How to Properly Check & Maintain Car Batteries

How to Properly Check & Maintain Car Batteries

Cars are one of the most important aspects of our lives. We use them to get to work, take our kids to school, and run errands. It’s important that we keep them in good condition so they can serve us well. One part of a car that is often overlooked is the battery. A lot of people don’t know how to properly check a car battery, and this could lead to a world of problems. After reading this blog, we hope you won’t be one of those people but instead a help to them. Keep reading to get an understanding of how to properly check your car battery and maintain it so it lasts for years.

Let’s first start off with the basics and answer a question some of you may be thinking…

What Is a Battery and What Is it Made Out Of?

A battery is made up of two terminals, positive and negative, that are surrounded by an electrolyte. This combination creates a chemical reaction that produces electrons. These electrons are what provide power to your car.  Batteries in an analogy is equivalent to a water tank. It stores electrons like how a water tank stores water. The car’s alternator is like a pump that takes water out of the tank and uses it to power the car, and then recharges the battery with any extra power that the car doesn’t use.

How to Properly Check a Car Battery

To check your car battery, the first thing you will need is a voltmeter. A voltmeter is an instrument that measures the potential difference in electric potential between two points in an electric circuit. You can buy a voltmeter at any auto parts store.

To use the voltmeter, first, make sure that your car is turned off and the keys are out of the ignition. Next, be sure to set the voltmeter to the correct setting (this setting is usually labeled “DC volts” or “V”). Once the voltmeter is set, touch the positive lead (the red one) to the positive terminal on the battery and touch the negative lead (the black one) to the negative terminal. You should see a reading of 12.65 volts or higher. If you see anything lower than 12, that’s a good indication that your battery needs to be replaced.

One important thing to keep in mind is that car batteries can give off explosive hydrogen gas, so it’s very important that you do not smoke or have any open flames near the battery while you are testing it. Also, be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when working with batteries, as the acid inside them could lead to some issues you don’t want to deal with.

Now, after learning all about how to check the battery and the concept of its importance, you’re probably left with one last question…

How Do I Keep My Car Battery in Good Working Condition?

Simple answer:

  •  It’s important to keep the terminals clean (you can use a wire brush for this)
  •  It’s also important to make sure the battery is securely fastened in its compartment and that there is no chance of it coming loose and causing an accident. 
  • Be sure to check your battery regularly, as this can help extend its life and assure your safety while driving. 
  • Lastly, keeping the battery free of erosion is always a good idea as well.

Now that you know how to properly check a car battery and keep it in good working condition, it’s time to get out there and do it!

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