protect the battery from rust and corrosion.

Check cell voltages

Inspect cell voltage every time you get an oil change or have your car in for maintenance. Your mechanic will have a reliable method for testing your voltage. A fully charged battery will have a charge of 12.5 to 12.6 volts. Take your car to an auto parts store for battery testing between visits to your regular mechanic. They can check the voltage and the charge for you, and offer you products that may help with your battery maintenance plan. Remember that a battery under 12.5 volts should never be tested until it reaches a fully charged level. A battery tester will often show “Bad Battery” if the battery is not fully charged even though the battery is perfectly good.

Battery insulator

Check the battery insulator, if your car has one. Some cars include an insulator to protect the battery against very high temperatures, which can dry out its fluid quickly. The insulator should be in place and undamaged.

Regular check up

Take your car in to your mechanic or shop for regular servicing and tune-ups.The best way to maintain your battery and your entire car is to have it inspected and tested every 3,000 miles (4,800 km) or 3 months, whichever comes sooner.

Car battery explosion caused by sparks

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Years ago, I stopped at a gas station and filled up, when I hit the starter, the battery exploded, blew the entire top off the battery and sprayed acid on everything under the hood. No one had an explanation as to what made the battery explode.

    • I think i was short circuit due to moisture. Be sure to carry a fire extinguisher in the car

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