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Care and maintenance of car battery

Cells and batteries require care and maintenance and dead batteries are a common cause of equipment failure which failure could have serious results. Therefore batteries must be treated properly and examined regularly to reduce the chances of this happening. Now batteries are supplied with the plates already formed i.e. with the positive plates consisting of brown lead peroxide and negative plates of gray spongy lead but the electrolyte must be added. This is obtained by mixing Sulphuric acid with about four times its bulk of distilled water great heat is developed during mixing which must be done gradually and carefully. The following point must be remembered when dealing with the car batteries:

Do not keep your car idle: Idleness of car for long time is a great cause of car battery damage. If you run your car every day or drive it with a schedule time what will increase the life of your car battery. Lead sulphate will be grown and it will come into hard on battery terminal and white crystal will be formed which is known as sulphation due to long period idleness of car. This sulphation closes the porous in the active material and destroys the plates.

Battery electrolyte level: Always keep close look on battery electrolyte level which should be hardly maintained within limit. It should be maintained at 3/8” above the protectors on the top of separators, otherwise plates would be exposed to air and cause rapid sulphation. Regular checking of the electrolyte level must be done and if low, should be adjusted with distilled water. Car battery electrolyte level check must be included with your regular check list.

Future of Sulfated Car Battery: A sulfated battery may be damaged beyond repair when placed on charge. This is due to some of lead or lead peroxide is dissolved from the plates in small particulars and drops to the bottom, as sediment. This material is lost forever for active use.

Clean Corrosion: A greenish deposit of copper salts (corrosion) forms in the terminals and connectors, caused by spilled electrolyte or seepage through the terminals post seals. It should be scraped off with a dull knife or removed with a stiff fiber brush. The corroded area should be washed with bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and water to neutralize any remaining electrolyte. (If baking soda enters into electrolyte, due to chemical action it will decrease the efficiency of battery and even it may damage your battery. So during cleaning keep the battery cap closed which will prevent your battery from entering baking soda.) These areas should be coated with a thin film of grease or rust preventive compound to prevent corrosion.

Cold Weather Car Operation: The freezing point of the electrolyte of car battery depends on its specific gravity, if the specific gravity drops, the freezing point will be raised. If a car battery freezes, the active material is force from the plates and if extensive, the plates will buckle and separators will break. Therefore, for cold weather operation the battery should be kept as near to its full charge.

Cleaning Car Battery: If your car battery needs to be charged. Before putting the battery on charge, wash the battery thoroughly with water. Use a solution of bi-carbonate of soda to remove any corrosive effect of spilled electrolyte, making sure no soda solution enters the cells.

Do not Over Charge the Battery: Over charging or charging at higher rate to lead acid batteries, also damages the plates and causes internal short circuit due to the buckling of plates. So always charge the battery according to the specified rate of a particular battery.