Battery Care Tips for Family Road Trips
The school year is winding down, and families across America are preparing for summer vacation trips. Now is a good time to remember to give your vehicle a little extra attention and ensure that it is equipped for the summer travel season. Routine maintenance is the key to a durable, safe and dependable vehicle – and it can also help save you from more costly repairs down the road.
When the time comes for your family road trips, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is the hassle of getting stranded with a dead car battery. So to keep your car operating at its finest, Interstate Batteries’ technical services manager Gale Kimbrough, also known as “Mr. Battery,” advises car owners to follow his Top 10 Family Travel Battery Care Tips:
- Take a few minutes to read about your battery in your car’s manual and become familiar with what kind of battery it is, where it is, how to safely clean it and what the indicator lights inside your car might be trying to tell you.
- After a seasonal change, you should first check the battery to make sure it is still fully charged for the spring and summer excursions ahead.
- When working with your car battery, remember to always wear protective eyewear, remove all jewelry and wear long sleeves to protect your arms from battery acid discharge.
- Perform a visual inspection to see if the battery case is showing signs of extreme bulging, cracking or leaking. If any of these signs are present, it’s time to replace your battery.
- If your battery has removable filler caps, open the caps and check the water level in each cell. If the level is low, add distilled water (not tap water) until the plates are covered, preferably one-half inch above the plates. This prevents sulfation.
- Avoid overfilling, because the heat can cause the solution inside to expand and overflow.
- Clean up the connections by removing any corrosion, lead oxidation, paint or rust from the top of the battery with a scouring pad or brass brush. Make sure to brush the corrosion away from the body.
- To remove the battery cables, first disconnect the negative cables and then the positive. To reinstall the cables, first connect the positive cables and then the negative.
- Be sure to check that the battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration.
- Have your battery and electrical system professionally tested every three to six months, and especially prior to heading out on a trip.
Checking off these items from the “to do” list may require different batteries and other accessories. Interstate All Battery Center makes it easy with thousands of different batteries available— Powering the Things That Make Life Better®. Find a store near you today.