The battery is like a life line of your car. Especially when it comes to the modern cars, it is not possible to run them without a well-charged and healthy battery. I remember decades ago there was no concept of using a battery in old diesel vehicles, especially loaders because those diesel engines were extremely basic and you just slightly push start your van/jeep and it would run without a hiccup. But times have changed. There are so many electronics involved in the running of a modern engine that it is difficult to even imagine such an engine running without a battery. And taking care of battery is one of those things that you can do by yourself.
Since we are enjoying the Eid holidays now, a lot of people are heading towards the northern areas of Pakistan. It is always advised to be well-prepared for the trip. Taking care of your car’s battery before going on a long trip with your family is of utmost importance. But before we start, let’s talk about the types of batteries that are currently available in the market. There are two types that are readily available in Pakistan; dry cell battery and wet cell (acid) battery. If you have dry cell battery, you are pretty much tension free. Those kinds of batteries are also called maintenance-free batteries. They are disposable. When they die, you throw them out and replace them with a new one. But on the other hand, the wet cell battery or commonly known as acid battery needs a continuous eye. Here are four ways you can keep your car’s battery in good health.
You should visually inspect your car’s battery every now and then. Whether it’s dry or wet cell, it is always advised to look at the battery for any sort of damage, cracks or discoloration. For an acid battery, see for leaks or cracks in the body of the battery. The acid is very corrosive, and it will eat the metal of your car. If you see a leaking battery, change it immediately. Depending on a crack, a battery can be repaired as well. But it’s better if you change it rather repairing it. Also, when inspecting the battery, keep an eye on its terminals.
Wet cell battery needs acid to keep a charge. Usually the distilled water is used in the battery. Distilled water is easily available from the local battery shops. The water is turned into the acid due to the process of electrolysis. It’s the electrolytes that charge the battery cells. Make sure that the acid level is up to the prescribed level. Do not overfill. The extra acid will start to overflow, and it will damage other parts of the car. Heat and overcharging can cause the acid/electrolytes to reduce.
Secure it properly
A loose battery in the engine bay can be a serious hazard. Always make sure it is properly secured and tied up. You do not want the terminals of the battery touching here and there in the engine bay. A short can cause a fire or at least damage the wiring of the car. Albeit batteries are heavy and not that easy to move but do not take any risks. It should always be in its proper place (battery tray) in the engine bay and should be properly secured.
Keep the terminals clean
With the passage of time, deposits start to accumulate on the terminals of the battery. It is more common if the terminal is not sitting correctly in the clamp. If there are some deposits, pour some warm water to dissolve them. Also, clean the terminals after every few months for low electrical resistance and good conductivity. Just remove the wire clamps, and with the help of a normal toothbrush, or some other kind of brush with hard bristles, and some detergent, clean both terminals. Put the clamps back on the terminal and make sure that there is no play/gap between them. You need a tight fit for accurate current flow.
These were just a few tips that can not only extend the life of your car battery but can also save you from any unusual battery-related roadside headaches. Happy motoring!