Here’s my top 4 tips for ensuring an optimum life for your battery:
1. Keep it clean and connected!
First, make sure that the top of the battery is dry and clean. Accumulated dirt and grime could cause the car battery to discharge on the casing. Wipe off dirt with a static-free cloth or rag. If you notice any crust, wipe it off with baking soda and water using a wire brush. Next, inspect screws, clamps, cables and terminals for loose connections, damage, scratches, cuts and breakage. Check for corrosion as well and be sure that the connections are tight and clean.
2. Top up the water levels!
Inspect water levels frequently to make sure they cover the top of the battery plates. If needed, top up the plates using bottled water (never use tap water, unclean water or acid!).
3. If you don’t use it, start it or disconnect it!
One of the most common causes for battery failure is when the car hasn’t been started for some time. If you’re not using your car very often then try to start it up or take a short drive for at least 20mins, twice a week. Otherwise if you’re planning to go away without your car you can disconnect the connector from the negative terminal of your battery. This will help prevent a gradual loss of charge from powering the car’s clock and other passive electrical items.
4. And finally, replace it when due!
Batteries need to be changed around every 4 years.