9 Car Battery Maintenance Tips
We will share with you 9 car battery maintenance tips. Battery maintenance in a car helps promote the longevity of the battery. The car battery maintenance tip ideas we will give you are easy to manage and some can be done by yourself, while others will need to be done by a mechanic. We will also look into cold weather car battery maintenance tips.
Something else that’s important to keep your eye on, is your car’s factory warranty. When it’s due to expire, you will need to consider what your next steps will be. We recommend investing in a Chaiz extended warranty. An extended warranty describes a Vehicle Service Contract and means the same thing. Chaiz is an online marketplace that offers a variety of third-party warranties that vary in price according to coverage levels. You can compare quotes easily within a few seconds and purchase your warranty on our secure and easy payment platform.
We will unpack 9 car battery maintenance tip ideas.
1. Change Your Battery Every Four Years
The recommended lifespan of a car battery is 4 years. The first car battery maintenance tip is to change your battery every 4 years. There’s nothing more inconvenient than losing power in your car on your journey or road trip, so ensure you check your battery out and replace it if need be. This is a cold weather car battery maintenance check tip. Your battery struggles more to perform in winter so you should check it’s working in the summer time already.
We will share the steps on how to replace your battery.
How to Change Your Car Battery
Before you start:
- Don’t change your battery in wet conditions
- Make sure your terminals do not come into contact with any metal, as this could cause sparks
- Take off any metal jewelry
- Put on insulated gloves, and goggles if you have some
To change your battery follow these steps:
- Use a socket set to unscrew what is known as the clamp nut and remove the cable connected to the negative terminal which is black
- Follow the same process for the positive terminal which is red
- Next, Unscrew what is known as the battery clamp and lift up the battery and take it out
- Clean any debris off the battery tray if necessary
- Put the new battery into its place, reconnect the clamps that hold it down, and reconnect the positive cable which is red before reconnecting the negative cable which is black.
- Check that the battery cables aren’t corroded. Put some grease underneath the clamps to prevent corrosion.
Now that you know how to change your battery, let’s move on to more car battery maintenance tips.
2. Check Battery Acid Level
At 6 month intervals you should check your battery’s acid. It’s more tricky for your battery to run in the cold season, so you must check if it’s strong enough to last over winter. This Cold weather car battery maintenance tip is important to note. Look out for stratification. This happens when batteries stay at a charge of under 80 percent if the battery never gets fully charged or it has shallow discharges.
If your battery is stratified, electrolytes form at the bottom and the top is starved. Your car battery is at risk if you mainly drive short routes whilst using power-intensive accessories in your car.
3. Add Water to Your Battery
It’s a good idea to check your battery and take note of fluid levels. This is a good car battery maintenance tip. If you can see that the battery’s electrolyte levels are low (you will see the plates can be seen) add some distilled water. Do this carefully, and fill the cells to cover the plates. The best way to add water is through a funnel or water bottle as you can control the flow of water entering the battery. After you have added the water, charge the battery with a battery charger.
4. Carry Out a Battery Load Test
To keep a watchful eye over your battery and keep your battery maintenance in a car in check, you can conduct a battery load test, monthly. This should be done by your mechanic. It’s a good idea to get your mechanic to give your battery a once-over to check for faults and lifespan. Your mechanic can also check over the rest of your car to see everything is in working order.
If your battery isn’t sealed your mechanic may use a temperature compensating hydrometer. There are two types: the floating ball and gauge hydrometer. The gauge hydrometer reads more easily and you don’t need to work with colored balls. Testing a sealed battery will require a digital voltmeter with 0.5% accuracy. Analog (needle operated) voltameters aren’t accurate enough to measure millivolt differences of a battery’s charge or the output of the battery. A battery load tester can also be used.
5. Remember to Clean the Battery
Dirt and debris can be bad news for your battery if it gets into the cells. It can also cause corrosion on nearby metal, so it’s important it is part of your car battery maintenance, to clean the top of the battery and around the terminals.
