Summer is the perfect time to hit the road on adventures but a bad battery can really mess up plans. As the temperature rises, your vehicle’s battery strength decreases. Excessive heat can corrode your battery by evaporating the water from your battery fluid and destroying its internal grid. Be ready for whatever the summer has in store for you by taking care of your battery with these simple tips.
1. Always wear protective eyewear when working on your battery. I once had the misfortune of having a car battery tip while waiting on my passenger floorboard to be installed. The battery was only left prone for about twenty minutes, but the leaking acid destroyed my carpeting as well as my bag and jeans. Imagine what the acid would do your skin or eyes!
2. Visually inspect your battery. Is the case leaking, bulging or cracked? If you battery exhibits any of these symptoms, replace it as soon as possible. Being proactive will save you the disservice of lamenting your procrastination while stranded. Are the connections clean and free of corrosion? If so, clean them using a scouring pad or brass brush. Always brush the corrosion away from you. It can still burn you. If you’re unsure how to properly handle or care for your battery, take your vehicle to a Auto Repair Specialist in the Vacaville area.
3. Some batteries have removable filler caps. If yours does, open the caps and check the internal water level. Excessive heat can cause this water to evaporate. You want the plate inside your battery to be covered by fluid. Exposed plates can lead to sulfation and a possible internal battery explosion. If you plates are exposed, add bottled distilled water (only when the vehicle is cool). Avoid overfilling. Too much water can expand and overflow, leaking the corrosive fluid into your engine bay.
4. Have your battery and electrical system checked every 3-6 months by a ASE certified Vacaville Mechanic.
5. Always dispose of your used battery properly. No, it can’t go in your trash can. That’s illegal. Plus, you definitely don’t want your garage man picking up your trash only to have the bottom rip out of the bag from the leaking acid. Battery acid is just as harmful to the environment as to you. Your old battery should be recycled. Your local ASE certified Mechanic conveniently located in Vacaville can dispose of your battery properly and install your new one for you. Many new vehicles have complex computer systems that can malfunction from incorrectly installed batteries. When in doubt, consult an expert!
Your battery is a crucial component of your vehicle. You rely on it to get you around so invest the time and money into ensuring proper function. Your proactive maintenance will keep you moving down the road to wherever your summer takes you.