6 Great Car Battery Maintenance Tips

By: Josh Peterson, Planet Green  | 

How much do you know about car batteries?
How much do you know about car batteries?
Photodisc/Getty

Owning jumper cables is like owning a truck. When you own a truck, people seem to cozy up to you when they are moving. When you own jumper cables, you're suddenly like Batman but for dead batteries. You might as well give your friends a Jumper Cables Signal that they can point at the cloudy sky in times of crisis. With great power comes great responsibility, I guess. (And now I am mixing metaphors.)

Car batteries are full of toxic chemicals and have to be dealt with specially when they die. The green thing to do is to squeeze as much life out of them as possible and decrease the overall amount of batteries that you are going to need in your lifetime. Here are some tips for that.

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1. Park in a Garage

A thoroughly insulated garage will keep your battery warm in the winter. Skip heated garages. They will rust your car.

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2. Keep Your Battery Clean

Remove the clamps and clean away grease, dirt and oxidation. A filthy battery connection will weaken the charge.

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3. Insulate Your Car Battery

If you don't have an insulated garage, you can always insulate the battery. It's a cheap way to protect the battery.

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4. Recharge it with Solar

You can purchase an inexpensive solar charger for your car battery. The charger refills your battery's charge with solar energy. Combo this device with a monitor so you don't overcharge the battery.

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5. Add Distilled Water

If you're stretching the life of a conventional battery, you may have to add some water to it. Here is how this is done.

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6. Secure the Battery

If your battery is jiggling around, it could tip over. A loose battery bashing against other parts of your engine is bad. Battery acid spilling all over your motor is also bad. Keep the battery tray clean. Make sure the battery sits correctly.

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Originally Published: Dec 6, 2011

Car Battery Maintenance FAQ

How long can a car battery sit unused?
AutoLovins says that car batteries can sit unused for up to two months.
What is the normal life of a car battery?
Depending on the car, a battery can last anywhere from four to six years.
How much distilled water do I put in my battery?
Fill the battery with distilled water until it hits just below the bottom of the cell inspection hole. Make sure not to overfill it.
How do you maintain a battery?
There are a few easy ways you can maintain a battery. Some of them include adding distilled water, recharge it with solar energy, insulate the battery or keep it parked in the garage.
Can you put too much distilled water in a battery?
Be careful not to overfill the battery. Doing this can cause the acid water mixture to leak.

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