Do car batteries require any maintenance?

Do car batteries require any maintenance?

Acid should NEVER be added to a battery that has been in service because it contains all the acid it needs. Adding additional acid will not rejuvenate an aging or sulfated battery.

A. Most “maintenance-free” batteries have sealed tops so it is not necessary (or possible) to add make-up water. If the case is translucent plastic, the electrolyte level inside can be seen through the case. But if the top is not designed to be opened, forcing open the caps can damage the battery and void the warranty.

Batteries that have removable caps (“maintenance-accessible”) can have make-up water added to individual cells if the level is low. However, only clean distilled water should be added to the battery — never ordinary tap water because it usually contains dissolved salts and minerals that will contaminate the electrolyte.

Acid should NEVER be added to a battery that has been in service because it contains all the acid it needs. Adding additional acid will not rejuvenate an aging or sulfated battery. The only time acid should be added is when filling and activating a brand new motorcycle battery (which are usually shipped dry with the acid in a separate container). Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) and gel cell car batteries do not use liquid acid but have an acid paste between their cell plates.

The only maintenance that most car batteries require is (1) maintaining the battery at or near full charge and (2) keeping the battery terminals clean and tight.

Except for deep cycle marine batteries, most car batteries should be maintained at 75 percent or higher charge level for maximum service life. Allowing the battery to run down or to remain in a low state of charge for a prolonged period of time allows sulfate to build up on the cell plates, reducing the ability to accept and hold a charge.

A fully charged battery should read 12.66 volts. A reading of 12.45 volts or less indicates the battery is low and needs to be recharged.

Q. What kind of problems can a weak or low battery cause?

A. Hard starting is the most common problem. Fuel injected engines usually start very quickly, but if the battery is weak the engine may not spin fast enough to start quickly — especially during cold weather.  CM

You May Also Like

ADAS: Coming of Age

Driver-assist systems are categorized into levels, determined by the amount of automation for any given system.

Automotive technology is funny. It always seems so new when we’re forced to catch up with it and weave it into our everyday routine. Then we find out it’s been around much longer than we realize. We didn’t worry about it until suddenly, some form of it was on almost every vehicle on the road.

Minding Your P’s And Q’s

Price and Quality are two of the most important considerations for customers purchasing from you.

Tool Intel – Understanding Air Tool Fittings and Couplers

Why don’t air tools come with fittings installed? Here’s why customers need to buy what they actually need.

Read the April Digital Edition of Counterman

The April issue contains article designed for technical training, management efficiency and store profitability.

ASE Education Foundation Seeking Outstanding Instructor

Nominations are being accepted for the 2024 Byrl Shoemaker/ASE Education Foundation Instructor of the Year award.

Other Posts

MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers’ BMC to Host Summer Meeting

The Brake Manufacturers Council meeting will be held on May 31, in Naples, Florida.

Customer Service: How It’s Done

Customer service should be your number one priority, and it all starts with the greeting.

Tool Intel: Why Are There So Many Screwdrivers?

Screwdrivers come in many shapes and sizes, and they are not created equal.

Why Does Engine Coolant Need Replacement?

Two specifications can be used to justify replacement — the condition of the additive package & the freezing point.