There is so much going on beneath the hood when a car is running. Everywhere, something’s moving, vibrating, heating up or cooling down. To sum it up really fast, this is what happens: the engine sucks fuel from the tank, mixes it with air, ignites it and uses the explosion to create movement.
However, burning fuel generates heat. Usually, engines require a certain temperature to function properly, but what does it do with the extra heat? This is where the cooling system comes into action.
The inner workings of the cooling system
The overall cooling system scheme is not awfully complicated. Still, it does one of the most important supporting jobs for the engine. A basic car cooling system uses a pump to circulate fluid through the engine and then to the front radiator. The fluid takes on heat from the engine and exchanges it in the radiator.
You should also thank your cooling system for not having to freeze while you’re driving through the cold winter months. When you turn the heat on in your car, part of the cooling fluid travels to the interior radiator, bringing on heat collected from the engine. From there, an electric fan pushes it through the dashboard vents.
Taking care of your car’s cooling system
Just like any mechanical system, your car’s cooling system may cease to function properly. And without a doubt, this is the last thing you want to happen, especially when travelling long distances. Cooling system malfunctioning leads to engine overheating – not only that the engine won’t work at its best, but it also drastically increases chances of getting blown head gaskets and cylinder leaks. These things take a lot of time and money to fix, so it’s best to fix and maintain your car’s cooling system periodically.
There are two very common issues that can cause a cooling system to malfunction: leaks and clogging.
Leaks are best diagnosed by a dropping level of cooling fluid in the tank. If the fluid drops overnight or after driving for a while, there’s probably a leak somewhere on the installation. Finding the leak may be difficult if it is really small (like a pore), so you may need to check in with an auto repair shop. Usually, the issue is solved by replacing the hose causing the leak. You should avoid using crack plugging solutions found on the market; not that they usually don’t work, but may also clog the whole system.
In more severe cases, it’s the radiator or the head gasket that allows coolant to leak out. While replacing your radiator is doable with a bit of experience and proper tools, head gasket replacement should only be done by a professional.
On the other hand, a clogged cooling system won’t allow proper heat transfer, overheating the engine. Clogged systems are usually the result of improper maintenance or bad seals. It’s important to flush your cooling system once in a while, according to your car’s manufacturer instructions. This way, deposits won’t accumulate enough to create a blockage.
On a final note, always remember to use proper coolant recommended by the manufacturer for optimum results and engine performance.
Check Your Car Air Conditioner
With summer just around the corner, we’re all getting ready for extremely hot temperatures and great weather. You may be ready for summer, having waited for it all year long, but is your car ready? There’s nothing worse than driving without air conditioning in the middle of a hot summer’s day. It’s not just inconvenient and unpleasant, but borderline unbearable and dangerous as well. The threat of heat exertion is real, and having a fully functioning A/C is a must. There are a couple of ways you can make sure your car air conditioner keeps blowing cold air throughout the entire summer, and we’re going to show what steps you should take to ensure it stays that way.
Checking the System
Obviously, the best way of determining whether your Car Air Conditioner works or not is to turn the knob to cold and blast it on full. If it works as intended, it will start cooling the entire cabin within a matter of seconds. If it takes minutes for it to start cooling the car, or if it doesn’t blow cold air at all, you have a faulty air conditioning system on your hands. Don’t worry though, chances are fixing it is easier and less expensive than you might think.
Topping on Refrigerant
You see, the air condition system uses a special refrigerant known as Freon to cool the car. With time and usage, it will deplete and you will need to top it off. However, that’s not something you can do at home. It’s not a DIY job, so you will have to take it to an expert or a mechanic/service shop. Using special equipment they will check the refrigerant level and suggest topping it off if it’s necessary. A good car air conditioner service shop will perform the procedure at an affordable cost, getting you back on the road with a fully-working A/C unit in no time.
If refilling up on refrigerant didn’t help, there are several other things you should look at. For starters, you’ll want to have the condenser cleaner. Residue and dirt can accumulate, obstructing airflow and sometimes completely blocking it. Next, you can check and clean the filter. Just like the condenser it can get clogged up as well, so performing regular maintenance is crucial. If it’s too clogged up, you will need to replace it with a brand new one. Last but not least, you want to check the system for leaks if all else fails. Even the tiniest of leaks can cause the entire A/C system to malfunction. If there is a leak, you’ll need to take it to a specialist and have it fixed. The great thing is that air condition repair is relatively simple and cheap in most cases, especially compared to your regular maintenance procedures.
