The battery is an integral part of your car, truck or SUV. It’s the thing that gets it up and going. It relies on a chemical reaction to create the current necessary for your starter motor to get the engine going. Without the battery, you would have to work a whole lot harder in order to get that engine going every morning before work.
Maintaining Your Battery
Keeping your battery in good shape is simple to do, and it’s important to make sure that you get the full life out of it. You can expect to get between 3 and 7 years out of a typical battery, with the more expensive options lasting near the top of the range, and the cheap batteries hovering down at the bottom, but proper maintenance helps ensure that you’re closer to the top end.
There are really only two things you have to do to keep your battery in good shape. The first is drive your vehicle around for about an hour at least once every three weeks. Doing so will keep the battery at a full charge and prevents premature aging from a low charge.
The second thing that you need to do is keep the battery posts clean and coated in lithium grease. These two steps will prevent corrosion from occurring. You can clean the posts using a wire brush whenever you notice rust, and finish your cleaning by applying a bit of grease.
Charging it Up
Sometimes your battery is going to die, it’s inevitable. Maybe someone left the radio on or perhaps the headlights. Whatever the reason, it’s common for you to run into a dead battery eventually. When this happens, there are a few ways to get enough juice into your battery to start the vehicle so it can charge properly using the alternator.
The first and most common way is through a jump start from another vehicle. This works quickly by pulling the power from another battery. Another method is to attach the battery to a charger.
Change Out the Battery
Eventually, even the best battery is going to fail, and when that happens, it’s up to you to replace it with a new one. To remove the battery, disconnect both wires from the battery and unhook any harness that is holding the battery in place.
When you’ve got it disconnected, lift the battery up and out of your vehicle and set it off to the side to be recycled later. Make sure that you are wearing gloves during this process to protect your skin from any leaked battery acid.
Purchase a comparable battery at the auto store, and slip it into the battery holder under the hood of your vehicle. Lock it down using the harness included. Grease the terminals of the battery to protect it against future corrosion. Finish the installation by locking both of the wires onto the battery in their proper positions, being sure to tighten them snugly. Now test out your vehicle to be sure that it starts up properly. Congratulations, you’ve just changed your battery successfully!
Taking care of your vehicle’s battery is the best way to ensure that you don’t get stuck somewhere because you lose a charge. Proper maintenance will also prevent the premature death of your battery. Batteries aren't cheap!. Take care of your battery and it will take care of you.