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Crusty battery hold-downCaring for car batteries is simple & easy.


Informative story with basic battery care tips.


Car care tips on when, where, why, what & how to do car maintenance.

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Hosh eased the car into their driveway and parked properly.

“Great parking!” Rosh complimented him. Hosh beamed.

“Let me give you some basic tips about car batteries now," Rosh continued. "Caring for car batteries is simple and easy."

"A car battery deteriorates slowly. When it's about to fail, warning signs generally begin to appear. Be alert to those early warning signals.”

“A common sign of a weak battery is a slow cranking or grinding noise coming from the motor when you start the car. If this happens, get your battery checked up.”

“They’ll do a battery test, and tell you if your battery needs to be replaced. Sometimes a faulty alternator is the cause of this noise or a broken belt, but other times you will find that your battery has become so weak that it has lost its capacity to hold a charge. If so, this battery must be replaced.”

“So, first hints of a battery problem usually appear during the starting process. If the car battery is too weak to provide sufficient voltage to the starter, you'll hear a distinctive clicking sound and the engine won't crank over. This clicking indicates that the battery is not fully charged.”

“Keep a note of the age of your battery. Older car batteries are less likely to start your car in winter. Batteries easily last for three years, but you can do some little things that can make them last longer.”

“For instance, regularly check your battery terminals and electrical connections to them. What are you looking for? Loose connections, dirt or corrosion.”

“Battery terminals and cable connections need to stay clean and tight, to enable proper current flow. Also make sure the battery is not loose.”

“Vibration can cause damage to battery case and plates. Ensure terminals are cleaned regularly using water and a wire brush.”

“Corrosion at the battery terminals can prevent a car from starting, by adding electrical resistance. So, it is important to clean them periodically.”

“It is best to wear good protective gear (gloves and eye protection) as the white powder on terminals is lead sulphate. This is toxic if inhaled, ingested or comes into contact with your skin.”

“It is also good practice to keep batteries clean and dry. A dirty battery surface can lead to a discharge and corrosion. It is important to avoid spilling oil or grease onto the top of the battery.”

“You can also protect the life of your battery by keeping your battery water level always topped up. Doing this is no longer possible in some modern batteries, because they come sealed and their seals can’t be opened.”

“But if you have a 'Standard' or 'Low Maintenance' battery, you should remove the filter caps and check the water or acid level in them every month.”

“If you see the acid levels down inside these batteries, top them up with distilled or boiled water to just cover the plates inside. Don't overfill and mop up any spillage. In New Zealand, you can also top them up with tap water, as our tap water is reasonably pure.”

“Batteries contain sulphuric acid. So, make sure no part of your body or anything damageable comes into contact with the acid. If this happens, use large amounts of water to neutralize and flush the acid away.”

“For the same reasons, keep children away from batteries.”

“Keep your battery charged, by taking your car for at least a weekly drive. Under-charged or under-used batteries slowly go flat over time. This reduces the life of your battery.”

“Do not place metallic objects on top of the battery as this may cause the battery to short. Also, keep flames and sparks away from batteries as they contain hydrogen gas and may catch fire or explode.”

“Batteries are heavy, so use correct lifting procedures. If the battery has one, use its carry handle to move the battery.”

“No one likes getting up on a cold frosty morning, least of all your car. Starting your car in the cold may cause it to suffer from hard starting and excessive cranking.”

“This can have a huge effect on the motor and electrical system. The best way to avoid your car not starting in the morning, is to keep it in the garage. This will protect it from the cold.”

“It is amazing how much time and money you can save, just by doing these little things. It takes a little time every so often, but for me, it’s been well worth it.”

“Taking precautions reduces risk, but you cannot eliminate risk. So, when disaster does strike, like punctures, flat batteries or keys locked inside the car, I use my AA driver insurance. They come and jump start flat batteries, repair punctures or open locked cars, anywhere in New Zealand.”

Next Story: Check Your Engine Oil

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