How to maintain a car battery

The electrical energy required to turn on the ignition and keep the automobile running is stored in the car battery. Naturally, you want to prevent being stranded by a dead battery. The lifespan of your car battery can be impacted by things like extreme weather and how you drive, but you can stop your battery from dying too soon. which is why in this article we’ll go over how to maintain a car battery so it lasts its usual amount of time or even more before becoming worn out.

How to maintain a car battery

Read more: Understanding car battery

So, let’s dive in!


How to maintain a car battery

Below shows the steps on how to properly maintain a car battery;

Check your battery voltage frequently

  • You might be able to avoid a breakdown or battery failure while driving if you test your batteries in advance. Although qualified mechanics can test your battery for you, if you need to do so in between auto services, you can also use convenient at-home equipment.
  • Using a voltmeter to check the voltage of your battery is the simplest method. Digital voltmeters are the simplest to use if you decide to get one. Complete the voltage test at least twelve hours after turning off your car for the most precise reading.
  • Begin by attaching the positive voltmeter lead to the battery’s positive terminal, then do the same with the negative lead. The voltage reading will then be given to you. Normally, a completely charged battery will read between 12.4 and 12.8 volts. If your voltage reading deviates from these ranges, a mechanic will probably need to give your battery a thorough examination.

Read more: Dead car battery: causes, signs and how to change or fix it

Regularly clean the battery terminals with water and baking soda

  • A car battery’s grime, dirt, or moisture can create leakage over the battery case, resulting in a short circuit that could flatten your battery. With water and baking soda, you may quickly get rid of this surface-level filth. To prevent build-up, perform this at least once every month.
  • By locating the red cap, determine which side of the battery is positive. Never connect the positive side before the negative. Lift the wire up and counterclockwise rotate the bolt holding the wires to the negative terminal.
  • Make sure you don’t contact the two wires to any metal components of the car while you do the same with the positive side. then combine baking soda and water in a 1:1 ratio. Scrub both battery terminals with the solution after dipping a stiff-bristle brush into them.

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Avoid leaving your vehicle inactive for a long duration of time

  • Your car’s battery won’t have enough time to recharge if it sits idle for days on end (or if it is only used for short excursions).
  • If at all feasible, take your car for a 30-minute drive once a week to warm up the engine and circulate the fluids. Your automobile will operate at its best when it is used frequently.
  • It’s likely that your car battery may need maintenance when you use it again if it will be idle for a few weeks. The best course of action is to make sure it is completely charged and, if it has detachable caps, verify that the electrolyte levels are appropriate. If unsure, get further guidance from the RAC or a car shop.

Read more: Car battery corrosion: causes, problems, how to clean and prevent

Apply terminal spray to the battery terminals to prevent corrosion

  • Use the terminal spray to prevent further corrosion after cleaning the battery terminals. Spray the connection with the can until it is coated while holding it 4 inches (10 cm) away from the terminal. Afterward, mist the other terminal.
  • Spray the terminal and connection point after reconnecting the battery to prevent corrosion.
  • Automobile parts stores sell terminal spray. Use only items that are intended for battery terminal use.

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Avoid using electronic equipment when your car’s engine isn’t running

  • The battery can be discharged by leaving your headlights, interior lights, or ignition on while using the multimedia system but not starting the engine. This is due to the fact that when the engine is turned off, your car’s alternator shuts down, causing electronic devices to draw power from the battery instead.
  • Make it a practice to always verify that everything is off before leaving your car to prevent this, especially your lights.
  • Don’t forget to lock your car as well before leaving it. This isn’t simply for safety reasons; if you leave your car unlocked, the computer system may still be operating, which could be drained your battery without your knowledge.

Read more: Auxiliary battery malfunction: meaning, causes, and how to fix

If the battery fluid level is low, check it and add distilled water

  • Open the vent covers on top of the battery and use a flashlight to examine the interior of each cell. The substance must envelop the battery plates. If not, the level is inadequate. Add distilled water until it reaches the bottom of the cell refill openings and covers the battery plates.
  • Before reinstalling the vent caps, use a towel to wipe away any extra fluid. In order to keep dirt from getting inside your battery, wipe away from the cells.
  • If necessary, a flathead screwdriver can be used to remove the vent caps. Do not forget to reattach them firmly.
  • Never use tap water; use distilled water. The performance of the battery will be affected by the dissolved minerals in tap water.
  • Approximately every six months or each time you change the oil, check the battery fluid levels.

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Get regular service done on your car

  • It is advisable to have your car battery professionally examined to reduce the possibility of an unplanned breakdown. Ask the mechanic to ensure that your battery is functioning properly and in good condition when you take your car in for a service.

Read more: Most common and possible reasons why your car battery won’t hold a charge


How do I maintain a car battery when not in use?

  • Use a battery conditioner or trickle charger.
  • Avoid starting and stopping your car repeatedly.
  • Avoid taking short trips.
  • For 15 to 20 minutes at a time, drive your car.
  • If your home has more than one vehicle, alternate your excursions.

How do I keep my car battery fully charged?

  • Turn off the parasitic drains.
  • Put a battery maintainer to use.
  • The negative battery cable should be disconnected.
  • Completely remove the battery.

How long should I run my car to maintain the battery?

It’s beneficial to start the car once a week and let it run for 15 minutes in a well-ventilated area to keep your battery in good shape. Never leave the engine of your car running in a garage or other confined location since this can lead to a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide.

What makes a car battery last longer?

An unclean battery may discharge over dirt on the top of the shell, resulting in a slight short circuit that will eventually flatten the battery. The battery terminals will also corrode with time, so it’s important to keep them free of accumulation. This will help your automobile battery last longer.

What drains a car battery?

Extreme weather, electrical equipment left on, a broken charging system or alternator, and other causes are frequent ones, but sometimes a new battery is all that’s needed.

How often should you start a car to keep the battery charged?

In order to prevent your car battery from dying, you should start it at least once every week. However, simply starting the automobile and letting it idle while stationary is insufficient to maintain the battery’s charge. Instead, you must travel for 10 to 30 minutes by car.

How often should I charge my car battery?

In warm weather, it is advised to charge once per month, and in cold weather, once every three months. Deeply depleting your battery is still another thing to avoid. Something like leaving the engine off while the audio and headlights are on. Every time you do that, the battery life will be reduced by months.

How can I strengthen my weak car battery?

Even if a wet cell lead-acid battery had previously been unable to generate a lasting charge, it can be made to function once more by adding just the appropriate amount of water. However, until part of the battery’s acid has leaked out, avoid adding acid.

How long should I idle my car to charge the battery?

Older cars may be able to restart if left idle for 15-20 minutes, however, this method is typically not advised. Many modern cars come with highly developed battery management systems that are intended to aid increase battery life.

That’s all for this article where the steps on how to maintain a car battery were discussed. Hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share. Thanks for reading.