Battery care and maintenance made easy

Your vehicle owner’s handbook will tell you the location of your car battery and the checks you can perform.

Your car battery is usually situated under the bonnet of your car. However, there are some vehicle manufacturers that put the battery under the rear passenger seat or in the boot of the car; generally these positions are more common on large executive vehicle models. Vehicles like Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls Royce and Mitsubishi can sometimes have two batteries, generally where the engine size is large.

You must be very careful when handling a car battery, as they are heavy and contain sulphuric acid, which is highly corrosive and must not come in contact with your skin or eyes.

How your battery works

When you turn the key to start your car, the battery supplies power to the starter motor, which turns the engine over. At the same time, power from the battery is supplied to the spark plugs in order to ignite the fuel and air mixture that has been compressed in the engine combustion cylinders.

The battery power used during the starting up process is then replaced by the alternator, which supplies the bulk of electrical current to your car's electrical systems, keeping your battery fully charged.

The battery strength or cranking ampage is generally affected by the amount of work it does and the conditions in which it has to work. What’s more, the growth of in-car technology such as air conditioning, digital music players, satellite navigation systems and other electronic gadgetry are placing greater strain on your car’s battery. All of these increase the demand on your car’s battery and charging system which can lead to premature battery failure. Consequently more frequent checks are recommended so that your car battery maintains its optimum working level.

Regular battery checks by an expert can help identify and prevent premature battery failure, which can result in a vehicle breakdown or in some cases a failed MOT.

Battery checks you can carry out yourself

The majority of car batteries today are maintenance free and carry a performance indicator so there are generally no physical checks you can perform yourself, except to make sure that the terminal connections are tight and free of debris. Make sure the terminal connections are kept clean to avoid a build-up or dirt and grease. You may want to coat the terminal connectors with petroleum jelly to help prevent the build-up of corrosive material.

Remember to take extra care when tightening the terminal connections. Over tightening can result in damage to the battery casing or lead posts and ultimately, premature battery failure. Beware of crossing or connecting the positive and negative terminals as this can result in an electric shock, irreversible damage to the battery cells and, in extreme cases, an explosion.

Free battery check from Kwik Fit

If you are at all concerned about the age or charging capability of your battery, why not call into Kwik Fit where our fully-trained technicians will carry out a thorough battery check using the latest Bosch testing equipment. It’s absolutely free and we’ll provide advice on any parts that need replacing now or in the near future.

Order a new battery for your vehicle

At Kwik Fit, we stock a wide range of batteries suitable for all major vehicle makes and models. Order your replacement battery today for fitting at your local Kwik Fit centre.

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