Dead batteries can lead to a lot of problems on the road, including possible auto accidents. But trying to maintain your battery or jumpstart a dead one can also lead to problems, if you don’t practice car battery safety.
Here’s what you need to know.
Car Battery Maintenance
Car batteries aren’t a high-maintenance part of car ownership. Typically, you’ll only really think about it when you need to get a new one. But to make your car battery last as long as possible, there is one maintenance trick you’ll want to know — how to clean your battery.
Grab your gloves, goggles, wire brush, baking soda, and water. The baking soda and water will help you clean off the posts and casing and get the corrosion off. To be as safe as possible, disconnect the cables before you start cleaning. When you’re done, you can apply petroleum jelly to the posts and clamps to prevent corrosion in the future.
Keeping Your Battery Charged
No one wants a dead battery. Once you’ve cleaned off the corrosion and reconnected the cables, you want your car to keep running for a while. The easiest way to charge your car battery is to drive your car consistently. When your car sits for too long, the battery can die.
You probably know that leaving your headlights on or your interior lights on for too long will drain your battery. But you might not realize that extreme temperatures — really hot summers and extremely cold winters — can also kill your battery, too.
Jumpstarting a Car Battery
You’ve maintained your battery, and you’ve tried to keep it charged, but the inevitable will happen eventually — your battery will die. You need to jumpstart it, either with a car battery self jumper or with someone’s cables. This is where safety is even more important than ever. You’re actively hooking cables up to something with a lot of power. Doing this wrong could lead to damage, injuries, and even explosions.
- Turn off the car and unplug all of your accessories before giving or getting a jumpstart.
- Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from errant sparks.
- Check that the battery voltages match from one car to the other. They should because most batteries are 12 volts, but you always want to check first.
- In cold weather, make sure the battery fluids aren’t frozen. If they are, jumpstarting the battery could cause an explosion.
- Never connect the black cable to the negative terminal. This can also lead to a potential explosion.
Taking care of your vehicle and being safe when working on it will help your vehicle last and keep you safe. Making sure you have a good auto insurance policy will protect you when you get into an accident, regardless of who’s at fault. Need a new policy or want to make sure you’re paying the best price for auto insurance? Contact Charlotte Insurance today.