How to Check & Maintain Your Car Battery
16 December 2015
/ Lindleys Autocentres
As time goes on, vehicle’s are becoming more and more advanced. But with all the added technology in your car, it creates a lot of pressure on the car’s battery. For this reason, it’s important to give your battery relatively frequent checks to ensure it’s in a good working order.
When dark outside you can simply, yet effectively, check your battery using this simple method. To begin with, park your car in front of a wall. Once parked, turn off the engine and observe whether your vehicle’s lights are getting dimmer. If they begin to get dimmer after a small amount of time, it’s a good indication that your vehicle’s battery isn’t in a particularly good condition anymore.
Another sign that your battery is beginning to struggle, is when your vehicle starts taking longer and longer to start up. If this is the case, it’s highly recommended to have your battery checked or changed by a trained professional.
To get a more accurate and precise reading of your car’s battery, use a digital multimeter (prices around £10 - £20) to measure the voltage of your battery. To do this, take your multimeter and connect the red cable to the positive pole of the battery and connect the black cable to the negative pole. After driving your car, leave it for a few hours and check the voltage - a fully working battery should be between 12,4 and 12,7 volts. If less than 12 volts, the battery needs recharging or changing all together.
Maintaining Your Car’s Battery
Keep Your Battery Cool
It’s not healthy for your vehicle’s battery to be exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time. As your battery is located under the bonnet of your car, it means it is exposed to the heat coming from the engine. A thermal battery blanket or wrap helps this a great deal as it insulates your battery from the heat, keeping it at the correct temperature.
The UK isn’t the warmest of countries, especially in the cold winter months, so it’s worthwhile to invest in a powered thermal blanket with heating. This insulates your battery to protect against freezing temperatures, but also keeps the battery at a cool temperature - as mentioned above.
Keep It Clean
Over long periods of time, your battery terminals begin to corrode. Unfortunately, there’s no real way of preventing this from happening. However it can be controlled, there are many substances available that are good for cleaning the battery terminals and partially removing the buildup of corrosion. One of the most straightforward, but effective, methods is to pour baking soda and water over the terminals and scrub them with an old toothbrush - Coca-Cola can also be used for this. Once you have finished scrubbing, you need to rinse the battery well.
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned, it can often be very concerning, but don’t fret. Simply contact the Lindleys team; we provide full battery and alternator diagnostics to determine the cause of the problem and will discuss our findings with you before any work is undertaken. We at Lindleys Autocentres pride ourselves on complete transparency and value for money pricing.
If you’re experiencing any of the above and you’d like to know more about our battery and alternator services, or to book an appointment with our expert technicians, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Visit the Contact Us page.