Your car battery is responsible for providing power to all the electric-powered parts of your vehicle. Thus, the battery needs to remain in top condition for your car to run smoothly. Like any other car part, batteries are vulnerable to wear and tear, especially when car owners fail to give them proper maintenance.
Taking care of your battery ensures it lasts longer and provides efficient service till the end. But what does battery maintenance entail? Read on to learn four battery maintenance tips that extend your battery’s efficiency and lifespan.
1. Test Your Battery Voltage Regularly
Regularly testing your battery voltage could save you from an unexpected breakdown while on the road. Your mechanic can test your battery’s voltage during your regular car service appointment. You can also check the voltage yourself using a voltmeter.
Alternatively, start your car and turn on the headlights. If the headlights are dimmer than they usually are, your battery’s alternator may not be producing enough charge and needs further inspection.
When fully charged, your battery should have a reading of at least 12.6 volts when you test the voltage. If your voltage reading is lower than 12.6 volts, you need to have your mechanic check your battery.
2. Regularly Clean Your Battery
Regularly cleaning your car battery goes a long way in preserving its longevity. Dirt or dust on your car battery may become carbonized, which creates electrical conductivity that drains your battery. With a sponge and dry cloth, you can easily remove surface dirt on your battery.
Corrosion is another thing you need to clean off your battery to ensure the battery runs effectively. Corrosion on your battery terminals hinders the electricity flow from your car battery to the starter. As a result, your car has difficulty starting and may fail to start entirely.
3. Check the Acid Levels
You should check the acid levels on your battery to ensure they are enough to facilitate the flow of electricity in your battery. As you check the acid levels, look out for acid stratification, which shows that your car battery runs at less than 80 percent charge. Stratification indicates that your battery does not receive a full charge or has shallow discharges.
When your car has a stratified battery, the electrolytes in the battery concentrate at the bottom while the top remains starved. This results in an unequal charge across the plates, which causes the engine to be sluggish.
Acid stratification is common during colder months since cars remain at a 75 percent charge. Your car battery may not charge sufficiently during winter if your car is idle. Therefore, charge your car battery with an external charger.
Acid stratification during cold winter months may be unavoidable unless you have an absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery.
4. Do a Battery Load Test
A battery load test confirms whether or not your car battery can charge properly. You will need to do this test while the battery is in a high-charge state. If the load test shows your battery cannot charge properly, your mechanic can perform a diagnostic test to tell what is interfering with your battery’s ability to charge.
Whether you own a cheap car or a luxury vehicle, be proactive in battery maintenance if you want performance from your car. Simple maintenance like cleaning and testing your car battery’s functionality ensures the battery remains in excellent condition and lives up to its expected lifespan. Thus, you can avoid replacing your battery sooner than expected.
At Evans Tire & Service Centers, we provide maintenance services to ensure optimal battery functionality. Contact us today to schedule battery maintenance services in San Diego.