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We all take our car battery for granted. It’s only when we need a new one that we think about it. Here are some tips to help you take good care of your car’s battery.

1. Look for Physical Damage, including a case that’s cracked or bulging. See if there are signs that battery fluid is leaking or if there is corrosion buildup near the terminals and posts. Check the cables to make sure they’re not frayed. Look to see if there is any hardware that’s missing. Repair any physical damage you find by replacing cables, cleaning off corrosion with distilled water, and replacing any missing hardware.
2. Check once a month to see if battery cells need water. Do not overfill them, and only use distilled water. Only add water using a tool made of plastic or rubber, not metal. You can short your battery if you use a metal funnel. If you overfill your battery cells, acid may build up on the case.
3. Make sure the hold-down for the battery is tight. Vibration can cause active material to come off the plates.
4. Don’t allow dirt to build up on the outside of the battery. Keep the casing clean.

Warnings

1. Don’t ever smoke when you’re working on the battery. It may explode, as there is acid inside.
2. Use goggles to protect your eyes.
3. Wear long-sleeved clothing to keep from getting splashed with acid, should that occur.

If you follow the above tips, you’ll find that your battery will last longer, a fact that will save you money in the long run.