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Car Battery Maintenance Tips

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It’s not only in the winter that we have to look after our car batteries. Now that cars are more advanced and there is a larger load put onto our batteries, they have become the most common reason for breakdowns. The good news is there are some straight forward tips that you can follow to increase the lifespan of your car’s battery and maximise its performance. In this blog from APD Car Parts, we’ll discuss maintenance tips and how you can improve your car battery life!

Our 5 Car Battery Care Tips

1. Safety First

It’s integral that you stay safe when handling your car’s battery. It contains a lot of energy and could damage you or your car if handled incorrectly. You should handle your battery with rubber gloves, as this adds a nice layer of protection. You should also be careful when leaving tools on your battery, as you could connect the positive and negative terminals together which would cause a short circuit and a fire.

2. Disconnect your battery

Before working with your battery, disconnect it from the vehicle. Unscrew the connectors from the terminals. While you’re there, you can give them a clean with a terminal brush. This will increase the contact area, which will improve charging and its ability to start in the cold.

3. Maintaining your battery charge level

You should aim to check your car battery charge every six months (two if you drive short distances often). Use a multimeter to check your battery’s condition. If it’s low, use a smart charger.

4. Visually check the condition of your battery

Look around the battery to make sure that it is clean and undamaged. You can do this while it’s still installed to the vehicle and is worth doing every time you look under the bonnet. Keep it clean as your battery will slowly discharge, which could cause damage over a long period of time. If your vehicle isn’t used on a regular basis, it’s recommended that you carry out these checks more frequently. Keep it clean as your battery will slowly discharge, which could cause damage over long periods.

5. Clean your battery

As time goes on, dirt and debris can collect on your battery which causes corrosion on the battery terminals. Clean any crust and corrosion off, especially around the battery’s terminals, with a solution of baking soda and water as this will neutralise any electrolytes that might be on the outside of the battery. Ensure that you dry it off once you are done.

Car Battery Care in Winter

Winter weather can have a massive impact on the condition of your car battery, with the cold temperatures causing problems with the chemical process that produces and stores electricity. These winter conditions can slow down the battery and negatively affect its capacity to hold a charge. However, there are some things you can do to maintain your car battery in the winter.

Although it may seem simple, driving the car on a regular basis can make a huge difference when it comes to car battery care in the winter. Not only does this help to heat up the battery, but it charges your battery too. If you have a garage, it is recommended that you keep your car stored away in the cold winter months because this can also stop the cold from getting into your car battery.  

How to Know if a Car Battery Needs to be Replaced

Car batteries usually last roughly three to five years, depending on how well they are maintained. Car batteries can be unpredictable and cause issues when you least expect it, however there are a few signs which indicate that your car battery needs to be replaced;

  • Difficulty Starting the Car
  • A loss of Power to Electrics
  • Battery Warning Symbol on Dashboard
  • Start-Stop Function Stops Working

How to Improve Car Battery Health

As well as keeping on top of car battery maintenance, there are a number of other things you can do to improve the life of your car battery.

Charge the Battery

If you only take your car out for small trips here and there, then it’s likely that your battery is not being fully charged. If you leave your car batter undercharged for a significant period of time, then you might run into further issues down the line. In this case, make sure you take your car out for a longer drive every now and then to make sure it is fully charged.

Think About Non-Essential Appliances

In modern cars, the amount of mod cons and non-essential appliances can be increased demand on our car batteries. For instance, heated seats and steering wheels, SatNavs, DVD players all require electricity. When it comes to improving the life of your car battery, it may be worth considering whether you need all of these appliances turned on when in your vehicle. At the very least, make sure that everything electrical is turned off before you exit your vehicle.

Make Sure the Battery is Safe & Secure

Having a battery that is susceptible to vibrations can be detrimental because it can damage the inside by creating short circuits. On the other hand, it’s also important to make sure that the battery clamp is not too tight, because this can also cause damage. To have complete confidence that your battery is safe and secure, it’s recommended that you enlist the help of your local mechanic to make sure that everything is correct.

How Do I Get Rid of a Car Battery?

If you find that your car battery is on its last legs, then it might be time for a replacement. If this is the case, then you might be wondering how to dispose of a car battery. Unfortunately, batteries cannot be disposed of in the same way as your usual waste. Instead, car batteries can only be disposed of and recycled in scrap metal dealers, garages and recycling centres. Car batteries consist of dangerous toxic chemicals, therefore they need to be handled by professionals.

Discover APD’s Range of Car Batteries

Thinking of investing in a new car battery for your vehicle? APD Car Parts have a whole range of different car battery brands on their online store. As well as supplying car batteries, APD also stock battery chargers, testers and accessories. With free delivery over £30, take a look at our selection of car batteries today!

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