How to Maintain, Diagnose, and Replace Car Batteries

Batteries are designed with a specific life-span and their performance will decline after this time, requiring they be refurbished or replaced. Car batteries appear to be taking the brunt of the demands from all the impressive advances made in the car industry. Many auto accessories, aftermarket car parts, and high tech car stereos use large amounts of electricity which strains the battery.

There are steps you can take to extend the life of your battery so that it will not need to be replaced as frequently. Wash the terminals often to ensure they don’t corrode and cause problems with the electrical current. Try using pressurized water, like a hose, and a wire brush for the best results. Also, you may want to purchase a can of foam battery cleaner at your local parts store to help loosen any stuck on dirt.

Often there will be signs that the battery is beginning to wear out. Maybe the car doesn’t start right away as it once used to, or it needs a jump when sitting idle for just a few days. When you start noticing such signs, check first to make sure the cables are still secure and have not come loose from the battery. The needless shaking in car batteries may cause cells to deteriorate, which has the effect of diminishing the operating life of your battery.

If your battery is truly dead and can’t be revived, you will need to go to an auto parts store for a replacement battery. If you don’t know the battery type your car requires, there are several ways to find out. All batteries should have a “group size” number on printed on them to help with replacement. But if not, your auto parts store will have a manual where you can look up the correct battery type for your car by vehicle make and model.

If you need assistance with the installation of the battery, do not hesitate to ask an employee for help. The people that work in these stores are experts in car repairs and will be happy to assist you. However, some auto parts stores charge a fee for this service, so be sure to ask prior to the installation of your new car battery.