Car Battery Care Tips for Drivers

car battery care - cleat

An automobile is a dangerous machine. One of the things that make the automobile a scary contraption is a battery. If a car accumulator is not well maintained, it could blow up like a bomb which could lead to damage to the vehicle and even the driver and passengers as well. Therefore, everyone should know about car battery care.

Knowing why the battery is a dangerous component is essential to see just how important it is to keep it in good condition. What can cause the battery to explode is the accumulation of hydrogen gas and its subsequent combustion.

Hydrogen gas is produced in the accumulator as a by-product of the reaction between components inside the battery which is essential to produce the electricity needed by the different electrical components of the vehicle. The formed gas is very flammable and even the tiniest of sparks could ignite it. The problem is that the battery is made to create electricity and you can always expect a spark wherever electricity is located.

car battery care - photo of battery under the hood
There are several ways though you can do to prevent the production of any spark near the battery, therefore, reducing the risk of the accumulator exploding (actual info – March 2018). This is where proper car battery care comes in. If a battery is cleaned properly, there is less risk that a spark would be produced.

In a battery where the cap can be removed, it is recommended that the owner tops up the water every once in a while to keep the plates submerged. If the plates inside the accumulator are not submerged, there is a chance that it could warp and touch each other which would produce the spark that can ignite the hydrogen gas trapped inside the battery.

Keeping the terminals of the battery can help reduce the risk of spark production. If the terminals are dirty, the electric current could arc as it looks for the path of less resistance. This arc might not be as strong as the arc produced in the spark plug but it is enough to ignite hydrogen.

Improper jump starting could also lead to spark production. While jump-starting is not recommended, there would be times when it is the only option left for car drivers. When jump starting, remember that spark is often produced when the last clamp is applied. Therefore, make sure that the last clamp you will connect is on the good battery. Also, when connecting the negative clamp, place it not on the negative terminal of the dead battery but on an unpainted metal part of the vehicle.

hook up car battery
There are newer batteries that are less risky than the once usually used today on vehicles. For example, there are batteries which convert the hydrogen gas into water thus greatly reducing the risk of the hydrogen gas pocket being ignited. Also, there are batteries which are designed to keep the plates inside the battery enclosed in a gel-like substance thus making sure that they will not touch each other to produce the unwanted spark.

While these batteries are more expensive than the conventional ones, they are a lot safer. And it can also be expected that the price of this battery will go down as manufacturers continue to find ways to bring down the cost of production.