Almost everyone has experienced the frustration of a dead car battery. Even if your car is in otherwise excellent condition, it can’t function without the electrical power that converts chemical energy into enough electricity to ignite the starter. To learn how to keep those connections going strong, follow these simple steps:
Keep Connections Clean
Of course, you can always take your car into a trusted shop for battery service. They’ll check the charge, clean the area, and hand it back as good as new. If you want to do the job yourself, however, it’s not that complicated.
Before you start, gather supplies. You’ll need a wire brush, emery cloth, petroleum jelly, hot water and baking soda. If this task is preventative and there’s no buildup along electrical terminals, you can skip the baking soda solution.
First, take the emery cloth and use it to brighten battery posts. Next, use the wire brush to clear dirt and other debris from the clamp and cup connectors. If you notice powdery buildup along the terminals, the baking soda hot water mixture will get it right off. When finished, simply do a once over the whole area to make sure all residue has been removed.
For the final step, remove connectors and coat them with petroleum jelly before re-fastening them (the thick jelly helps connectivity and inhibits corrosion).
When It’s Not a Battery Issue
If a weak electrical connection persists after a thorough cleaning of the area, it could be another connective issue. The battery transfers energy to other parts through its terminals and cables. If these pathways get dirty, it impedes energy transmission.
To sustain a proper connection, experts recommend having battery accessories (terminals and cables) cleaned regularly, using the same technique outlined above. You should check the bolt or clamp near the battery post and make sure it’s free of dust and corrosion, as well.
Diagnosing the Issue
Since both the battery and its connecting parts can negatively-affect the connection, knowing which one to service is helpful. If you hear nothing or a faint click when starting the ignition, the battery is probably to blame. If you hear a series of small clicks, on the other hand, it’s likely a failed connection.
As one of the most vital components on your vehicle, a battery and its electrical connection must be meticulously maintained. To stay ahead of this area before buildup ruins a connection, consider having the technician do a quick check with each oil change.
For all your vehicle’s maintenance and repair needs, call United Auto Care in Flowery Branch, GA at 770-967-8333 today!