Maintaining Your Car Battery & Why it Matters
We’ve all experienced it. You go to start your car, and it just doesn’t catch. You’re so accustomed to the sound of your engine engaging, that you feel a little thrown. Dead battery. What’s wrong? What did I leave on?
At Christian Brothers Round Rock, we want you to feel confident that you’re doing all you can to care for your vehicle to ensure one less complication in your life.
When you schedule your next routine maintenance, we will check all of the basic parts and functions to ensure it’s running smoothly. However, there are some things you can do at home to make sure you don’t run into the problem of a dead battery in the meantime.
One of the most common reasons for vehicle breakdowns is a dead battery. This can be caused by a myriad of things; leaving lights on or draining the battery in some way, lack of maintenance, or spark plug failure. It’s a scenario that none of us want to be in, yet one many of us are unfortunately familiar with.
So, what can you do to avoid it?
Make sure you know where your battery is located and the function of the parts around it. Most car batteries have a heavy duty case that set it apart, with two brass or lead terminals connecting it to the car, a positive and a negative. A tip to ensure you don’t mix up the wires is to take a photo before beginning your maintenance. Our ASE-certified mechanics would be happy to guide you.
Learn about what type of battery you have fitted in your vehicle; either a wet-cell battery that can benefit from maintenance, or an Absorbed Glass Matte (AGM) battery which typically only needs to be maintained by your ASE-certified mechanic at routine checks. If you have a wet-cell battery, it’s helpful to check the water level every 2-3 months by pulling up on the fill caps. If it’s low, top it off using a funnel and distilled water. Be very careful not to overfill. Pour a little, then wait for it to reach the bottom before you add more.
Get the most out of your battery life by cleaning the terminals with a wire brush every 6-8 months. Start by removing all the connectors to your battery. Then, make a paste of baking soda and distilled water. Rub this on using your wire brush, taking care to remove all dried acid build-up. Once it has a nice shine to it, reconnect the terminals using terminal spreaders. You can also apply grease made for high temperatures to your battery to guard it from rust and corrosion.
Needing a little refresh on how to jump start your battery? Check out our post “Car Basics: How to Jump-start Your Car Battery” for a free printable, step-by-step guide that may help if you run into issues.
Remember, it’s a good idea to always store jumper cables in your car so you’re prepared for an unexpected dead battery. These are inexpensive and available from any car supply store. You just might be the passer-by who helps another person out of this situation!
Stop by Christian Brothers Round Rock or schedule an appointment below for more information on how to maintain your battery so that you can avoid this problem altogether. We are committed to ensuring you feel educated and equipped for anything you may encounter on the road.
“Always professional and friendly. Gives good advice concerning your vehicle. I trust their advice and recommendations. Cannot think of a better place for vehicle problems to be fixed.”