Recognizing Transmission Problems
Transmission Problems – The first step in solving transmission issues is diagnosing the actual issues. Luckily, transmissions are an extremely vital car component and will usually give clear indicators that there’s something wrong. Recognizing the earliest symptoms of transmission troubles can save you a lot of money and time. You can avoid an inconvenient breakdown or having to purchase an entire replacement transmission altogether. Here are the most common tell-tale signs that the transmission might be on its way out, as well as tips on what you should do.
Check Engine Light
Although it can be caused by a lot of things, the check engine light usually lights up only when something needs more urgent checking. Newer cars have a ton of sensors and it may be something as simple as a sensor malfunction, but it’s better to not risk it. If operational, sensors can tell you a component is on its way out long before you can even hear or see the issue.
Whether it’s an automatic or a manual, you’ll start noticing an erratic increase/decrease in rpms when shifting gears. This is known as hesitation. The car might be reluctant to enter a certain gear or will be extremely difficult to pull out of a gear. Automatics will experience more issues when in neutral or park.
The transmission needs fluid to operate correctly, just like the engine. Although it’s not regular maintenance, check your manufacturer’s recommended transmission service and perform it if it hasn’t been done in a long time. Checking the fluid pump, the filter and the actual trans fluid will ensure your transmission stays reliable if it’s properly operational. If you notice fluids dripping off the transmission case, it’s probably experiencing fairly major issues.
If you can hear strange noises like grinding, whining, buzzing, shaking and clunking, and are sure it’s not your fault, then it’s probably a transmission on its way out. Avoid driving the car and tow it to a mechanic as there is a chance that the transmission can be salvaged and rebuilt, saving you the effort and cost of buying a new one from a transmission shop.
If you can sense a burning smell it’s time to take immediate action. Differentiating between a burnt clutch and an overheated transmission is difficult, but a burnt clutch will be usually accompanied by white smoke. In the case of the transmission, there’s no smoke involved. If your transmission has overheated, it’s probably because it’s lacking fluid or the one that’s already in there is old and can’t do its job properly. Either way, sort it out right away or risk braking the transmission altogether.
What To Do Next
Take your car to a mechanic or a transmission shop who can perform a detailed transmission inspection for your transmission problems. He’ll tell you whether you need a new transmission or if the current one can be fixed. Remember to regularly flush and replace your transmission fluid (once every 35,000 miles), and be wary of the tell-tale signs to avoid complete transmission failure.
Advantages of buying a Porsche
Porsche is a company which doesn’t like to joke around. They approach every issue with a no-nonsense mindset. You either get it right, or don’t bother doing it at all. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. Following these simple ideas but hard to introduce concepts, Porsche became one of the best manufacturers the world has ever seen. There might be a few reasons why you should choose an Audi or a BMW, but there are a dozen more why a Porsche is the ideal vehicle.
When Porsche decides to do something, such as introduce a new model or facelift an aging one, they go all out on it. No expenses spared. They address the issues as per the community’s feedback, as well as countess miles upon miles of testing. Every model is a leader or at least a top 3 contented in its respective segment. Just stop and think about it for a moment. The 911 is the ultimate, everyday supercar which is a perfect track-day car if you go for the GT3 variant, the Cayenne and Macan cover the luxury SUV segment and you have the Panamera monstering every other luxury car. Audi and BMW may have invented the automotive niches, but Porsche dominates them entirely.
True to their roots
While most manufacturers went out of their way to change their morals and principles for the sake of profit, Porsche stayed true to theirs despite the fact that the start was a bit shaky to say the least. The first couple of 911 generations were hard to control, with many people having doubts the first-gen would even make it into production the moment they heard it would have an engine placed behind the rear axle. Porsche persevered with the idea and eventually gave us the most well-known sportscar of all time, the 911.
