Every automobile comes with one, however some drivers act as if this particular component is totally maintenance free.
What am I talking about?
Your vehicle’s battery.
Technological advances have actually made “maintenance free” batteries a basic component on essentially every automobile produced today. The term “maintenance free” is a misnomer, one that can leave you stranded if you do not carry out appropriate and routine upkeep. Battery maintenance isn’t really challenging to do, so let’s take a look at exactly what you can do to keep your vehicle running smoothly.
1. Before talking about battery maintenance, please ensure that your battery is, in fact, the covered type. If it isn’t then the “maintenance free” label definitely does not apply and you will have to include water regularly. Unsealed batteries are easy to detect as they have little vent caps on top of the battery which can be turned open. You will have to regularly add distilled water to preserve water levels; more so in the summer season as water tends to evaporate quicker. Do not let your battery run low or run out of water as the battery’s cells can be destroyed.
If your battery is of the covered variety, then the “maintenance free” label is still only partially real considering that the term just means that you do not have to add water to the cells as you would with an unsealed battery.
With any kind of car battery, either sealed or unsealed, you must do the following to make sure it continues to work correctly:
1. Clean Cables
Detach the cables from the battery and clean them with a wire brush that has been doused in a home-made mixture of one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of water. Use this exact same mixture to wipe the top of the battery; make use of a clean and small paint brush to apply the solution where required.
2. Lubricate Posts
A small dab of petroleum jelly on each post will assist in keeping your cable clean of corrosion-free longer. In addition, the jelly will make it much easier for you to slip the cables back onto the battery.
3. Secure Battery
Make sure that the battery hold down bar is firmly secured. Not all cars have or need a battery hold down bar, however if yours is equipped with one, you will need to put it back in its proper place. Regardless, you need to make sure your battery is not loose and does not wiggle around. Otherwise while you are driving it may end up being violently bounced around and cause damage not only to the battery itself, but to other components of your engine as well.
Car battery maintenance is a simple job and one that should be performed on a yearly basis. If you keep your battery maintained, you will extend its life and greatly minimize the possibility that your battery will fail you at an inconvenient time.
*Always consult your owner’s manual and labelling on the battery before starting any maintenance.