Proper Battery Care for Your Vehicle

Maintaining your vehicle’s battery will help extend the normal life of your battery, saving you on replacements, break downs, and other electrical issues that could spur from having an exhausted or failed battery. The team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin have put together a shortlist of proper battery care tasks that every vehicle owner should take into consideration.

Keep it Clean

Keeping your battery terminals clear and clean will help improve the electrical connectivity between your vehicle’s electrical system and your battery. From time-to-time, it is important to clean the components of your battery. Here’s what you should do to maintain a properly cleaned battery.

Step 1: Make sure your vehicle’s engine is turned off. Cleaning your battery’s terminals is a fairly straight-forward chore, but it’s still a good idea to make sure you are proactive in your safety measures when dealing with a car battery. Having the engine turned off is the safest way to avoid injury while working under the hood, regardless.

Step 2: Open the hood and visually inspect the battery terminals and cables for cracks and tears. These types of repairs may need to be made by a certified mechanic. Also, look for corrosion where the cable meets the battery posts. This is easy to clean and there are products on the market you can use to protect your terminals from future buildup of corrosion. These types of battery poll lubrication products are available at your local auto parts store. If you notice your cables have large tears or other obvious signs or wear and tear, it’s likely they will need to be replaced. You can call Auto Clinic of Franklin to take care of this, or come by the shop and let our technicians have a look.

Step 3: Proper battery care starts with cleaning the battery terminals and cables. Using a wrench, loosen the nut and detach the cable from the negative (black) post first. Follow the same steps with the positive (red) cable on your battery.

Step 4: Mix a solution of baking soda and water 1:16. One cup of water would require about a tablespoon of baking soda. Using an old toothbrush for this application is the best and cheapest method. Soak the toothbrush in the mixture and scrub away at any corrosion on the battery terminals. With clean water on a damp towel, wipe the surface to remove any residue. Continue cleaning the posts then move on to the cables. Make sure to rinse away any leftover residue before reattaching the cables. Pat the area dry.

Step 5: Use your battery post lubrication or even some standard petroleum jelly to safeguard against future corrosion. Rub a little of the lubricant on the terminals and the insides of the cable clamps.

Step 6: Make sure the nut and clamps are tight around the battery post for the best possible connection. Cover with a light coating of lubricant to finalize the job.

Keep it Charged

Using a float charger on your vehicle to maintain a constant charge is considered a great practice. This is especially useful for a car or truck that you don’t use on a daily basis. Battery float chargers can be purchased generally in the $20 to $40 range. Make sure to follow the manufacturers directions for charging. Standard charging times will vary based on the capacity of the battery and the cold cranking amps require. Most float chargers will stop charging once the battery reaches maximum capacity.

Jump Start a Battery

In order to jump start a battery, you must first have a good set of jumper cables that are about 10-20 feet in length. You’ll also need another running vehicle to jump from. Park the running vehicle close enough to where the cables will easily reach the batteries on both vehicles. Make sure both vehicles are in park and the parking brakes should be set to prevent any unwarranted movement or slippage. Be sure to first connect the dead battery positive and negative (red and black) then connect the running vehicle’s positive and negative. Make sure the entire jumper cable clamp is making contact with the metal on the cable around the post on the each terminal of the batteries. Give the vehicle a little time (a few minutes should do the trick) to charge and try to start the dead car. If it still doesn’t work, rev the engine for a few minutes on the running vehicle.

Be careful when disconnecting the cables from both batteries. Do not let the red and black ends of the clamps touch each other when disconnecting.

At Auto Clinic of Franklin, proper battery care and proper maintenance of your vehicle is our top priority. If you’re having issues with your vehicle or its battery, contact us and let us diagnose the problem for you. Reach out to us by calling (615) 794-9890 or fill out the form below. We look forward to serving you!

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