Projects The Car Engine Battery Check

Skill Level: Easy / DIY 0:15
This service requires a basic level of car knowledge and can be done easily in your garage.
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Checking your Battery

Keeping you battery terminals clean is one of the easiest maintenance item you can perform on your vehicle. Just pop the hood and inspect your battery.

If your battery terminals are clean then you're good to go. If you see a build up of corrosive material on then it's time to clean them off.

These had some build up on them when I inspected them.

Step 1. Disconnecting the Battery

To clean the terminals you are first going to disconnect you battery. You will need a small wrench, typically between 8mm - 13mm. Different vehicles have different sizes so check your owners manual or just grab a few that are close and figure it out with trial and error.

Once you have the correct wrench size, disconnect the NEGATIVE (-) side first, then the POSITIVE (+) side. Be careful when you are disconnecting the cables from the terminals as some of the corrosion will become airborne. If you see a large build up you may want to wear a mask.

More corrosion is visible after removing the terminal.

Step 2. Cleaning the Terminals

Once your terminals are free of the tables, get a steal brush and clean the terminals. Once they are cleaned off you can get a damp towel and wipe off the cover of the battery to keep it looking nice.

Nice and clean, just don't eat off them!

Step 3. Protective Coating and Re-Connecting

Now that the terminals are clean, apply some dielectric grease directly to the terminals. I use my (gloved) fingers to make sure that its evenly applied. Once they are all greased up, re-connect the battery cables to the terminals, start with the POSITIVE (+) cable first, then NEGATIVE (-).

Dielectric grease can be found in all auto supply stores, just as for some Battery Grease, the staff will know exactly what you need.

That's all there is to it! Now close the hood and log your maintenance!


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