Auto Dismantler and Recycling

DIY Car Battery Care: 6 Crucial Tips

You’re a Bay Area automotive enthusiast, and you want to check/repair a possibly damaged car battery. How should you start? How can you keep things safe? And how can you keep the project under control and strive towards maximum success?

Here are 6 important tips for DIY car battery repair:

1. Get all necessary equipment… before you pop the hood!

You likely need gloves, eye protection, distilled water, wrenches, a hydrometer, a cable puller and a post cleaner along with some rags and stuff to clean your hands and clothes.

2. Remove corrosion first.

Due to oxidation and other spontaneous chemical reactions, batteries and battery cables tend to accumulate corrosion. Combine baking soda and water to create a solution to eliminate corrosion. First, clean the battery’s top. Then, disconnect and clean the cables. Remove the negative cable first to avoid dangerous electrical arcing.

3. Level up the amount of the electrolyte stored in the battery.

Open the battery cell covers and fill the electrolyte (water/acid mix) with distilled water. Not all batteries will need to be topped off. And if you notice any cracks or leaks, it’s time to replace the battery – your repair mission is hereby terminated. Also: avoid over-filling battery cells!

4. Examine the battery’s charge and test every cell.

If one cell tests very different from the others, you must replace the battery. Standard results should yield ~1.265. If the reading is much lower than 1.200, you need to recharge the battery.

5. Replace the battery… carefully.

Using your gloves and eye protection, remove the negative cable FIRST (before the positive one!). Watch out for battery acids spattering on your hands or clothing. Acid is extremely corrosive. Be mindful that most batteries are pretty heavy — dropping the unit is a good way to break it and hurt yourself. If you’re not strong enough to lift it, get someone else to help you with the job. Clean up any corrosion on the battery tray before you replace an old battery.

Looking for the perfect battery for your old vehicle? Or just not interested in the “DIY” approach?

The team here at Rock & Roll Auto Recycling has a vast and complete array of automotive parts, including batteries, for a huge variety of autos and trucks. We can help you determine the best, easiest, cheapest, and safest way to deal with your battery situation.


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