How to Maintain a Car Battery

The battery is the most important parts of the car. The car will not start if it doesn’t work. In winter it is truer as compared to summer. The electrical power that the battery produces is used by the ignition system of the car for engine to crank. The lights and other accessories are also powered by the battery. The battery should be tested regularly. This means testing it when the car is serviced and before leaving for long trips.

Most of the car batteries nowadays are branded as maintenance-free or low-maintenance. Still every motorist should be responsible and must do some effort for usual maintenance routines. Here are some guidelines that can be followed to avoid getting stranded on a cold day.

Car Battery

It must be known how old the battery is. For knowing this, locate a small label on the battery. It has a letter with a number which indicates the month starting with ‘A’ for January and ‘B’ for February and it similarly goes on. December is ‘M’ as I is skipped. The year is represented by the number with ‘9’ standing for 1999, ‘0’ for 2000. D2 would represent April 2002 and similarly F5 would represent June 2005. Experts suggest that a new battery should be purchased when a battery completes the age of four years.

Look for loose cables, corroded terminals or battery posts, loose clamps or damaged or leaking battery case. Check if there are any wet, dirty, swollen or corroded cables. Check the condition of alternator belt if its loose or broken. The battery will have to power the whole electrical system of the vehicle if the alternator fails, repairs will be needed.

Always keep jumper cables in the vehicle’s trunk in case of emergency. Be sure that the cables are free of corrosion and rust. The car should be parked in the garage whenever it is possible. In case you have to leave your car all day outside, then go and start the car a couple of times in a day for few minutes for warming up. This will help the car in starting much easily. When the temperature falls below zero Degrees Fahrenheit, avoid leaving the car outside for long time.

Car batteries often have to be changed after a maximum period of 3 and half years depending on the battery’s warranty. If you sometimes you leave your car’s headlights accidently on when parked, then it will need a good charging as suggested by most auto electrical technicians.