When you inspect your vehicle, there are some important parts to remember to check. One part is the battery. The Battery is important because without it, your vehicle will not be able to turn on. Having the battery inspected regularly is important for the safety and reliability of your vehicle. If you start to notice issues with the battery, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible so we can inspect the battery for you.

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Clean the Terminals of the Battery

The deposits that form in colors on the top of your terminals are made by battery acid. Before you clean it, remove the cables, negative first, from both terminals by undoing the nut on each cable clamp and wiggling the cable until the clamp comes off the terminal post. To brush the deposits off the terminal posts and cable clamps, sprinkle some baking soda onto each terminal, dip an old toothbrush or disposable brush in water, and scrub the deposits away. You can use a battery terminal brush and clamp cleaner. If the cables and clamps will not clean up completely with baking soda and water, rotate an inexpensive battery terminal brush on each terminal to shine it and ensure a good, solid electrical connection. You can also shine the insides of the cable clamps with the clamp cleaner that is usually sold as one unit with the brush. After you are done cleaning, make sure to dry everything with a clean, disposable, lint-free rag. Try to avoid getting the powdery substance on your hands or clothes. If you do, make sure to wash it off with water right away.

Connect the Terminals back to the Battery

Reconnect the terminals to the battery, replacing the positive cable first and the negative cable last. After the battery terminals are reconnected, coat the terminals with thick automotive grease or petroleum jelly to prevent corrosive deposits from forming again. Then examine the battery cables and clamps to see whether they are frayed or corroded. If the damage looks extensive, the cables and clamps may need to be replaced. If they are not, the battery may short-circuit, which could damage onboard computers.

Noticing if there is an Issue with the Battery

If you have been having trouble starting your engine, if your headlights seem dim, or if the battery is old, check to see whether the electrolyte in the battery is strong enough. If it is weak, the battery may need to be recharged or replaced before it dies and leaves you stranded. Check the battery case and the terminals. If you see major cracks in the battery case or obvious terminal damage, replace the battery regardless of its electrical performance. Also it is recommended that you bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. This way we can test the strength and performance of the battery. If there is an issue, we can help to advise you on what the options are to have it fixed in a timely manner.