Like the engine, a car battery is another component of your car that overworks. The battery provides the power for starting your engine. If it dies, you’re stranded. If it’s weak or dying, so is your car. Maintaining a healthy car battery means knowing how to keep it recharged and corrosion-free. You want it in good condition to perform its most important job, starting your car. In this article, we’ll give you some essential tips on maintaining a healthy car battery.
1. Maintain Battery Cleanliness
Dirt and dust endanger the health of your battery. Make sure to clean off dirt and debris with a rag or brush. You can also wipe your battery down using a mixture of baking soda and water, which will neutralize acid and corrosion on the surface of your battery. Never use chlorine bleach or caustic oven cleaners; they will corrode the lead plates inside the battery.
2. Run the Battery Periodically When Not Driving
When you park your car for a long time, make sure to run the engine for a few minutes. This will recharge the battery and prevent sulfation. Sulfation leads to sulfate crystals building up on the battery plates and reducing its effectiveness.
If you don’t want to start your car every time, just pop open the hood of your car for 10 seconds to let some fresh air in. This will help cool the battery, which reduces the chances of hot weather-related problems.
3. Avoid Deep Discharging Your Battery
Most car batteries are designed to be used between 20% and 80% battery charge levels. Try to avoid deep discharging your battery below 20% because this puts additional strain on it. If you know that you won’t be able to drive your car for a couple of weeks, make sure you charge your battery up to at least 40% before leaving it unused.
4. Avoid Heat Exposure
Your car battery drains faster when exposed to heat. If you live somewhere where summers are hot, ensure that the battery never gets hotter than 46 degrees Celsius (115.6 F). Avoid parking your car in full sunlight or leaving it parked under the sun for extended periods. If possible, always park under the shade.
5. Don’t Ignore the Dashboard Warning Lights
The warning lights in your dashboard are there for a reason. Ensure that you get your car checked out by an expert if you notice any warning lights indicating low electrolyte levels, adding up too quickly, or showing early signs of battery damage and cracks. Ignoring the lights until you reach your destination is the fastest way to kill your battery.
The experts at Michigan Auto and Tire and always at your service and will help you diagnose any problem with your car battery. Visit us often for any other auto-related problems, and our experienced mechanics will be at your service.