How to Care for Your Car's Battery & Why it's Important

Posted by Chris Medine on Nov 16, 2018 12:52:00 PM

car battery maintenanceIf you’ve ever needed someone to “jump” your car, then you know the importance of a car battery. It provides electrical power to most elements on your vehicle – seat heaters, brake lights, starter motor, and more. The need for a new battery can place you in a costly and urgent situation. While all batteries will eventually die, there are a few things you can do increase its longevity.

Preserve the Life of Your Car Battery

When parking and turning off your car, do not leave any lights on or electronics plugged in, as that will drain your battery. As temperatures drop, run your car for at least 30 minutes every day to charge the battery. On the other hand, when spring arrives, it is smart to bring your battery in to be checked to see if any damage has resulted from the winter. Parking your car in cooler temperatures, even if that just means choosing a shadier spot, is better for the battery than warmer ones, especially during the peak of summer. Batteries are more susceptible to corrosion in the heat, therefore it is wise to have your battery checked before any long summer trips!

Maintaining Your Car Battery

Cleaning your battery regularly can also increase its lifespan. Whether you clean it yourself or hire the help of a professional, there are certain steps to take to ensure safety and success. Make sure to wear protective eyewear, take off all jewelry, and keep the area smoke-free. The first step is to clean and inspect the case by wiping it with paper towels and a mild detergent. Next, check the electrolyte level. If the level is low, distilled water can be added. When checking the terminals, if corrosion is present, combine equal amounts of baking soda and water to clear out the corrosion and then rinse with water.

Removal and installation of the battery can be a bit trickier. Remember to always remove the cable from the negative battery terminal first and then the positive and to install them the opposite way – with positive cable first and then negative. It is important to note that some vehicles lose most presets and program memory upon the removal of the battery. It is best to consult your owner’s manual beforehand.

Though keeping up with these do-it-yourself preventative actions helps to increase the life of your battery, it is still advisable to have an automotive service professional step in to test your vehicle’s battery at least once a year. If your starter motor starts to slow down when cranking the engine, your car’s headlights become dimmer, or the battery waning lamp is on, take it in for a check, as it most likely needs to be replaced soon.

At Medines Collision Center, we care about your safety and that of your vehicle.  This includes advising on any steps you can take to keep your vehicle road-worthy and prevent a potential accident.  However, in the unfortunate event that an accident does occur, we are here for that too.  Contact our office with any questions and to request a free repair estimate.

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