How to Maintain Your Car’s Battery and Extend Its Life

How to Maintain Your Car’s Battery

It’s not uncommon to neglect your car’s battery. The battery may be buried under other engine parts or located in an awkward position, making it difficult to see or access. But with proper maintenance, your battery can last for years even if you use your car frequently and drive long distances. Maintaining a good battery is important because it provides power for the electrical components of your vehicle, including lights and ignition system starters. It also impacts how well these items work. If you want to know how often you should check the battery and what else is involved in keeping it healthy, read on!

Check and Add Dampening Fluid

To check the level of your battery’s dampening fluid, first, use a flashlight to shine on the battery terminals. If you can see any moisture or white residue, then it is time to add distilled water.

To do this, remove one cell cap from each terminal by turning it counterclockwise with a wrench. Pour in just enough distilled water until all cells are full and then replace all four caps before tightening them securely with your hands or wrench again. Then check again at least once every two months, and more frequently if you live in an area where temperatures fluctuate widely during winter months. To make sure that there isn’t too much or too little dampening fluid in your car’s battery compartment, add or remove it accordingly if necessary.

Test a Battery Charger Often

To test a battery charger, connect the clamps to your car’s battery terminals. Then turn on the charger and wait for it to start charging your car’s battery. If you notice that there is no power going into or coming out of the clamps, then there is likely something wrong with your charger.

If this happens, don’t worry, you still have options! You can try replacing parts of your charger (such as its wiring or fuse) or take it back to where you bought it from so they can look at it further. If neither option works out for whatever reason. Additionally, since we’re talking about how to maintain a car battery, then consider buying another 12v battery charger instead.

Check the Battery Cables

Corrosion can occur when a battery is exposed to moisture or saltwater, and it’s common in areas where the climate is humid. The most common symptom of corrosion on a car’s battery is a white crusty substance around the terminals. If you see any signs of corrosion, clean it off with an abrasive pad like sandpaper or steel wool (don’t use regular household cleaners).

You also need to check the cables for cracks in insulation or damage from contact with sharp edges or rough surfaces while moving your vehicle around on its wheels. This includes parking curbs and driveways. If there are any signs of wear along these lines, replace them immediately because they’ll only get worse over time until eventually causing an electrical short circuit when connected together inside your car’s engine compartment. For BMW owners, it is advisable to replace any worn-out or damaged battery cables with genuine BMW parts to ensure optimal performance and longevity of the battery and the vehicle’s electrical system.

Inspect all connections between individual components within this system: namely between each component itself as well as between said components and their respective power source (i.e., another piece of machinery elsewhere within the same vehicle). You should ensure tightness by gently pulling up slightly at first and then checking whether anything moves back down after releasing pressure.

Clean the Battery Terminals

The terminals of your car’s battery are a good place to start when you’re trying to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. When they’re dirty or corroded, they can cause problems with the electrical systems in your car. Luckily, there are several ways that you can clean them out so they’re working properly again.

To use a wire brush on them (or any other kind of stiff-bristled brush), hold one end of the terminal steady with one hand while scrubbing at it with the other hand’s index finger or thumb. You should be able to see the dirt coming off as soon as you start cleaning, If this doesn’t work well enough for some reason, try using an automotive terminal cleaner instead. And simply pour some onto each terminal and let it sit for about 10 minutes before wiping away any remaining corrosion with a rag.

Check the Exterior of the Battery

Once you’ve opened the hood, take a look at the battery’s cables and terminals. The cables should be clean and dry, with no signs of corrosion or damage. If you find any corrosion, it’s time to clean them off with a wire brush and apply some grease or petroleum jelly on them so they don’t corrode again.

Checking your battery terminals is also an important part of maintaining your car’s battery life because if there are cracks in these parts, then water could leak into them and damage your car’s electrical system.

If you notice any cracks or leaks anywhere on the exterior of your car’s battery case (where you connect its cables), then it means that there might be some internal problems as well. Those need immediate attention from professionals before they become worse than they already are.

Use a Voltage Meter to Check the Condition of a Car Battery

If you’re not familiar with using a multimeter, it’s a device that measures voltage, current and resistance. You can use one to check the condition of your car battery and determine whether or not it’s time for a replacement.

You should start by measuring the voltage drop across all of your battery terminals–that is to say, measuring how much voltage is lost when electricity passes through them. You’ll want to do this with everything connected (i.e., cables attached) so that you get an accurate reading that includes any losses due to contact resistance between parts inside or outside of your car (such as corrosion). If all readings fall within 1% of their rated values (the nominal value specified by manufacturers), then proceed with testing other components in isolation before checking again as part of a complete system test outlined below.


In your car, the battery is the heart of the system. It gives power to all of your vehicle’s electrical components and provides enough power for starting it up when you turn the key in the ignition. Without this vital component, your car would be useless which means that keeping it in good working condition is crucial if you want to avoid being stranded on the side of the road when something goes wrong.

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Article Author Details

Patrick Watt

Patrick Watt is a content writer, writing in several areas, primarily in business growth, value creation, M&A, and finance. Other interests also include content marketing and self-development.