Main­tain­ing a bat­tery

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Vehicle batteries -

Most mod­ern, sealed VRLA au­to­mo­tive bat­ter­ies are des­ig­nated ‘Main­te­nance Free’, which de­notes that they can­not be topped up with dis­tilled wa­ter. The MOT stip­u­lates that the bat­tery should be se­cured firmly, so check the con­di­tion of the bat­tery tray and clamps, while en­sur­ing that the bat­tery is clean and dry and that its vents are not ob­structed. Val­i­date the tight­ness of the ter­mi­nals and wiring con­di­tion, too. While coat­ing the ter­mi­nals and posts with pe­tro­leum jelly is not strictly nec­es­sary on mod­ern bat­ter­ies, it does no harm.

Yuasa ad­vises that a bat­tery is a live prod­uct: if it is not fed, it will die. So, en­sure that it is charged ad­e­quately, es­pe­cially if your car makes short runs only. As the in­creas­ing in­ter­nal re­sis­tance of an age­ing bat­tery can fool a con­ven­tional al­ter­na­tor to un­der­charge it, you should dis­con­nect the bat­tery leads and treat the bat­tery to a re­fresher charge ev­ery three months.

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