A brand like no other
Once you drive your first Porsche, there’s no going back. If you don’t own one, your first immediate thoughts revolve around acquiring said Porsche. There’s just no other feeling like it. The looks, the performance, the luxury, and the plain fact that it’s a Porsche, one of the most iconic brands the world has ever seen. You get totally hooked, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Then we get to the best part: the performance. Quite how Porsche manages to make the 911 work is beyond everyone’s scope. With a rear-mounted engine, it should be only good in a straight-line, but the truth couldn’t be further from that. It corners like it’son rails, despite fact that there should, in theory, be less weight over the front and the fact that the rear should act like a pendulum. But it doesn’t. It’s the same with the Cayenne, and the Panamera, and every other model. And don’t get us even started on the amazing flat-six “Boxer” engines it traditionally uses. All in all, the best cars you can buy, no matter which model you go for.
Mercedes Benz Buying Guide
There are many pros as to why you might choose a German-made vehicle over a Japanese one, or an American, or even a Korean. But there are even more advantages of choosing a Mercedes Benz, and that’s compared to its German rivals. We’ve compiled the top ones in this article, showcasing why they’re often considered the best car manufacturer in the world.
Right off the bat, there’s the matter of brand image and quality. Nothing wrong with owning a Hyundai for example, but if you say you own a Hyundai, you then have to follow it up with what model it is, why you chose it and so on. You’re basically explaining yourself. With a Mercedes, the company name alone speaks in volumes of its quality. Each of their models is the respective leader in their own segments when it comes to brand distinction and recognition. Mercedes’ rich history and heritage means their vehicles are the most recognizable ones on the road today. You don’t mistake that three-pointed star for anything else.
Pick a Mercedes from an era. Any era. Chances are it’s one of the most beautiful cars in its respective time period. We’re not talking aggressive, striking or even offensive. No, we’re talking about a handsome, elegant look which is as dignified as a car can get. It’s understated beauty mixed with an undefined aura and character unique to Mercedes Benz alone.
Luxury and Technology
You want to talk about luxury and comfort? Mercedes Benz speaks that language better than anyone else. They practically pioneered the luxury limo segment with the first S-Class, a car which is the benchmark in its class to this very day. Most of the technologies found on an S-Class eventually find their way into mainstream economy cars some 10 to 20 years later. The first S-Classes had cruise control, electric windows, heated seats, navigation, etc. All very common by today’s standards, but back then, most vehicles offered simple wind-up windows. Take a look at the new S-Class. It’s a spaceship on wheels, fitted with the latest advanced safety systems and the top of the line infotainment gadgets. It’s the most innovative, original modern-day luxury car on sale, paving the way of the future for most normal cars in the next 20 years or so.
Mercedes’ engines are known to be reliable and powerful, from their potent gasoline range to the torque but frugal CDI diesel lineups. If however, you desire more power, there’s always AMG, Mercedes’ mad and bonkers division in charge of the most ludicrous creations to wear a Mercedes badge. We’re not talking just twin-turbocharged engines with 500+ horsepower either. They specialize in creating the ultimate uber-saloons as Germans like to call them. Luxurious, fast cruise ships designed to tear down the Autobahn at 150+ mph with no fuss whatsoever. Because drive is sent to the rear wheels, they can be tail happy at a moment’s notice should the driver want to have a bit of fun.
It’s one thing for a car to be cheap, it’s an entirely different for it to offer great value. Yes, Mercedes’ models are slightly pricier than some of their rivals, but when you consider what you’re getting in return, the bang for buck factor is off the charts.
There are usually two types of car buyers in this world: those who stick with their favorite brand and those who go over all available options before making their purchase. Whether you’re the first or the second one, at one point or another, you’ve most probably considered to buy Audi. Audi cars are highly regarded as some of the most reliable, safe and practical vehicles on the road, with S and RS editions on offer as well if you want to go fast. There are many reasons, or should we say benefits, to choosing an Audi over other manufacturers, and we’ve included just a few in this article which will hopefully help your next purchase.
Whether you like the styling or not, you can’t deny they’re the latest in design language. Audi was one of the first manufacturers to use LED daytime running lights, in that by now traditional menacing sort of way. Every Audi, from the smallest A1 to the biggest A8, including the SUVs, offers something not present on any other rival model. Call it character if you will, an aura, a special presence. Audi has never been one to shy away from making drastic design changes, and we mean that in the best way possible. Their models are always up to date, leading their respective segments when it comes down to the styling. They’re somehow more fashionable than the rest of their bland looking German rivals.
