Keeping your car battery in great condition

27th December 2013

It can be easy to forget about your car battery and instead focus your maintenance attention on the tyres, air conditioning and various fluids that need to be added to your vehicle.

But, the battery is a crucial element of any vehicle and if you fail to take good care of it, you may find yourself stranded at the side of the road or having to call work and explain that you won't be there on time.

So, how do you keep your battery in tip top condition?

Keep it clean

Making sure the components under your bonnet are clean and free of debris and grease is important. Car batteries will offer improved performance if the terminals are kept clean and tidy.

Scraping away any build-up or corrosion that develops on the connections will ensure that the battery continues to work at its optimum levels. The build-up can prevent the current from flowing correctly from the battery, so you may find that certain elements of the vehicle do not work correctly.

It is possible to remove the build-up with a screwdriver or pliers, but if it has become too serious, it may be worth consulting a professional or even thinking about a new battery, which you can keep clean in the future.

Keep it warm and dry

Everyone likes being warm and dry in the cold and wet months of the year, and a car battery is no different. Some cars have enough room under the bonnet for an insulation cover for the battery and if this is the case, you should consider adding one.

The addition of this cover can also keep the battery cool in the hotter months, so you'll find that your battery has a longer life than those without a protective cover.

Give the battery a rest

A car battery can benefit from a little rest and recuperation, just like drivers, so if you are going away for a few weeks or don't need the car for a little while, consider disconnecting the battery during that period.

This will mean its energy is not draining away and will add a little extra to the lifespan of the battery.

Avoid short journeys

Car batteries are pushed to their limit by short journeys, particularly in the colder months of the year. Starting the car puts stress on the battery, so limiting short journeys will really help keep the component in tip top condition.

So, if you're just popping to the local shop for a pint of milk, think about walking or taking your bike. It'll give you a little bit of exercise and avoid unnecessary strain on your battery.

All in all, this simple maintenance routine will extend the life of your battery and reduce the likelihood of a breakdown or your car not starting.

Posted by Danielle Barge