It may seem like a hard task but regular checking of and maintaining a battery is imperative because of harsh weather conditions that result in dust and grime in the engine bay that causes corrosion. Here are some common symptoms that you will see because of battery related issues
1. If your car does not crank, the battery may be weak
2. If your headlights have gone dim, the battery may be weak
3. If you find any green/white salt deposits on the battery terminals, visit the battery shop (these salts can be washed off little water but make sure they do not touch the car’s paintwork or your clothes or else you’ll have a shirt with holes.
The battery can become weak due to several reasons:
1. Ageing, which can start any time after two years
2. Loose alternator belt
3. Alternator itself malfunctioning
Here are a few steps in which you can maintain your car battery.
1. Clean your battery with a damp cloth to see for cracks, crevices or any other issue that has cropped up. These show in a matter of two years for a standard battery if not properly maintained.
2. After step 1, check if battery terminals are properly connected with the harness and are not loose. They can be fixed with any household spanner of the correct specification. Also check if terminals have corroded over time. Batteries with plastic covers for terminals are best as they reduce the risk of the battery short-circuit.
3. Any problem with battery/alternator and allied wiring problems should be handled by authorised technicians only.
It is a good idea to get an annual check-up for battery water/wiring and alternator issues.
NOTE: Modern batteries are maintenance free. They seldom require maintenance that can be done on a Sunday morning. Ideally, battery should be checked when your car goes for servicing.