A Girl's Guide to Automotive Repairs

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Breaking Down A Few Myths About Taking Care Of Your Vehicle's Battery

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Your vehicle's car battery helps your vehicle start up and get running. In addition to that important job, your vehicle's car battery also provides power to all of the components that require electricity in your vehicle. Your car battery is a powerful little box that you need to take care of.

Here are a few myths many people believe about passenger vehicle batteries that are not true. Knowing the truth behind these myths will help you take proper care of your car's battery.

Myth #1: Tap Water Can Be Used to Refill Your Battery

Many batteries require a certain level of water to work properly. Over time, the water in the battery will evaporate. When this water evaporates, you will need to refill the water to keep your battery operating properly.

When you refill the water, you should never use tap water. Even the cleanest tap water can contain minerals that will build up and block the plates inside of your battery and the pores that allow the water to flow within your battery.

If your battery ever needs more water, choose from one of the 3 Ds: demineralized, distilled, or deionized water. These three types of water do not contain minerals and can be purchased for about a dollar at any grocery store.

Don't shorten the life of your battery over a dollar.

Myth #2: Disconnecting the Battery Saves it When You Are Not Driving

If you have to leave your vehicle sitting for a few weeks, perhaps because you are on vacation or just because you are using a different vehicle, do not disconnect your battery. The advice to disconnect your vehicle's battery when you are not using your vehicle for a few weeks is not a good idea.

When you disconnect the battery, you risk compromising the ability for certain systems within your vehicle that need power all of the time by not being able to connect properly when you plug the battery back in.

If you are not going to be driving your car for a little while, purchase a maintenance charger for your car's battery. The maintenance charger will help combat discharge from not being in use and will help keep your car's battery fully charged.

Myth #3: A Discharged Battery Doesn't Harm Other Vehicle Systems

Your battery is considered discharged when it is no longer able to hold a charge. When your battery is discharged, trying to start your vehicle may still work.

However, your alternator will have to work harder to keep your vehicle's battery discharged. This will stress out your vehicle's alternator and the engine as well. Additionally, more fuel will be burned, reducing the fuel economy of your vehicle when the battery is at the end of its life.

If your battery needs more water, don't use tap water. Instead, spend a dollar or two to purchase either demineralized, distilled, or deionized water. Use a maintenance charger, and don't disconnect the battery when it needs to be charged.

Replace your battery before it is about to die to save your alternator and engine from unnecessary stress. For more information, contact an automotive dealer who offers repair services, such as Western Avenue Nissan.