If anyone’s ever had a chance to sit in a modern-day Audi, they’ll know what we’re talking about. It’s a feeling of luxury and quality, from the moment you step in one to the moment you get out. Everything about the cabin screams premium. The materials are high-end, even in the base trims, and the fit and finish is next to none. One of Audi’s strong points has always been their interiors, and they’re very much aware of that. If you’ve never been in one, we highly suggest you do before purchasing a vehicle. The Audi A4 in particular shines in this segment, outclassing both its Mercedes and BMW rivals.
State of the art technology and Audi are almost synonymous at this point. It’s an Audi, you expect it to have the latest, cutting-edge tech, and it does, but what you don’t expect is to find it in nearly every model and trim, regardless of price. From the sophisticated navigation to the intelligent infotainment system. Naturally, additional packages offering even more technology are available.
The words Quattro will forever be associated with Audi. The seven letters which changed the automotive world forever indicate two things today: an innovative four-wheel drive system Audi offers for its models, and a separate division of Audi in charge of the S and RS models, as well as the R8. Audi’s all-wheel drive is considered to be the best in the business, hence why Audis are so good in the snow. And don’t even get us started on the powerful engines, from the high-horsepower TSI units to the frugal and torquey TDIs.
This are some of the benefits to Buy Audi
Buying a vehicle is no easy task by any means. With so many different manufacturers, not to mention models, it can be a bit overwhelming. You want to make sure you’re getting the best car, as well as deal, possible. Quite often people talk about BMW being one of their first choices when it comes to cars. But just why is that? Well, here are a few compelling arguments supporting the claim for BMW Car.
It doesn’t matter if you’re after a smaller compact, a sedan or even an SUV. BMW makes some of the best vehicles in every respective segment, so picking the right BMW car is as easy as finding out what you want from your car. With the recent additions of the i3 and i8, you can even go full electric too.
The way a BMW drives is like nothing else on the road. Sure, you can compare it to its German rivals, but them head to head, and they stand no chance. Dynamically, BMW makes the greatest road cars in the world today. The front-engine rear-wheel drive platform gives most of their vehicles a near 50/50 weight distribution, giving neutral handling and predictable steering. Add sweet-sounding, powerful 4 and 6 cylinder engines into the mix and you have a real winner.
This goes without saying really: a BMW car is always one of the most luxurious cars in its segment. The thought, design and craftsmanship which go into each BMW cabin are simply on another level. The materials are top-notch, even on the base models, and the overall feel is that you’re driving a premium car. Couple that with a sporty feel thanks to aluminum or carbon fiber inserts and you get a really unique cabin, something few companies can match, let alone beat.
The technology found in most modern BMWs is amongst the most advanced currently on the market. A lot of the current features and gadgets found on nearly every car have been innovated and implemented in a BMW first. When it comes to high-end tech, BMW is king. The newest, latest pieces of hardware found on BMWs are expected to reach mainstream vehicles in a few years’ time, making them far ahead of their time.
If you judge a car based on its price alone, you’re not going to get very far. See, a BMW might not appear as good of a deal as some other, more affordable brands, but start comparing specs and you might be in for a surprise. A base BMW model is equipped with so much stuff that it can out-spec other manufacturers’ flagship models. And the sheer amount of optional extras BMW offers simply blows the competition out of the water. This just means that you can spec a car to your taste and liking, customizing it to perfection.
German vehicles are famous for their reliability, and BMW is at the top in this regard. The warranty, customer support and care they provide are unrivaled. And don’t think that this just applies to new cars too. A used BMW will be just as reliable as a new one because with proper maintenance, they will keep on going forever.
A lot of high-end, premium manufacturers struggle with depreciation. Their vehicles can lose as much as half of their value in the first few years. Not so with BMW. Because they’re in constant demand and have an amazing reputation of being virtually indestructible, BMWs will hold their price far better than other brands.
Brake Repair – The single most overlooked thing in car maintenance as well as car tuning is the brakes. Quite often people will spend thousands of dollars modifying their cars and doing major services but fail to check what is probably the most crucial thing on a car: its brakes. Not only do they have to operate at extreme conditions, but they have to do it all of the time. They can’t ever fail. Unlike the engine or the A/C which would render you too hot or the car undriveable, a brake failure could potentially be deadly. As such, you want to make sure your brakes are at their best at all times. Below you’ll find a few general tell-tale signs telling you that a component of the brakes is on its way out.
