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How To Maintain Your Battery


The battery is one of the most essential parts in your car. Without it functioning, your car will not start, so it is important to take care of the battery. If your battery dies, please consult our How to Jump-Start a Battery page.

Car batteries come in two kinds, maintenance-accessible and maintenance-free. The maintenance free batteries are sealed and are designed to prevent you from adding water. The maintenance-accessible batteries have plugs that you can detach and add water when needed.

Check your owner?s manual to see which kind of battery you should have in your vehicle. If there is not one specified, you can use the climate that you live in as a determinant. If you live in a warm and dry climate, a maintenance-accessible battery may be a better choice for you; otherwise you would be better off with a maintenance-free battery.

Even if you have a maintenance-free battery, there are some things you can do to keep it in good shape. But before performing the following be sure to take proper safety precautions.

Cleaning Your Battery
As time passes, acid builds up on the terminals of the battery. This can reduce the battery?s ability to deliver power to the car. There are several ways to remove the build-up; using a wrench, baking soda, a toothbrush, water, a rag, and even soda are good for removing acid from the terminals. We recommend you check the build-up every six months, though you may not have to remove any acid that often.

? The battery is attached to two cables on its positive and negative terminals. Remove the cables by turning gently and removing the nut that secures the cables in place. Remove the black (negative) cable first, followed by the red one (positive). Do not allow the clamps to touch, or you may experience an unwanted shock.
? With the terminals now exposed, you can now remove any acid build up using any of the items that were discussed above.

How to Add Water to a Maintenance-Accessible Battery
When checking a maintenance-accessible battery, you may sometimes have to add water. You should check the water levels in each of the battery?s cells every three months. If you notice that the water does not reach the bottom of the fill holes, then you need to add water. Only fill the battery with distilled water, since it is free of impurities which will not affect with the battery?s efficiency. Pour the water into the cells through the holes covered by the screw caps. Do not fill the cells any higher than the bottom of the fill hole.

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