DIY Battery Care Tips

July 26, 2019 11:40 am Published by

Estimated time: 10 minutes

Cost: Free minus cost for tools

Required tools: Hydrometer, a cable puller, a post cleaner, and a set of wrenches

Your battery is one of the most important components of your car to keep running well. We’ve all had that moment where we go to turn the key only to hear the sad grind of a dead battery keeping you at a dead stop. If you want to avoid being stranded or getting stuck with a tow charge, you need to take care of your battery to keep it running smoothly. Here are three easy tips to keep your battery running at its full potential. If you have any questions about car care or are looking to get the best deal on parts in town, come into your local U Pull & Pay today.

  1. Clean Your Cables

Battery corrosion on your cables and your car’s battery can cause serious damage over time and reduce your battery’s ability to hold and produce a charge. You can easily clean corrosion off yourself by using a brush and a baking soda solution comprised of one cup of water and one tablespoon of baking soda. Make sure that you use a non-metallic brush to scrape off any residue. If there is more corrosion on the posts themselves, you can remove the cables, making sure to remove the negative cable first. Once the cables are removed, you can clean the corrosion off the posts.

  1. Check Electrolyte Levels

Pull off the covers of your battery cells and check the holes where water sits. Take your hydrometer and check the electrolyte level in each cell, record the reading and squirt the solution back into the cell. Your hydrometer assumes that your battery is at roughly 80 degrees Fahrenheit, add .04 for every 10 degrees above 80 and subtract .04 for every 10 degrees below 80. A fully charged battery should read 1.265 or higher. Make sure that you top off any cells that may be running low and recharge your battery if it is below 1.265.

  1. Replace Battery If Needed

If your battery isn’t holding its charge and is on its way out, it’s better to get ahead of it and replace your battery now before it leaves you stranded. In order to change out your battery, you need to remove your old battery first. Start by removing the cables, making sure to start with the negative cable first, then the positive. Remove the battery hold down clamp and lift out your old battery with heavy duty straps. Your battery is heavy, so be careful and make sure you wear eye protection and do not smoke or have open flames near. Clean out the battery tray and replace it if it is rusted or corroded through.

Once the old battery has been removed, gently lower the new battery into place and connect the hold down clamp. Connect the positive cable and then the negative cable, making sure to smear some petroleum jelly on the posts to help slow corrosion.

If you have any questions about your battery’s health or want to learn more about how you can take car care into your own hands come into your local U Pull & Pay today. Our expert staff members will help you get all the parts you need at the best prices in town.

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This post was written by Jonathan Kling