Batteries are a huge part of modern life in Medina, Ohio. I mean, how many battery chargers do you have?
Of course, our purpose here is to talk about your car battery. When people come into our Medina, Ohio service center and need a new battery, they’re really not that happy about having to spend the money. But the fact is that 70 percent of batteries don’t make it for 4 years.
There are some things that you can do to extend the life of your battery. First, keep it clean. If you see it getting dirty or greasy, let us know at Medina, Ohio and we can clean it off.
A dirty battery runs hotter and that shortens its life. If your battery terminals are corroded, let us take a look at that too. We can clean them, and if the corrosion has gotten into the battery cables, we can replace them.
Also running your battery way down is bad for it: Things like running the headlights or watching a DVD player with the car turned off can deeply deplete your battery. The typical battery can only take about 10 of those deep cycle depletions before it gives up the ghost.
Because we often take short trips around Medina with lots of stops for errands, our batteries can end up not getting fully recharged just by driving around. That also shortens battery life. You can hook up a good quality automatic battery charger at home from time to time. We recommend charging once a month during hot months and every three months during cold months.
Now when it’s finally time to get a new battery, we can help you find the right replacement. We’ll always make sure to meet your manufacturer’s recommendations
Even if you have the most meticulously maintained vehicle on the road, without a well maintained battery, your vehicle may not start or even allow you access to the vehicle. From power door locks to auto start systems, today’s vehicles rely on correct voltage and clean connections to allow today’s technology dependent vehicles to perform and take you to your destination.
Your car’s electrical system powers everything from the ignition and fuel systems to accessories such as your radio, headlights and wipers. The electrical system is, in turn, powered by the engine. The following is a brief overview of the electrical system that makes transportation possible:
You’re in luck — car battery maintenance is one of the easier types of DIY work you’ll encounter with an automobile. While some modern battery designs are called maintenance-free, this really only means they don’t have to be filled with water like the maintenance accessible designs used in the past. You still have to keep up with the proper storage, cleanliness and inspection cycle on a maintenance-free design as you would with any other battery, so it helps to know what to watch out for.
1. Keep Terminals Clean
Corrosion on battery terminals can be caused by many things, for example, exposure to salt in the air from the ocean or spray from winter roads, gases that are naturally vented by certain types of batteries and hard use or repeated jump-starting. If you see corrosion on your battery terminals, use a wire brush to clean it off completely, thus preserving a strong connection between your cables and the battery.
2. Keep an Eye on Voltage
A battery that’s having trouble keeping a charge, or isn’t charging as strong as it used to, is a sign that it could be on its way out. It could also be an indication that there’s a problem with your alternator that you need to deal with before it damages your battery. Keep an eye on your car’s voltage needle and note any unusual behavior. If your vehicle doesn’t come with this gauge, use a multi-meter every month or two to check the charging voltage right at the terminals.
3. Watch for Warning Signs
Batteries can become damaged in any number of ways. If you see any leaks, cracks or deformation of the battery case, it’s time to replace it. Give the terminals a good cleaning. Look for damaged, loose or corroded terminals. A damaged battery, in a worst case scenario, can build up or leak hydrogen gas (a by-product of the chemical reaction inside) that if exposed to a spark when charging, jump-starting or even turning the key in your ignition, can explode and cause injury.
4. Store Batteries Properly
Proper car battery maintenance also means storing a battery properly if it’s outside of the vehicle. The best environment is room temperature in a well-ventilated room. You want to make sure that there’s no chance any gases expelled by the battery can build up in an enclosed space. You may also want to leave the battery on a trickle charge — using a “smart” charger. If it’s going to be stored for a long period in colder temperatures, its best to keep it fully charged
Follow these battery maintenance tips and you may be able to avoid seeing those jumper cables.
For more information on car battery maintenance, contact Herold Family Auto & Tire Center of Medina, Ohio at (330)725-2828
To safely jump start, follow these steps:
1. Take out your jumper cables. It’s a good idea to buy a set of jumper cables and keep them in the trunk compartment. If you don’t have jumper cables, you’ll have to find a Good Samaritan who not only is willing to assist you but has jumper cables as well.
2. Place both cars in Park or Neutral, with their ignitions shut off and their emergency brakes on.
3. Connect the cables. The positive cable has red clips (+) at either end, and the negative cable has black clips (-). It’s important to attach them in the following proper order:
1. First, attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery (it has “POS” or “+” on it.
2. Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the Good Samaritan’s car.
3. Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on the Good Samaritan’s battery.
4. Attach the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the carburetor (if your car has one) or battery.
Figure 1 shows how both the positive and negative cables should be connected.
Figure 1: Make sure to connect jumper cables in the proper order.
5. Try to start your vehicle (Do not have the Good Samaritan’s car running. If your car has electrical issues it could damage their car as well). If it won’t start, make sure that the cables are properly connected. Then try to start your car again. If it still won’t start, your battery may be beyond help.
6. Disconnect the cables, thank the Good Samaritan, and resume your life.
Don’t shut off your engine; drive around for a while to recharge your battery.