The average lifespan of a car battery, although roughly pegged at three to five years, can be boosted further by adhering to a consistent and disciplined approach of upkeep. Poorly maintained 4-wheeler batteries can cause massive trouble in the longer run – more so when the current battery dies, leaving you helplessly stranded and in dire need of a jump-start. If you take the necessary preemptive measures and maintain your car battery in top-notch condition, this situation can easily avoid.
Unfortunately, the upkeep and maintenance of automotive batteries in India remains one of the of-ignored factors. Usually, very little or almost no attention is paid to the battery, except of course it sparks trouble. Some of the most common problems that plague car batteries are low voltage or low charge, which have a significant impact on output and functionality.
To avoid crisis, we suggest you take note of these Dos and Don'ts to help your auto battery maintain its peak performance and avoid a low charged battery:
• Whenever working with batteries, make sure you wear proper eye, hand and clothing protection at all times to avoid injury from short circuits or malfunction.
• Duly check the terminals where the battery cables connect to ensure they are tightly wound and free of corrosion. In the event corrosion has already occurred, seek help from a qualified technician to clean the terminals.
• Make sure the battery is firmly secured to its mounting bracket. An unsecured battery that moves around during vehicular transit can become damaged, and possibly cause short circuits too.
• In batteries that are not officially labeled "maintenance free," periodically check the fluid levels. If the fluid is low, add only distilled water to top off. If no fluid is detected, you may want to replace the battery rather than fill it, as batteries in this condition will more often than not fail very soon.
• Always remember to keep your battery case clean. Dirt conducts electricity, a condition that can lead to battery charge dissipation in a short duration. Battery cases can be cleaned with a solution of baking soda dissolved in warm water. Wet the case and agitate with a nylon bristle brush, then rinse well with plain water.
• Batteries come in many different sizes. When replacing a car battery, make sure you choose the right size for your car. When it comes to car batteries, always remember that bigger is not necessarily better.
• If you suspect that a battery is frozen, do not charge it, as it may explode, leading to injury! One visual sign that a battery has frozen is that the sides are bowed out. This condition can not be repaired; this means that the battery will need to be replaced by a professional as soon as possible.
• If you need to charge your battery on your own, switch the charger to a low-charge setting. Most chargers have this feature but in the event it's not been configured, get a professional to charge the battery.
• Never charge a dead battery with a car's alternator. An alternator is not designed to function as a charger; doing so may result in battery damage or shortened life.