Autumn is a great time to perform routine car maintenance. After all, your car worked hard all summer long, often in record-breaking temperatures. A battery inspection will determine if your car battery can be successfully recharged or if it is time to replace it. In addition, a battery service can clean the battery terminals and cables of rust & corrosion, improving the battery’s performance and lifespan. Finally, the electrolyte level inside the battery can be checked and refilled with distilled water if necessary.
Car Battery Life
Generally speaking, a car battery can last up to 7 years, with proper care and maintenance. Car batteries often die once the weather gets cold. Hot summer temperatures can weaken car battery life. As their charge gets low, car batteries lose their ability to provide enough electrical energy to start the engine. Several factors may impact battery performance. Improper maintenance, extreme weather, and frequent short trips can all contribute to shorter battery life. Here are a few simple ways to prolong the life of your car battery:
- Drive for 20 minutes (or more) without turning off the engine, at least once a week.
- Turn off and unplug electronic devices (including phone charges, etc.) before turning off the engine.
- Double-check that the headlights and interior cabin lights are off before exiting the car.
- Test your car battery every six months and recharge if the voltage is less than 12.6 volts.
Car Battery Maintenance
Battery terminals are the lead posts commonly found on the top of the 12-volt battery case in the engine compartment of your car. A few manufacturers use batteries with battery terminals located on the side of the battery case. These posts can accumulate scale and rust, which are both forms of corrosion. Excess corrosion can cause performance issues with your battery and needs to be cleaned regularly. Apply a simple solution of baking soda and water to the terminals and lightly scrub with a brush. Perform this process until the corrosion is entirely removed, then thoroughly rinse the posts with cool water.
Battery cables attach to the battery terminals and transfer the electric energy stored in the battery to the necessary components to start the engine and power various electric devices within the car. The cables should be securely attached to the terminals. Clean any corrosion on the cable connectors as outlined above.
A car battery is known as a wet cell battery. There are six cells within the outer shell, composed of lead plates and filled with an electrolyte solution of sulfuric acid. In many batteries, the electrolyte level can be monitored and serviced when it becomes low. If the electrolyte solution becomes too low, the battery cannot hold a sufficient charge to operate. If your car comes equipped with a ‘no maintenance’ battery, there is no option to add more distilled water when the electrolyte levels get low. In this case, closely monitor your battery and recharge it when it falls below the required 12.6 volts.
Castrol Express Oil Change in Pomona, CA
Castrol Express Oil Change by Taylor Co in Pomona, CA specializes in an under-20-minute oil change, featuring a digital 20-point inspection for your convenience. We will happily top-off your vehicle’s fluids, check your tire pressure, and do a battery inspection to help prepare your car for autumn.
Schedule Your Car Battery Inspection
Call us (909) 316-6166 or visit us online today to schedule an appointment for your autumn car battery inspection.