Ever thought the inside of a car was too technical for you to understand? Here’s a quick guide full of useful information about car batteries to set you on your way towards feeling like a professional car mechanic.
Choosing The Right Battery
The type of car battery you choose depends on the features you’re looking for. There are five types of batteries, so choose wisely!
- The Wet/Flooded Battery: The wet/flooded battery is one of the more popular ones due to its affordable price. It’s maintenance-free and comes sealed, so you don’t need to replace the fluid.
- The Calcium-Calcium Battery: Like the name suggests, this type of battery contains a calcium alloy, which significantly reduces the amount of fluid loss. Keep in mind, though, that this battery can easily be damaged if you overcharge it.
- The VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) Battery: In VRLA batteries, gas is contained in the battery itself, which helps in preventing fluid loss.
- The Deep Cycle Battery: These babies provide power for long stretches of time. That’s why they’re mainly used in golf carts and other small electric vehicles.
- The Lithium Ion Battery: Lithium Ion batteries are the lightest of the bunch, which is why they’re used primarily for electric vehicles.
After you’ve decided on the type of battery you want, make sure you pick up a fresh one. Most batteries come with a manufacturing date.
Reading the manufacturing date is fairly simple – a letter indicates the month the battery was made, and a number indicates the year. For example, a battery that reads ‘B4’ would mean it was made in February of 2004.
Putting Your Battery To The Test
There are a couple of ways to test your car’s battery, but the best (and the simplest!) way of doing so is by checking the multimeter. Typically, fully charged automotive batteries should clock in at approximately 12.6 volts or above while the engine is off. When the engine is running, they should measure between 13.7 to 14.7 volts. If your car doesn’t match up, ask an expert for their opinion.
The Magic Behind Maintenance
So how do you maintain something like a car battery?
Here’s the recipe for your magic potion: 2 tablespoons of baking soda to 1/2 a litre of water
Use this solution to wipe down the battery in your car. Anything else may damage the battery!
Next time you pick out a car, impress the salesman with your battery knowledge. He’ll be shocked when you know how to test the battery and maintain it yourself!