How to Take Great Care of Your Car Battery

Batteries are an easy component of your vehicle to overlook. Most people take their car battery for granted: they unlock their car with their electronic key fob, listen to the radio and blast the air conditioner with the ignition turned off, and turn on the car whenever they’re ready to drive. All of these things require a healthy, charged, and functional battery, but you don’t really notice the battery until these things stop working.

Because of this, it’s easy to take your battery for granted. Yet as soon as it runs into trouble, you’ll wish you didn’t. Unlike some other parts of your car, a non-functional battery renders your vehicle completely useless, as you can no longer turn it on. This results in a big hassle, as you have to call a mechanic or tow truck (or a friend) out to come assist you, and get your car up and running again. As such, it’s crucial to take good care of your car battery. Follow these steps, and you’ll make sure that your vehicle’s battery is in the best shape possible.

Have Your Battery Routinely Checked

Any time you have maintenance, inspections, or repairs performed on your vehicle, ask the mechanic to quickly check the life and health of your battery. Whether you’re having a serious repair, or simply having your oil changed, a mechanic will always be happy to check in on your battery. Doing so will help you catch a dying battery before you’re stranded in a random parking lot with a car that won’t turn on. 

Visually Inspect Your Battery 

Once every few weeks, preform a visual inspection on your battery. Start by popping your hood, and locating the battery. If you notice corrosion, that’s okay, though you’ll want to clean it up (more on that later!). If you notice physical damage, such as cracking, bulging, leaking, or a misshapen battery, then you’ll likely need to have your battery replaced as soon as possible, due to irreparable damage.

If you can, you should always check the fluid level in your battery. This is possible in many cars and batteries, but not possible in all of them. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out whether or not you can check your battery levels, and how to safely do so.

Clean Off All Corrosion

If you notice corrosion on your battery or on the battery cables, you’ll want to clean it off. Corrosion is not a death sentence for your battery, but you don’t want to let it get out of hand, or else it can be. Nipping corrosion in the bud is the best way to keep your battery healthy for a long amount of time. 

You can have a mechanic clean your corrosion for you, or you can do it yourself. The best way to handle corrosion is to disconnect the battery cables, then clean out the battery posts and cable ends with a battery terminal brush. However, in a pinch, you can also pour Coca-Cola over the corrosion, and then wipe it clean with a rag.

For best results, spray a batter cleaner over your battery after cleaning off the corrosion.

It’s fairly easy, and very cheap to take care of your battery. This will help you get the most out of your battery, save you in replacement costs, and keep you from needing to call a tow truck to jump your car.     

About The Author

Brady Klopfer

Brady Klopfer is a freelance writer and editor from Los Angeles. You can read more of his work here