Best tips for maintaining your car battery the right way
So many people don’t know the importance of battery either in a car or any other device; we would help shed more light on the importance of battery and the best way in maintaining it for longer lasting. This little device is usually neglected due to so many reasons best known to people, without knowing it actually plays a vital role in the car system. It can be often said that the battery is the heartbeat of the car. Most cars, even the most luxurious and premium cars that are equipped with the most advanced technology, is totally useless without the battery performing properly. In fact, car battery is a basic component and taking care of it doesn’t require much of skills or technique stuff, but it saves you major, unnecessary car maintenance or repairs that would gulp lots of money. If you are one of the people who are neglect your car battery and allow it go bad that would in turn damage other parts in the car, I would appeal you have a second thought on this. In case you don’t have much knowledge about the car battery and how to do a proper maintenance on it, we will share some on dos and don’ts to keep your battery in its best condition and temperature.
What to do?
- Understand your car’s operation.
When the battery is in use know that the battery as an expiration date doesn’t expect it would last a life time. But remember that, before it completely goes flat or lose it current, it will show give you signs of failure. Being able to detect these sign early enough, helps you take timely handling of the problem and avoid unwanted incidents on the go. Things indicating battery failure you should pay attention to can be the brightness of the lights, how strong the car starts or even how it smells. This requires a lot of practice to master the technique. The more battery problems you encounter, the better you understand it. Information and experience on this can be easily found on the Internet.
Once you understand the battery working techniques, you know what it is like when something is not on the right track, what it can be and how to fix it. For example, the headlight’s brightness is low may be due to the battery running out of power or acid smell which is sent out from the burnt battery leaking, etc. Don’t wait until when you are in hurry and the battery is dead to recoup it.
- Ensure the battery’s terminals are connected properly and not affected by corrosion.
One best possible reason which can lead to the decrease in efficiency of the battery is that the battery is not well tightened to their terminals or they are covered by corrosion for too long. The vibration of the engine while driving can loosen the terminal and the battery can’t send the maximum amount of current to the car’s entire system, while heat and humidity accelerate oxidization which finally causes corrosion on the terminals.
You need to check this as frequently as you check your tire air pressure, engine oil and coolant. If there is corrosion, simply clean that up and retighten the terminals. In long-term benefit, replace the original terminal from car manufacturer with high-quality ones will save you more money and time to stabilize the battery from unwanted discharge and not been charged properly.
- Disconnect the battery terminals when the car is not in use for a long period.
When you intend to travel for a long period or not use the car, the best advice is to disconnect the terminals, so the battery will be drain finally, Better still if the battery can’t recover and you’ll have to replace it. To prevent that, unplug the battery and keep it at dry and cool place if you plan not to use your car for a long period.
- Ensure there is a jumper cable in your car.
Note, that old batteries can suddenly go flat while you are on the road. Therefore, you would need something to recoup the battery right away in case you don’t have your own battery charger there. If you have a jumper cable ready in your emergency tool box, you can ask a bypassing driver to help you jump start the battery. Though this is a temporary solution, you will have enough battery current to make it to the next available auto mechanic service garage for a proper fix or replacement.
A jumper cable must be available in your car tool box.
- Prevent the car battery by ensuring it is always greased.
As mentioned above in this article, damaged terminals usually lessen the efficiency of the battery strengthen. Therefore, periodically clean up the corrosion at the terminal and spread a little of mechanic grease on the terminals which would prevent the environmental factors from rusting and corroding them and in turn allow a proper charging system to flow.
Periodically use grease on the terminals to avoid loss of current or corrosion.
What not to do?
- Do not allow the battery current to drain out.
Every car battery needs a certain amount of electric power/current to maintain itself, when idle. Without the idle current been retained, it will drain and self-destroy quickly and finally unable to recharge itself anymore. At least 4 times a year, recoup power for the battery with a battery charger.
- Don’t park your car too long under a harsh temperature.
Aside from humidity, high temperature is also a bad factor for battery. It not only accelerates corrosion on battery terminals, it drains the battery fluid and destroys the cells this is the reason why your battery drains more quickly than usual when subjected to harsh condition that are above room temperature.
- Don’t run your car in an idle mode.
Sometimes, when the weather is hot, some drivers have the habit of running the engine the car with air-conditioner turned on. This is a bad practice as it doesn’t allow the charging system to work at optimal capacity to charge the battery back, this would allow the battery strength to deplete fast and reduce the live span quickly. Also, when you let the car run in idle mode for a long time, not only do you waste fuel, but also put the burden on the battery. If you have to be in the car in a long period, allow the engine some time to rest which is the best for both the battery and the engine itself.
- Don’t forget to turn OFF any internal system or Lights.
This is an occasional act by most car owners or drivers as they tend to forget to turn off the car radio or lights, those lights or radio, will have the whole night to drain the battery below the threshold for it to enable the car start the following day. This can reduce the lifespan of both the lights and the battery.
- Don’t disconnect terminals wrongly.
There is a process of disconnecting the battery terminals if you would not be using the car for a long period, the correct order is, you start with the negative terminal first or else the battery will be short-circuited. This may seem less important to you, but it is the best approach in disconnecting a battery.
Disengage the terminals correctly negative to positive to avoid short circuiting.
- Ensure you use a conventional battery charge instead of alternator
The car alternator is not designed to be the alternative of a battery charger as the charging voltage is limited and using it the wrong way may lead to it damaging the battery or the alternator itself.
- Don’t use high-charge mode of the charger.
Do not be a haste to use the high charging mode to charge the battery when it is flat, as this may damage the battery or cause it to explode; the best mode to start with is the low or medium mode which is safer. If your charger doesn’t have these two settings, I would advise you seek the assistance of a professional to help do the charging for you.