Most drivers have experienced a flat battery. It can happen at the most unfortunate time, like when you are about to go to a wedding or go out on a first date. But whenever or whatever the time or circumstance, it is always inconvenient and it usually costs money. The funny thing is, if you have your car serviced regularly, your mechanic will be able to prevent this from happening in the first place by alerting you to potential problems.
In this article we will have a look at some ways you can prevent battery problems yourself and learn three easy things you can do on a regular basis to make sure you are never stranded again.
Most modern cars have fully sealed batteries and problems can be difficult to detect without expert attention.
But many older vehicles have easy to maintain batteries and you can soon learn the tell-tale signs of a pending problem. Corroded terminals are an easy to spot sign that all is not well. You will see discolouration around the terminals, perhaps white powder or similar discolouration which means that the terminals are corroding because of the action of acid leaking from the battery.
If these problems are not fixed quickly you will soon reach a point where the engine will not start and if the wiring has been badly affected, then you may be facing expensive repairs to the wiring as well as replacement of the battery.
Here are three things you can do to get yourself out of this predicament.
- Make sure the terminals are clean. Check both positive and negative terminals of the battery at least every month. Remove the wiring and using a post-scrubber clean both terminals to ensure optimal contact. Use a solution of baking soda and water to clean the cables and the terminals. Always wear protective gloves when you are dealing with the engine as well as goggles to protect your eyes.
- Make sure the battery is filled with distilled water to the optimum level. Most batteries have indicators which will determine the level to which you should fill. Correct electrolyte levels are vital to optimum performance of your car battery, so check the casing for cracks. If you find any you will need to replace the battery immediately.
- Use a hydrometer to check your battery acid to make sure it is in peak condition and then squirt a solution back into the same chamber. A fully charged battery should have a reading of 1.265 or higher. Anything lower than this means that the battery should be recharged.
By performing these three simple tests on a regular basis, you will ensure maximum life for your battery and protect your investment. As stated above, your mechanic will be able to keep an eye on things with regular servicing and this may even obviate the need to you to look at your battery at all.
But there is nothing wrong with taking things into your own hands, especially when it comes to your battery, so why not make it a habit to check your battery regularly and get it to the service station before trouble occurs.
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