The easiest way to do a check on the brakes is to perform a quick visual inspection. Take a good look at the rotors as well as the pads. In most cases you can see the brake pads with a simple glimpse at them. Now, this isn’t really that accurate since you’re doing it by eye but as a general rule, there should be at least 1/4 inch of pad. Any less and you might want to get the pads replaced or checked to make sure they can withstand a couple more miles.
Listen To Your Brakes
The second way to tell that your pads need replacing is to simply listen to your brakes. If you hear a high-pitched noise when breaking it means that you need new brake pads as the old ones are on their last leg. If you failed to notice the high-pitched sound (or there wasn’t any), you might hear a harsh grinding sound. This is usually indicative of a completely shot (worn off) brake pad. In this case you’ll want to immediately replace the brake pads as all that’s stopping you at this point is a thin metal pad with no braking material.
If you notice your car pulling to either side of the road and it’s not the wheel balance or the steering system, it might be a stuck caliper. The caliper is designed to last the entire lifetime of the car but sometimes certain wear and tear or mechanical defects might make it stuck. In this case, the pad on that particular wheel will be touching the rotor constantly, causing the pulling we mentioned. If this happens, you’ll want to take it to a mechanic and get it sorted out. It’s usually a reasonably easy fix and doesn’t require a new rotor.
Lastly, you have the pedal feel. If you feel vibrations when braking, you might have a warped rotor on your hands. Likewise, if the pedal feel is inconsistent or goes to the floor, you’ll want to check the braking fluid. It could have air in it or the fluid might be just old and ineffective. A mushy pedal is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to you, especially in emergency braking. You want to sort it out as soon as possible.
Find A Good Mechanic
As always, you want to find a good mechanic (service center) to take your car to for a brake repair. Certifications from the AAA or ASE indicate that the shop is reputable. A shop which offers vague description of what’s wrong with the car or what’s been done to it is probably best avoiding. Once the brake repair has been done, you might want to ask for your old parts back just to make sure that they indeed carried out the work they said they did. And always, always, ask friends or read reviews on a certain shop before visiting it.
Selling Cars in today’s economy – Surviving tough economic times can be well, tough; however with some initiative, common sense, and the will to survive your own particularly tough situation, you can of course start to buy and sell cars, and very profitably too. Nonetheless, before you rush out and perhaps lose money you cannot afford to lose, you need to read this guide on how to buy and sell cars without getting into even worse financial trouble. Here is how to sell cars successfully.
Get a license
While buying and selling cars per se is not illegal in any state, selling cars does become illegal when you sell more than about three to five in a period specified by each state. If you are going to be serious about supplementing your income selling cars, you need to do it right from the get-go, which means obtaining a dealer’s license. Having a dealer’s license does not only allow you to sell as many cars as you want- it also allows you to compete with dealers at dealer auctions.
Dealer auctions can be very productive hunting grounds, because dealers often use these auctions as dumps for what they see as unsalable vehicles, which means that you can often pick up once-in-a-lifetime bargains because you don’t have the high overheads dealers have. If you do all or much of the work of preparing a vehicle yourself, you can buy and sell cars from dealer auctions at much better prices than dealers can, simply because it doesn’t cost you as much to fix it as it would a dealer.
Don’t buy wrecks
There is no way you can make money selling cars if the cars you buy need a lot of work. As a minimum, the vehicle should be free of rust, accident damage, and major mechanical defects. If you are not mechanically inclined, partner up with an ASE certified mechanic to inspect all the cars on your radar. Alternatively, don’t buy a vehicle if you cannot drive it home.
As a rule of thumb, estimated repair costs should not exceed about 5% of what can you can get for the vehicle, and this amount should include the fee you pay the mechanic that inspected the vehicle. Bear in mind that you entered the business of selling cars to make money, not spend money on learning about car repairs.
Know the market
As with real estate that is all about location, selling cars is all about knowing what sells, for how much, and who is buying. This is easier said than done, so before you buy a vehicle you think might fetch you a good price, spend some time researching that particular vehicle. Many vehicles are notorious for faults, defects, and other issues such as recalls that affect their resell value, so consult the NHTSA database for information that could help you avoid making a bad business decision.
Manage your expectations
While there are many stories on the internet about how profitable selling cars can be, these stories should ideally be taken as cautionary tales. Of course, it is possible to occasionally make a huge profit on one sale, but the idea is really to make smaller profits all the time. Nobody can survive on one profitable sale for long, so what you need to do is sell cars all the time, but in such a way that you make profit on each sale.
