No one wants the expenses of having to tow your car just because of a car battery failure. There are steps to take when caring for your car battery that are important and can keep your battery life longer and give you peace of mind.
How do you take care of a car battery? There are several ways to take care of a car battery that can give it longer life and help you to identify when the battery needs to be replaced. Take care of the car battery instantly and save yourself hundreds of dollars by watching for dim headlights, dirty battery cables, or low levels of electrolytes.
The things to keep an eye out for to take care of your car battery
- Low headlight strength that dims over a period of time or when the car is in idle
- The car has trouble starting up.
- Accessories like radio or air condition having trouble or not turning on at all
The Steps to Take to Take Care of Your Car Battery
Some of the things you can do for your car battery can be done in a matter of minutes. Since you will be dealing with battery acid, always wear protective eyeglasses and rubber gloves before handling batteries or battery parts.
Check Electrolyte Levels
The battery cells have a covering on the top of the battery. If you remove this covering by prying it off, the water and acid mixture within the battery is inside. The depth of the mixture should be about 1/2 inch. If the levels are low, you can add clean, distilled water to the battery cell. Let the mixture sit so that the acid and water can mix for several hours before starting the engine again.
Check the Condition of the Electrolytes in the Battery Cell
If you use a hydrometer to test the electrolyte (water and acid mixture) in the battery, you can determine if the battery is bad or not. Suck the electrolyte solution into the hydrometer with the rubber ball and record the results, then squeeze the liquid back down into the battery. A battery that is charged fully should read at 1.265 or at a higher reading. A low reading is below 1.200, but if the reading is consistent, the battery can be recharged.
Clean the Car Battery Terminals and Clamps
Using an old toothbrush and some baking soda and water mixture, clean the clamps first. Corrosion on the clamps and terminals can worsen over time, so cleaning can be a consistent part of car care for your battery. Next, wipe off the terminals with the solution. Dry both clamps and terminals and replace the clamps tightly.
Remove the Old Battery and Replace It with a New One
Remove the cable clamps, negative first, with a wrench. Gently unscrew the battery bolt and remove the battery to take it back to the auto parts store for recycling. Drop the new battery into the old one’s place. Take this time to clean the battery terminals and clamps. Make sure clamps and bolt are tight and in the correct positions.