Car and Truck Battery Maintenance Tips
- Check your battery every now and then 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.
- Always unplug accessories and turn off lights when your car is turned off.
- Keep the battery in cooler places whenever possible. Heat damages batteries.
- Scrub corrosion from the terminals with a solution of water and baking soda.
Preventative Car Battery Maintenance
- Secure the hold-down bar. This ensures that your battery is snugly seated and will help minimize vibration which can be detrimental to certain types of batteries.
- Routinely test your battery to make sure it is correctly charged. This allows you to recharge your battery, if needed, to maintain its peak performance. It's important for your battery's health to get it tested twice a year to keep it at its optimal performance level.
- Be sure to read and follow all safety and handling instructions on the battery and this website.
What is Battery Sulfation and How Do I Prevent it?
The term sulfation describes the accumulation and growth of lead sulfate crystals inside the plates when a battery is in a discharged state for an extended period of time. Sulfation begins as soon as voltage level gets too low which, in the case of a 12-volt battery, is below 12.6 volts. If the crystals are not recharged, they eventually combine to form larger crystals. These bigger crystals are harder to dissolve and recharge, and eventually they lead to battery failure by disrupting the plate structure. Sulfation decreases battery performance by blocking the chemical reaction that allows the battery to hold its charge.
Sulfation can be reversed by using a charger that has a de-sulfating mode, which will slowly dissolve the lead sulfate crystals and recharge them back to active material.