How to take care of the battery?

Mani che serrano il morsetto della batteria nel motore di un'automobile con una chiave

The battery is one of the most important components of each vehicle. It is a chemical source of the electricity supplied to all the circuits in the moment when the car engine is turned off, or when the rotational speed of the crankshaft when the engine is running too low, so that the generator could take over the role of energy production. The battery should be systematically checked and taken care of on a regular basis. Unfortunately, most drivers reminds themselves about the battery in their car only in a situation when it has insufficient energy to be able to run the starter. Surprised with the impossibility to start the vehicle usually happens during the winter time. However, this does not mean that the regenerative actions on the battery should take place only immediately before the first frost.

According to experts, the car owners should look under the hood of their car at least once a quarter. At this occasion they should take the necessary actions that will increase battery life. Thanks to these regular checks you will be absolutely sure that this extremely important part is always in perfect condition and does not become a source of an unpleasant surprises during the car trip.

 

Efficiency

The first preventive action we need to perform is a systematic verification of the efficiency of the battery. To do this, you can use the services of professional garages. Alternatively, you can buy a meter, which is quite cheap, and you can perform this operation by yourself. The voltage when the engine is off should be higher than 12.5V. Whereas,  it should fluctuate in the range between 13.9 and 14.5V while the engine is on and the lights are off. If during the test the battery voltage is normal, it is a sign that it is fully functional. In such situation the maintenance of the car battery is reduced to just a few simple activities.

 

Cleaning

First, you should disconnect the battery. Then thoroughly clean the clamps and the lead poles. For this task you would require some sandpaper, ideally one with the grain parameters in the range of 180 to 300. There are also brushes adapted especially for this task. The brushes can be purchased at nearly every automotive shop. When using them, remove the coating to a level in which the contacts are silver-grey. If during removing the residue you notice that the clamp has small cracks caused by the contact with the electrolyte, replace it with a new one. And finally, spray the cleared clamp and poles with a special liquid for the electrical contacts, which protects them against the coating piling up, which might disrupt the work of the battery.

 

Electrolytes

Another important activity to make sure that the optimum performance of the battery is reached is supplementing the electrolyte. To do this, you need to unscrew the plugs that are closing the battery cell. Then add distilled water in such a way that its level in each cell is 1.5 cm above the plate. When you do this, always remember to seal up the cells.

It is necessary to drive long distances to fully charge the battery. Sporadic drive, only around the city, leads to its exhaustion, so people driving in such a way should remember to charge it using the charger once in a while.

 

New battery

What is also worth remembering is that if during the battery tests the parameters indicate that it is close to overexploitation, it is better not to postpone the decision to purchase a new one. It will certainly protect you against many unpleasant surprises. Think when you can still do something, as later on, only proper fixing would help.

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