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Car battery care in winter

Some tips and tricks to tide away the winter without hassle

Car battery goes dead as winter draws close and it forces you to jumpstart car every morning. I think this is the scenario with every car owner, at least those who wouldn't have had their automobiles; batteries to be exact, winter ready. Because dead battery is the most common problem one faces during winter season and could be very frustrating when the car refuses to budge when you are in a hurry to leave for work or while you are getting late for an appointment or there is no one around to give your car the push when it suddenly comes to a halt.

November has come and winter is setting in so we should have winter serviced our cars by now and the easiest way to prevent situation of battery going cold in the winter is keeping the car operational, on a day to day basis because winters make battery immobile rather jammed. Well, here are a few useful tips that charge up the car battery in winters:

- Do not wait until winter arrives and you get into a messy situation, get smart and take precautionary steps to prevent any corrosion of the battery. First, tighten the battery terminal connection, check the water level in the battery and ensure there is no cracking or corrosion of the battery wires.

- The first thing to start off on a cold morning when you sit in the car is make sure all lights, indicators, heater, fog lights and radio are off before switching on the ignition, which enables the alternator to direct all the power to the battery and starts the engine.

- Once the engine starts drive around for a few minutes to fully charge the battery and turn off all the unnecessary devices in an immobile car.

- Use a hard brush and baking soda paste along with some warm water to clean the battery posts and terminals. Soda too helps remove rust and stain, as the acidic and especially the carbonic acid in carbonated drinks helps clean rust from battery terminals; pour some soda over the battery and let it stay for a few minutes after which clean up the sticky residue with the help of a wet sponge.

- Petroleum jelly is perfect skincare in winters and also ideal for your car battery; it is a known fact that low temperatures augments electrical resistance and thickens engine oil, which slows down the battery performance. Furthermore, corrosion too increases the electrical resistance and thus, you need to clean the battery terminals and apply some petroleum jelly to prevent rust or battery cranking all through the cold climate. Even otherwise moisture can be a problem for battery discharge during winter. To contain the discharge, cover the battery terminals with either petroleum jelly (or disconnect the leads if inevitable).



- When your car stops abruptly and there is no one around to help, drop a couple of aspirin tablets into the battery, which will enable the car to survive for a little while, this is because the acetyl salicylic acid in aspirin combines well with the sulphuric acid present in the battery to extend the life of the battery for a short span and one has to move quickly to the nearest gas/service station after this breather for further assistance.

- One ounce of Epsom salt with a little water when added to each of the battery cells will pour a little extra life to the car battery.

In extreme winter conditions it is better one uses a block heater, which is a small electrical heater that needs to be plugged in to keep the engine warm. But remember that using preventive measures will always avoid any sort of damage to the battery or the engine.

Besides, it's a good idea to have the liquid level in the battery checked as if there is an issue with it your battery won't be able to start the car. Start by opening the vent caps from the battery and check level of the liquid. If it is low, add some water. But, if you see that that liquid is frozen, don't try to jump-start as it may increase the risk of battery explosion. If the batteries are permanently sealed type don't open them yourself instead take it to a reputable battery guy. Also word of caution is that the Lead-acid batteries have sulfuric acid and in case you spill the liquid around take time to immediately wash the parts where the acid spilled with ample water.

To sum it up it is these ordinary chemicals do the extraordinary trick for your battery:
1. Aspirin
2. Baking soda
3. Washing soda
4. Epsom Salt
5. Petroleum jelly
Have these at home and you are good to go in winter or summer the same speed.

Last updated on 23-11-2011. Published on 23-11-2011. Written by .
Category: Tips
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