5. Battery Maintenance
- Tools You Need: Wrenches, corrosion-removal fluid, wire brush, rags
- Time to Complete: 20 minutes
- Estimated Cost: $5
The key to keeping your car running smoothly and efficiently is a good battery connection. Just a few specks of crunchy white residue on the posts can keep your car from starting. A simple visual check of the condition of your battery will tell you when you need to perform this process.
- Remove your battery terminals, which should be a fairly straightforward process. Make sure you always remove the negative cable first. If they’re stuck, use a flathead screwdriver to pry them loose.
- Clean the posts. Some say Coca-Cola will work, and it does, but I suggest using a more professional product from your local auto parts store. Keep in mind that most of these solutions are nothing more than baking soda and water, so if you’re feeling extremely frugal, feel free to create your own cleaner. Generously apply the fluid to the posts, and clean vigorously with your wire brush.
- Rinse the cleaning fluid with a little water.
- Dry the posts with rags.
- Replace battery terminals.
A dead battery can be one of the most frustrating car problems, because it’s usually so simple to avoid the trouble. Especially if you’ve had the same battery for a few years, pop your hood every few months and take a look at the battery to see if it needs a simple cleaning.
Check back next week to see Tip 6, or see previous tips here.