3 Tips for Keeping a Car Battery in Good Condition if You Want to Become an Auto Mechanic
When turning the key in our car’s ignition, we expect the engine to instantly kick in without giving much thought as to why or how this action happens. It’s the battery within the engine’s compartment that creates the electrical energy needed to switch on the ignition, and keeps the car running for each and every journey.
When your car battery goes flat, you’ll know it—hearing that lethargic whirr that never launches past a sputter. Luckily, that dreaded inconvenience of losing power in-transit can often be avoided, as a flat battery is often the sign of an ill-maintained device rather than one that’s naturally reached its max capacity. To get the most out of this crucial automotive component, here are some important tips to remember!
What Students of Auto Mechanic Training Should Know About Keeping it Clean
If you want to become an auto mechanic, you’ll have to know about the various parts that make up a car battery, including its charge terminals. If either of these negative and positive terminals get gummed up with grime, grease, or some other contaminant, the battery is much more susceptible to a malfunction. To prevent charging issues caused by dirt and debris getting into the cells, possibly even causing corrosion to nearby metal, it’s important to clean around the terminals as well as the entire top of the battery.
Keep an Eye on the Acid and Electrolyte Levels
A battery’s acid should be checked about once every six months. A person with auto mechanic training will know how to check for stratification—the point when a battery stays below 80%, receiving shallow charges or none at all. This situation often happens in cars that drive predominantly short distances, using a lot of power in spurts and causing the battery’s electrolytes to concentrate at the bottom of the unit.
Batteries with low electrolyte levels can be helped along in a variety of ways, depending on the specific cause of the problem. In some cases, a simple top up with distilled water might be all that’s needed.
Conduct Routine Battery Load Tests and Change Every Four Years
A battery load test should be conducted every month as a routine best practice of good car maintenance. The point of this test is to be sure the battery can be charged properly, even in sub-zero temperatures. Cold weather as a rule is bad for a battery, so it’s recommended to invest in a battery heater, which makes the device easier to start, helps keep it running, and minimizes the power consumed in colder conditions.
Owners should also be advised to change their battery every four years, as the device is usually approaching the end of its life by this point, and becomes increasingly at risk of failure beyond it.
As one final tip, owners should remember to take their car out for regular spins in order to maintain the battery charge, running the vehicle at least once a week for a standard 15 to 30-minute trip at a moderate speed. This is a good rule of thumb routine for keeping things nicely charged up under the hood during periods of less frequent use.
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