Your car's battery is one of your vehicle's most important components. It's there to keep all the electrical elements, ignition system and other vital parts running. Without a good battery or one that gets drained, you may find yourself stranded.
Here are some tips from San Francisco Automotive Solutions to help you take better care of your car's battery:
1. Turn Your Lights Off!
Most modern vehicles will turn the headlights and interior lights off automatically after the car has been turned off for a few minutes. This is a great innovation. For older cars and those without such technology, you want to avoid leaving your lights, the radio, phone chargers and other electronics on when you are not using the car. Otherwise, the battery will drain and it may not start up without a jump start or recharge.
2. Know When It's Time for a Recharge or a New Battery
If your lights are starting to dim or the ignition seems slow to start, your battery may be losing life. Bring it to a professional to have it recharged or replaced as needed, so you can avoid further problems.
3. Check Your Battery Water Levels (If Applicable)
Learn which terminal is positive and negative, but only disconnect if absolutely necessary (as in when performing self-maintenance) and never cross the connections! For non-maintenance-free-wet-cell batteries, you can check the water level every 2-3 months. Top off only with distilled water if needed. For maintenance-free batteries, have an expert check the level because they rarely need additional water. Never attempt to open AGM batteries. That is dangerous work and is better left to the professionals.
If you do not know what type of battery your vehicle has, then you'll probably want to take it to someone who does. Personal safety should always be a primary concern when dealing with electricity. Hybrid and electric vehicles have extremely complicated battery systems, so don't mess with those unless you really know what you are doing.
4. Look for Corrosion
If there is a lot of corrosion around either or both of the connection terminals, you will want that cleaned and checked out as soon as possible. It is not good for the battery and can be a sign of a bigger problem.
5. Get Your Battery Inspected Regularly
Whenever you bring your car in for maintenance or repairs, request a battery test and the mechanics can tell you if it is in good shape or not.
For all your battery testing, repair, cleaning and replacement needs, count on the auto repair professionals at San Francisco Automotive Solutions (formerly All American Automotive) in the heart of the SoMa District. Call us today at (415) 523-0515 or schedule a service appointment online.