When the weather is still sunny and warm, few people are likely thinking about their car batteries and the potential problems that cold weather brings. While car batteries are engineered to deliver many months of trouble-free operation, certain factors can diminish a battery’s ability to power your vehicle. Regular battery maintenance and on-time replacement are two important strategies that will help keep your vehicle free from problematic battery power interruptions.
Tips for Replacing Batteries
A battery’s charge can be tested with an at-home tester or during routine maintenance and repairs conducted by Sun Auto Service. Knowing the percentage of charge still available in a battery will help you determine the right time to purchase a replacement. Note that buying a second-hand battery is not recommended. There are some important reasons for this, such as:
- It can be difficult to determine how much charge is left in a second-hand battery, even with an at-home tester.
- Battery manufacturers produce batteries with a particular intended life span; purchasing a second-hand battery may prevent you from getting the full value.
- Exchanges or refunds may not be possible to obtain from a second-hand dealer.
Begin planning your battery replacement when the weather is still warm. Cold weather has the potential to reduce a battery’s effectiveness when starting a vehicle. Vehicle owners can also plan ahead for battery testing or replacement before taking their vehicle on a long drive. Thinking ahead about the driving you intend to do in the next few months will help you make the right purchasing decision.
Keep the Power Flowing
Dirt, grime, grease, and battery acid discharge can collect on battery terminals and prevent electrical power from discharging in an optimal manner. Dirty battery terminals can prevent efficient vehicle starting and could even cause power interruptions during operation. A stiff bristled battery brush will help vehicle owners maintain the terminals. Simply use the brush to clear away surface grime from the terminals and battery clamps. Sprinkling a little baking soda onto the terminals and then activating it with regular tap water is a very effective way of neutralizing any acid that has discharged from the battery. Use the brush again to clear away the remains.
This is a simple way for vehicle owners to conduct basic vehicle battery maintenance at home. For concerns that are not resolved through cleaning and testing, more detailed diagnostics may be required. If you have concerns about your vehicle’s battery or about other system components, just contact your nearest Sun Auto Service location.
HOW TO CLEAN CAR BATTERY TERMINALS
- Use a round brush with stiff bristles to clear away surface debris from the terminals
- Sprinkle some baking soda on each of the terminals
- Gently pour tap water onto the terminals and allow the baking soda to react
- Use the round brush again to clear away the next layer of debris
- Repeat this process until the terminals are clean
Battery maintenance requires thinking ahead and planning for the driving you intend to do in the future. If you have any questions about the best way to care for your vehicle’s battery, just speak with a member of the Sun Devil Auto team.