AUTOMOTIVE BATTERIES

3. HOW DO I PERFORM PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE?

Maintaining the correct electrolyte levels; tightening loose hold-down clamps and terminals; removing corrosion from both ends of each battery cable and both terminals; cleaning the battery top; and checking the alternator belt tension is normally the ONLY preventive maintenance required for a battery. The preventive maintenance frequency is dependent upon climate and battery type, but you should perform this at least once before cold weather starts and once a month in warm weather. If the electrolyte levels are low in non-sealed batteries, allow the battery to cool. Add DISTILLED water to the level indicated by the battery manufacturer or if there is no recommendation, to within 1/8 to 1/4 inch (3 to 7 mm) BELOW the bottom of the filler tube (vent wells or splash barrels). The plates need to be covered at all times. Avoid OVERFILLING, especially in hot climates, because heat causes the electrolyte to expand and overflow.

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