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How to Check Your Battery Charge and Clean Your Battery Terminals to Minimise the Risk of Starting Failure

How to Check Your Battery Charge and Clean Your Battery Terminals to Minimise the Risk of Starting Failure


Don't Let Your Battery Leave You Stranded

Imagine this: it's a cold winter morning, you're late for work, and you hop in your car only to find that it won't start. According to some Roadside Assistant sourcesthe battery fails to increase by 50% during winter, leaving countless people stranded and frustrated. Don't let this happen to you! In this blog post, we'll show you how to check your battery charge and clean your battery terminals to minimise the risk of starting failure.

Why You Should Care About Your Battery

Your battery is essential for delivering the initial charge needed to kick in your starter motor. Meanwhile, your alternator is designed to recharge your battery while the engine is running. If your vehicle is getting harder to start or your battery is showing signs of failure, age or wear, it's best to get it checked by a professional and ask them to ensure your alternator is functioning correctly as well.

How to Check Your Battery Charge

  1. First, ensure your vehicle is turned off and parked on a level surface.
  2. Locate your battery, which is typically found in the engine compartment or under the rear seat in some vehicles.
  3. Check the battery's voltage using a multimeter. A fully charged battery should read 12.6 volts or higher. If the voltage is lower, you may need to charge or replace your battery.
  4. Inspect the battery for any signs of physical damage, leaks, or corrosion. If you notice any issues, consult a professional for further evaluation and potential replacement.

How to Clean Your Battery Terminals

Cleaning your battery terminals can improve the connection between your battery and your vehicle's electrical system, reducing the risk of starting failure.

  1. Remove any debris or dirt from the battery terminals using a soft brush or cloth.
  2. Mix a solution of baking soda and water, then apply it to the terminals using a toothbrush or small brush. This will help neutralise any corrosion.
  3. Rinse the terminals with clean water and dry them thoroughly using a clean cloth.
  4. Apply a thin layer of dielectric grease or petroleum jelly to the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
  5. Reconnect the battery cables, ensuring the connections are tight and secure.

When to Call a Professional

If your vehicle continues to have trouble starting, it's time to call a professional for assistance. Most roadside assistance services can check your battery and alternator while they're there getting you going again. Just be prepared for the possibility of purchasing a new battery, as statistically, you have a 50/50 chance of needing one.

Conclusion: Be Prepared and Stay Safe

In conclusion, checking your battery charge and cleaning your battery terminals are simple yet essential maintenance tasks that can help prevent starting failure and keep you safe on the road. Don't get caught out in the cold – take the time to ensure your battery is in top condition, and you'll have peace of mind knowing you're prepared for any situation.

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