7 Ways You Can Care For Your Car Battery

Published by on . Updated on 1 Dec 2022
Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1668493754690 7 Ways To Take Care Of Car Battery Featured

(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Your car battery is one important component that often gets ignored because it's not visible most of the time when you use the car. Out of sight, out of mind right?

Sadly most of the time, we only really think about our car battery when something goes wrong with it and the battery warning symbol lights up on our dashboard. That would only mean more money being forked out for maintenance and repair fees. Read on to know how to avoid or reduce the chance of a malfunction happening to your car battery!

1. Clean the battery terminals with hot water.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1668494092376 Car Battery Terminal(Photo Credit: ifixit)

Rust and corrosion on the battery terminals impede and inhibit their performance and lifespan. You can prevent this by first cleaning the battery terminals using hot water.

  • Identify the positive side of the battery by looking for the red cap. Ensure that you always disconnect the negative side first. Turn the bolt connecting the wires to the negative terminal counterclockwise and lift the wire up. 
  • Do the same for the positive side and make sure that the two wires don’t come into contact with any metal parts or surfaces on the car.
  • Pour in hot water on both battery terminals to clean the corrosion.
  • Wipe the terminals down with a wet rag when you're done.
  • Remember to reconnect the battery properly when you’re finished. Always reconnect the positive terminal first.
2. Coat the battery terminals

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1668494446374 Coat Terminals(Photo Credit: WD40)

Terminal spray can be used to prevent corrosion. After you’ve cleaned the battery terminals, protect them from further corrosion with a terminal spray such as WD40. 

  • Hold the can over the terminal and spray until the connection is coated. 
  • Repeat on the other terminal. 
  • Lastly, spray after the battery is reconnected to protect the terminal and connection point from corrosion.
3. Ensure sufficient battery fluid levels

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1668494623926 Top Up Battery Fluid Using Distilled Water(Photo Credit: Tontio)

The battery fluid has to be refilled with distilled water if it’s low. 

  • Unscrew the vent caps on top of the battery and use a flashlight to observe the fluid levels inside each cell. 
  • The fluid should maintain between the battery fluid level line. If it doesn’t, the level is too low. Pour in distilled water until reaches the battery fluid level line.
  • Dry off any excess fluid with a rag before replacing the vent caps. Always be sure to wipe away from the cells to prevent the risk of pushing dirt and dust into your battery.
  • You may have to use a flathead screwdriver to pop the vent caps off. Remember to put them back on securely.
  • Only use distilled water, not tap water. Tap water has dissolved minerals that will affect the battery’s performance.
  • Check the battery fluid levels every time you do an oil change or roughly every 6 months. (This tip is for conventional batteries only)
4. Tighten the hold-down to prevent the battery from rattling around.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1668495089375 Check Battery Hold Down(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Excessive vibration can damage the battery over time. The hold-down bar keeps the battery stable and prevents vibration damage. Test your battery hold-down by opening the hood and shaking the battery. If the battery moves, the hold-down is too loose. 

  • Locate the bolts connecting the hold-down to the battery. They're usually along the top of the battery, where the hold-down bar stretches across. Use a socket wrench and turn the bolts clockwise to tighten them.
  • There are different types of hold-downs on different cars. The most common type is a bar stretching across the top of the battery. This is easy to locate. Some cars use a hold-down pad instead. These are along the base of the battery. Look here if you don't see a bar across the top of the battery.
  • If the hold-down is damaged in any way, replace it right away. New parts are available at auto parts stores.
5. Unplug any appliances when the car isn't running.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1668495185080 Unplug Devices When Not In Use(Photo Credit: Pexels)

When the car isn't running, appliances pull power directly from the battery. Unplug all cell phones, GPS navigators, or any other appliances plugged into the charging port once you turn the car off. Don’t plug anything back in until you start the car again. Don’t leave anything plugged in while the car is off. This could drain the power and result in a dead battery.

6. Turn off the headlights and interior lights when the engine is off.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1668495359793 Switch Off Headlights(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Just like appliances, these lights pull power directly from the battery when the car isn’t running. Once you turn the car off ensure that you turn off all the lights as well. Always double-check that your headlights are off before walking away from the car.

7. Mind your car battery life span.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1668495543735 Replace Car Battery(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

A car's battery life span is around 18 to 24 months. Using it for longer might leave you susceptible to breakdowns or other malfunctions. Take note of your battery installation date, once it's been in use longer than 18 months, you should change to a new battery at your preferred vehicle workshop.

"Battery is the brain for your car, taking good care of it is crucial"- BateriLaju

Do you have any other tips not listed here? Tell us in the comments section down below!

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