To clean your battery:
- Make sure your car’s off. Remove the negative, then positive terminals.
- Check for damage, cracking or warping.
- You might see a white substance on the terminal area and underneath the cable clamps. You need to remove this. You will need a toothbrush, baking soda, water, a cloth to dry the area, steel wool and petroleum jelly.
- Mix a bit of water with the baking soda in a small dish. Apply the paste with the toothbrush to the terminals and clamps. Scrub the area well until the white substance is gone. Place emphasis on the insides of the clamps so the battery connection will be as good as possible.
- Dry the area with your cloth.
- Put some petroleum jelly on the terminal and clamp area. This will inhibit future corrosion of the area.
- Reconnect your battery by attaching the positive terminal first, then the negative one.
6. Keep Your Battery Secured
A battery that isn’t secured can move about in your car when you drive and the terminals could come in contact with metal and trigger a fire. You could hit a pothole and the battery could bounce about causing damage. The battery cables could pull on the battery on a bumpy road causing great damage. If the cables are the only part that’s holding the battery in its spot it could add stress to them shortening the battery’s lifespan.
Most auto designers make use of metal or durable and rigid plastic clamps with robust screws to keep the battery in place. They secure the battery at the base or at its top. Ensure your battery is secured so it doesn’t move out of place or damage your terminals when you drive. This is a security hazard otherwise.
7. Don’t Leave Your Car Standing for Long Periods
When you drive you charge your battery through the alternator. When your car sits for days or months there is nothing to charge it and it could eventually die. It will drain. It is recommended to drive your car every 3 days. If you do have to leave your car standing read more about how to manage your battery capacity with a trickle charger below.
8. Ensure the Battery is Warm
Here is a cold weather car battery maintenance tip. Cold weather is tough on your battery. It’s important to keep your battery warm during winter. You can get an engine or battery heater, keeping your car going in winter time. The heater helps the battery start and minimizes the power utilized.
You could also get a battery blanket to wrap around the inside of the battery cover. A cord connected to a plug goes from the blanket to a wall outlet. The blanket will be warm enough to stop the battery fluids from freezing. A trickle charger can also be mounted to the battery.
9. Don’t Over-Charge Your Battery
A trickle charger can be left on your car for long periods of time used to recharge the battery. It adds charge to the battery slowly and doesn’t let the charge deplete as it normally would happen. There are various opinions on how long a trickle charger can be used on a battery, so there are different types available. Some can be left on indefinitely on a car stowed away for winter or summer. It ensures the battery isn’t depleted.
Trickle chargers use a battery regulator to regulate the charging rate and avoid overcharging. It charges your battery at a similar speed at which it self-charges for better capacity. If it charges too fast, the battery will get damaged. A trickle charger is an option for you if you want to preserve your battery over long time spans.
Battery Maintenance in a Car is Essential for Battery Longevity
Making use of these 9 car battery maintenance tip ideas will ensure the safety and longevity of your battery. If you keep an eye on your battery and take your car in to your mechanic to check over your battery and do tests on it, it will last longer. This is ideal so you don’t have to replace your battery more than every 4 or so years.
Buying an Extended Warranty with Chaiz is Also a Good Idea!
Now that you have your battery in check, ensure that you have your extended warranty or Vehicle Service Contract in place so you have the coverage you need. Simply insert your car’s details onto the nifty Chaiz search tool and choose from a list of warranty options from top third-party providers. Our marketplace is fully-online and convenient. Our payment platform is easy-to-navigate. You won’t have the hassle of phoning around to gather and compare quotes. We don’t make use of robocalls but you can request a call back to discuss your warranty options with one of the Chaiz sales team members.
Are There Additional Perks That Come With a Chaiz Warranty?
Certain warranties offered by the third-party warranty providers on Chaiz offer additional perks.
These will include:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- A tire changing service
- A Fuel delivery service
- Trip interruption: this means if you have a breakdown more than 100 miles away from your home the warranty will cover your accommodation costs.
You can choose a warranty that suits your driving and financial needs today with Chaiz!