The country recently celebrated National Battery Day on February 18. And while observation of this day offers a great opportunity to check your vehicle's battery, car battery maintenance should be ongoing. After all, it's easy to forget about your car's battery if it's working well. However, this critical tool requires proper care in order to function as it should for as long as possible.
Of course, car batteries can only be expected to last for a certain amount of time. But regular maintenance can ensure that they don't die too soon. Also, it's important to keep tabs on the age of your battery because you don't want its expiration date to sneak up on you.
Helpful Car Battery Maintenance Tips
In order to make it easier for drivers to "celebrate" National Battery Day every day, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) has provided a list of "Love Your Car Battery" tips. Where vehicle batteries are concerned, CAA SCO wants to remind motorists to avoid thinking "out of sight, out of mind."
Keeping your car battery in good working order will help to keep yourself and everyone else safer on the road. In addition, not being caught unaware with a faulty battery will save you from finding yourself stranded.
1 - Factors that Can Have a Negative Impact on Your Car Battery
Here are a few things that can damage and shorten the lifespan of your battery.
- Extremely High or Low Temperatures: When the weather is cold, the chemical reaction inside of a battery slows down. Because of this, too much exposure to frigid temps can weaken good batteries and kill weak ones. Conversely, hot weather can cause a battery's acid to evaporate. And if this happens and goes unnoticed until winter, your car may not start on the first cold morning.
- Overcharging and Improper Installation: Charging an older battery is recommended, but you should be careful not to overdo it. If a car battery is overcharged, corrosion can occur, and this causes the battery to deteriorate quickly. Also, if a battery becomes loose or is not installed correctly, it can vibrate. This vibration can lead to heavy internal damage.
2 - Warning Signs of a Weak or Damaged Car Battery
If you notice any of these signs, you should have your battery checked immediately.
- Dim headlights that brighten when the engine is revved
- Sudden stalling
- Slow cranking when the car is started
- A grinding, clicking or buzzing noise when the ignition is on
These symptoms should never be ignored. So, even if your car battery is new, make an appointment with a service centre as soon as you're aware of any of them.
3 - Proper Care and Maintenance for a Brand New Car Battery
Speaking of new batteries, if you've just installed one in your vehicle, now is the time to start a maintenance routine. So, here are a few things that you can do to get the most out of your battery:
- When changing fluids, make sure that the top of the battery stays clean. If fluid drips onto the surface, wipe it away as soon as possible.
- Check the terminals often for dirt or corrosion. Dirt or debris can be safely removed with baking soda and water.
- If terminals have to be disconnected for cleaning, make sure that they are fully dry before reconnecting them.
Finally, when you know that your battery is nearing the end of its three- to five-year lifespan, extra care may be needed. At this point, you should be paying close attention to how your car is performing, especially if the weather is very hot or extra cold. If you're ever in doubt, have your battery checked and possibly replaced.
Financing Assistance for a Safer, More Reliable Car
If replacing your vehicle's battery won't be enough to make it safe to drive, it's probably time to buy a newer, more reliable car. But if your credit is less than perfect, you may not think that financing options are available. However, Canada Auto Loan can help.
If you have poor credit or no credit, we can match you with a local dealership that can work with unique credit situations. You'll find that auto loans are available to buyers with credit issues if you have the right assistance. We can provide this, and our service is free. Contacting us also places you under no obligation, so you have nothing to lose. Go ahead and fill out our simple and secure auto loan request to get started today.