No car batteries last forever. Things to take note of: are your headlights dimming, how old is your battery, has your car needed a jump-start; then maybe it’s time for a new battery. You should bring your car to an experienced and trusted mechanic but if you have to do it yourself here are some rules. Changing a battery is a quick and easy job in most cars and vans and can be done with minimal tools. The most important thing before you begin is to make sure the battery needs to be replaced…
- Look for build-up in the form of a whitish or blue residue around the terminal – removing this can sometimes solve issues. Note: do not touch this powder it can often contain dried sulfuric acid, which will corrode your skin.
- Verify that the battery has been given the chance to recharge by driving constantly for 30 minutes (with minimal electrical usage, including not running the air conditioner).
- Check the alternator. Some cars also have a battery meter, with the engine running, the alternator usually maintains a charge close to 13.8-14.2 volts in a properly functioning charging system. The battery should have 12.4-12.8 volts with the engine off, and with no accessory load.