Avoid break downs by maintaining your car battery. AutoX* Marketing and Service Manager, Roger Harden shares his expertise about batteries and provides the following tips:
- Keep your battery dry and clean. If you service your battery yourself, wear protective clothing and work in a well-ventilated area.
- Follow a maintenance schedule to prevent over-charging and ensure correct polarity connection.
- When you clean your battery remove corrosion from around the battery and then from battery cables. To do this use warm water, bicarbonate of soda, and then a post cleanser.
- Check your battery to make sure its terminal connections are clean, snug and protected from the elements. Signs of corrosion or leakage could mean that your battery is no longer operating as well as it should.
- Coat terminals with petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or terminal protectors provided by your battery manufacturer. Do not use greases which may contain metal additives.
- Secure the hold-down bar. This ensures that your battery is snugly seated and will help minimise vibration which can be detrimental to certain types of batteries.
- Fully charge your spare battery before you store it. Then keep it in a clean, cool, dry area (to prevent deterioration).
If you test your battery at least twice a year, you will be able to ensure it is correctly charged and operating at optimal performance levels. But if your battery does die it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s at the end of its life – this is when carrying those jumper cables in your boot comes in useful.
How to Use Jumper Cables
Always unplug accessories and switch off lights when your car is turned off. Inspect your battery for cracks or leaks before you attempt to jump start. Ensure the cables securely attached and are free of corrosion.
Be aware when connecting vehicles via jumper cables that if either car has an electronic ignition system or is an alternately fuelled vehicle, the use of jumper cables may damage it.
Place both vehicles in park or neutral and turn off their ignition. Engage both parking brakes.
Note: Positive = red, Negative = black
- To the dead battery – clip one red cable to the positive terminal.
- To the charged battery – clip the other red cable to its positive terminal.
- To the charged battery – clip one black cable to its negative terminal.
- To the car with dead battery – clip the other black cable to a grounded, unpainted metal component like the chassis.
- Start the car with the charged battery and let the engine run for a few minutes to allow the dead battery to build a charge.
- If the car doesn’t start after about five minutes of charging, check cables, and repeat.
- Do not switch off the car that had the dead battery and let it run for a few minutes.
If the car doesn’t start after a substantial charge time, it may mean you need a new battery.
Disconnect the cables in the reverse order:
- Grounding cable from the car that had the dead battery.
- Black cable from the car that provided the charge.
- Red cable from the car that had the dead battery.
- Red cable from the car that provided the charge.
- Drive the jump-started car for 15-20 minutes to allow the battery to fully charge.
If the car won’t start the next time you use it, the battery isn’t holding a charge and needs to be replaced.
A well-maintained battery will serve you for many years, over thousands of kilometres; a neglected one may leave you stranded at the side of the road.
Supa Quick battery fitment experts are trained by AutoX to become fully knowledgeable when dealing with your battery and fit only the best battery brands into your car. Visit us should you need your battery checked, and we’ll take care of the rest.
*AutoX is a tier one supplier of Sabat and Willard vehicle batteries to Supa Quick.
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