It’s important to keep your car battery working at peak performance. Below we’ll give you some tips to keep you from being stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery.
You can avoid a pricey service or tow charge by carrying out a simple 10-minute battery check.
You’ll need the following:
- A set of wrenches
- A post cleaner or side terminal
- A hydrometer
- A cable puller
- Clean, distilled water (if necessary)
- A clean shop rag
All of these are readily available at any auto parts store. You can also skip this battery service check if your mechanic performs it during your cars regular servicing.
Step 1: Clean the Cables
Clean any built-up corrosion from the top of the battery. After this, then clean any corrosion around the battery cables. Then disconnect the cables, starting with the negative one.
Next, loosen the battery cable clamp bolts and gently twist them.
WARNING: Never pry on battery posts.
With the cables detached, now clean off any remaining corrosion on the auto battery terminals and cables.
Step 2: Check Electrolyte Levels
If the battery requires water, use only clean, distilled water and be careful not to overfill the cells.
Gently pry off the covers of the battery cells. The water/acid mixture in the battery should be about 1/2 inch deep. If you find any cracks, you’ll need to replace the battery. If adding water, let the water mix with the electrolyte for a few hours.