Car Battery Maintenance

Know your battery

A car battery has three important inscriptions:

The voltage: modern cars all use 12 volt batteries
The amperage: symbolized by an “A”, it indicates the maximum intensity available to the starter. Basically, the higher the amps are, the better the battery.
The ampere-hour (“Ah”) indicates the capacity of the battery to hold the charge over time, that is, the amount of energy it can give for a period of 20 hours .
Maintaining your battery

Checking levels

 

A battery contains a liquid, composed of water and sulfuric acid, called electrolyte. The lower the level of this liquid, the more your battery will show signs of weakness. If it is equipped with filling holes, you can check the level by removing the plugs or the closing bar. The liquid must cover all parts of the battery, namely 1 to 1.5 cm lead plates. Make-up can only be done with distilled or demineralised water. Never use special sulfuric acid battery: it is used only to fill new batteries, which are delivered dry.
You should also be aware that there is no deposition of sulphate on the battery lugs. These deposits decrease the intensity and therefore the performance of your car battery. To avoid them, rub the lugs regularly with a wire brush. If this is not enough, you can also use special washers, which isolate the pins and terminals, to prevent sulphate formation.

car battery maintenance

Image courtesy of Findadviser

Finally, a battery problem is sometimes due to an alternator problem. This will recharge your battery when your vehicle engine is running. If your alternator is failing, then your battery does not recharge anymore, and that’s the failure!

To check this, use a voltmeter and measure the voltage at the battery terminals. If all goes well, on a cold engine the battery must indicate a voltage between 12.5 and 12.7 V. Below, it is flat.

If you perform this check while the engine is running, the alternator should display a voltage between 14 and 14.7 V. Below, the alternator does not charge your battery, while on top of it Load too.
You are finally out of battery? No worries, we explain how to restart your vehicle, step by step.

Tutorial
Tools to be provided

Battery cable
A second car (in working order, of course)

Method

Plug the clamp into the + terminal of the second car battery.
Connect the clamp at the other end of the cable to the + terminal on your battery.
Connect the clamp of a second cable to the – battery terminal.
Connect the other end of this second cable to a ground (metallic element of the motor).
Let your battery charge for a few minutes.
Start and take a turn to recharge your battery