How to Look after Your Car Battery – and What to Do If It Fails

Hello, my name is Graham and this is my auto blog. On this blog, I would like to concentrate on the different parts of vehicles. I will also offer advice about the best way to purchase, install and maintain a range of auto parts. I am not a professional auto mechanic but over the years, I have learnt an awful lot about this topic. My dad used to be an auto mechanic so I grew up hanging around his auto workshop, listening to him explain things as he worked on different cars. I hope you find my blog useful and entertaining.

How to Look after Your Car Battery – and What to Do If It Fails

8 November 2019
 Categories: , Blog

Your car may be fitted with tens of thousands of individual parts, but not all of these can be regarded as "critical" to its operation. For example, the interior light bulb may fail or an individual fuse may blow, but you will still be able to drive the car from point to point. However, certain components will definitely leave you stranded by the side of the road should they decide to give up the ghost, and the humble battery is at the top of that list. Why should you pay close attention to its upkeep, and what should you do if it fails?

Passage of Time

Many of the components fitted to your car are designed to deteriorate as time goes by. The battery is one of these parts, and while it is certainly designed to last for a reasonable amount of time and give you fair value for your money, it will eventually need to be changed.

Not Maintenance Free

Some batteries are marked as "maintenance-free" and may feature the latest technology, but you still need to ensure that they are in good condition and inspect the casing and connections from time to time. If you notice any corrosion around the cables or terminals, then you should clean this off carefully with a wire brush and apply some petroleum jelly to help maintain the flow.

Best Strategy

Be careful to ensure that you do not drain the battery by leaving some of those energy hogging components on inadvertently. If you do happen to leave the lights on and find that the battery has drained down close to zero, then you will need to connect it to a charger and set it to "trickle charge" overnight. If you don't, you may have seriously depleted its capacity, and it may be more vulnerable to failure from then on.

Proactive Replacement

At the first signs of trouble, you should replace the battery, especially if you have owned it for some time. For example, if you find it difficult to crank the car in the morning and this pattern repeats itself for several days, do something about this now before it fails altogether.

Emergency Assistance

However, all of this may be good advice in retrospect, but you now find that you are stranded by the side of the road with a dead battery. If it is simply not practical to get somebody else to help you with a jumpstart, or you do not feel safe in doing so, then you need to call for assistance.

Looking to the Future

Once the 24/7 emergency breakdown assistance company has helped you get back to civilisation once again, make sure that you buy the best quality replacement battery that you can find.