Keep batteries topped up
Maintaining a sufficient electrolyte level ensures the electrolyte is neither too high or too low. Use distilled or deionised water and never over fill.
Maintenance free batteries do not require topping up and are fully sealed to resist tampering. Low maintenance batteries require the addition of water only once per year.
Keep batteries clean and dry
Dirt on a battery’s surface leads to discharge and corrosion. Avoid spilling oil or grease onto the top of the battery. To remove dirt or moisture, wash with a solution of bicarbonate of soda and water. Rinse afterwards with clear water. Ensure vent plugs are in place at all times.
Check electrical connections
Make sure battery terminals and cable connections are clean and tight. Coat terminals with Vaseline or petroleum jelly to stop corrosion.
Stop excessive vibration
Vibration reduces the structural integrity of a battery. Ensure battery is correctly and firmly secured.
Overcharging produces rapid deterioration and corrosion which shortens battery life.
A battery needing to be topped up continually with water is a sure sign that the car’s electrical system requires careful checking.
To avoid shorting, metallic objects should not be placed on top of the battery. Batteries contain hydrogen gas and air in a volatile mixture which is easily ignited. Keep flames or sparks away from the battery at all times. Batteries contain sulphuric acid. Never add acid to cells and keep acid away from eyes, skin, clothing or any other material which may become damaged. If contamination occurs, use large amounts of water to neutralise and flush acid away. Batteries are heavy – ensure correct lifting procedures are used when moving batteries.
This article is found in the Virtual mechanic CD Rom
You can download it for the price of a latte, but you will learn not to buy a lemon
By Darren Gow-Brown, Melbourne Australia ©2009