How to Clean Car Battery Terminal
A battery is what powers your car, so it can get you to your destination in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, or South Valley. Because this component is so important, you’ll want to make sure it’s always working properly.
One way to do that is to clean the car battery terminals as needed. We’ll tell you how to do that below. We’ll also go over how to test a car battery, how to charge it, and what to do when the battery is failing.
Keep reading to learn how to clean a car battery, and contact us at Land Rover Albuquerque if you need any type of battery service.
Cleaning Car Battery Terminals
To clean the battery terminals on your car, you’ll need the following materials:
- Protective gloves
- Baking soda
- A rag
- An old toothbrush
- Petroleum jelly
Once you have these materials handy, you’ll want to complete these steps:
- Create a battery cleaner mixture, using one tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of water.
- Turn the car off and undo the cables from the battery.
- Dip the toothbrush into the cleaner and scrub the terminals.
- Rinse off any residue with water and dry with the rag.
- Rub a little petroleum jelly onto the terminals to lubricate them and help prevent further corrosion.
- Reattach the cables onto the terminals.
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How to Test a Car Battery
After you clean the terminals, you’ll want to test the battery to make sure everything is in good working order.
A car battery voltage, on average, should be about 12.6 volts. When you test the battery, you’ll know it’s healthy if it’s reading around that number.
You’ll want to perform the test first thing in the morning, after the car has been sitting and is at its “resting voltage.” You can then use a multimeter to test the battery.
Set the dial to 20, so it’ll accurately measure between 0 and 20 volts. Connect the red probe on the multimeter to the positive terminal on the battery. Then, connect the black probe to the negative terminal. Check the multimeter and see that it’s reading at 12.6 volts. If it’s at 12.2, then the battery is considered to be 50% charged. Any less than that, and it’s classified as being discharged. If this happens, then you’ll want to get it fully charged as soon as possible.
How to Charge a Car Battery
There are two ways you could charge a vehicle battery: with a portable car battery charger, or with jumper cables.
Using a Portable Battery Charger
If you decide to use a portable charger for the battery, you’ll want to make sure that both the charger and the Land Rover are turned off. Then, you can complete the following steps:
- Connect the charger to the battery.
- Prepare the charger by adjusting the volts and amps, as needed.
- Turn on the charger.
- Once the battery has gained power, you can turn off and disconnect the charger.
Using Jumper Cables
If you do not own a portable battery charger, or don’t have one handy, you could always use cables to jump-start your Land Rover.
You’ll need to have a friend or family member help you with this process, as it’s necessary to have a vehicle with a working battery. Make sure both automobiles are completely shut off, then complete these steps:
- Connect one end of the positive (red) jumper cable to the dead battery and the other end to the working battery.
- Connect one end of the negative (black) jumper cable to the working battery and the other end to some part of the frame of your car.
- Start both engines, then let the vehicles sit idle for a few minutes.
- Once your car starts up, you can shut the automobiles off and remove the cables.
When to Replace a Car Battery
If neither procedure works, then the battery will need to be replaced.
In general, a car battery lasts about four to five years, depending on a variety of factors like weather and accessory usage. However, there are ways to determine when a battery is starting to fail, beyond doing a car battery test.
Signs You Need a New Battery
The battery not only starts the engine, but it also powers the car’s electrical components. So, if the lights are starting to dim, or the radio isn’t working properly, then there could be an issue with the battery.
Additionally, you may notice a pungent odor, almost like rotten eggs. This could be the battery leaking gas, which means it’ll need to be checked out immediately and possibly replaced.
You may hear a clicking sound when you turn the key, or the engine may just take a little longer than normal to start. In either case, there’s most likely a problem with the battery.
Finally, the check engine light could indicate an issue with the battery. However, this indicator light on the dashboard could represent a number of different things. Therefore, you’ll want to have your Land Rover looked at as soon as possible to address the issue.
Schedule a Battery Repair or Replacement Today
If you need any type of battery service, from a terminal cleaning to a full-on replacement, we can help! Contact us at Land Rover Albuquerque, and we’ll get your vehicle in tip-top shape in no time.
Don’t wait. Schedule a battery repair or replacement near Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, or South Valley today!