Selling cars for profit is a tough business, and nobody gets rich from it overnight. You need to have clear goal in mind, meaning that you need to be sure by how much you need to supplement your income. Knowing how much you need to make every month helps you avoid making bad decisions; there is no point in just breaking even on a deal- if you need to make say $500 on a deal, take that amount as the minimum.
Every dollar above your minimum requirement is a bonus; know what you need and work towards it, but don’t expect to make unrealistically high profits all of the time, or even much of the time.
Consider sticking to one brand
The old adage that you should stick to what you know best applies to how you will sell cars as much as it applies to everything else in life. Thus, if you have some experience with one car brand, or even a single model, consider dealing only with that brand or model.
Doing this helps you in two ways; first, you will spend less time getting a vehicle to market, and second, it takes much, if not all of the guess work out of the equation. Selling cars is not so much a question of being good at selling as it is about being good at buying cars, which is another way of saying that you need to be sure that you can sell what you buy.
For instance, if you have experience of the mid-range models of a given brand, don’t buy a high-end model and hope to sell it. There may be faults and defects present that are beyond your abilities (and budget) to resolve, meaning that you will lose money, instead of making some.
At the risk of overstating the case, don’t buy and sell vehicles that you are not familiar with. People who do that are either experienced mechanics, or high-volume dealers who can afford to pay experienced mechanics to fix their purchases. You are likely neither.
Don’t sell cars, recycle them instead
Bear in mind that there are probably dozens of sellers of used cars in your immediate vicinity, and all of them are always looking for cheap parts, meaning that if you can’t buy and sell cars without spending rent and grocery money, you could always consider the business of recycling cars.
Chances are however that someone else has already cornered the market in that particular niche in your city, but there are ways and means of fighting back. One such way is to take weekend drives to outlying towns to see what people have parked in their backyards, covered up under tarpaulins, or stashed away in barns.
Nine times out of ten you will find what you’re looking for in any mid-sized town, and if you have a suitable trailer to move the vehicle, you are almost guaranteed to make several times your investment back by breaking it up and selling its parts. What remains can be sold as scrap metal, which could fetch you a perhaps another hundred dollars or so.
One more thing
If you want to sell cars, you must keep emotion out of the deal. Whatever you might think of a particular used vehicle, it is just that, a used vehicle, and nothing more than a tool with which to make some money. By focusing on the fact that you are in the business to sell cars, not to collect them, you can easily avoid all, or most of the pitfalls that have bankrupted many people.
Having to pay for a car battery replacement is a painful experience, but fortunately, there are many ways to make your car battery last for the entire warranty period, and even beyond the warranty. More good news is that none of the tips and tricks listed in this article will cost you anything, and by following them, you can save a ton of money by not having to fork out money for a premature and often unnecessary battery replacement. Here is how to make your car battery last as long as it should.
Use the right battery
Apart from anything else, using the right battery for your vehicle is the surest way to prevent a premature battery replacement. Diesel engines are particularly hard on batteries, and using a car battery that cannot produce the correct amount of cranking amps not only damages not only the battery, but the starter motor as well. So when you do have to pay for a battery replacement, make sure you replace the battery with one that conforms to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Keep the battery cool
Hot, humid weather kills more batteries than the coldest winter, so protect your battery by wrapping it in a purpose-made protective cover to protect it from both high ambient temperatures, and high under-hood temperatures.
Keep the battery clean
Batteries that live in hot, humid climates tend to collect a lot of grime mixed with moisture on the casing. At some point, the layer of grime becomes so saturated with moisture that it starts to conduct electricity between the poles. Premature battery replacement is a certain consequence of this, so make sure the top of the battery casing is clean, and kept clean to prevent a slow short circuit.
Ensure good contact
Acid buildup around the poles and terminals happen when acid escapes from the casing through microscopic cracks, so prevent a premature battery replacement by removing acid build-up as soon as it appears. In time, the acid build-up corrodes the terminals, which causes poor contact between the post and the terminal. Moreover, poor contact causes arcing and high resistance, which can kill a battery in very short order. When acid build-up occurs, neutralize it with a solution of bicarbonate and water, and apply a coating of battery sealer to prevent a recurrence.
Maintain the electrolyte level
There is no such thing as a completely “maintenance free” battery, no matter what battery manufacturer’s claim. All batteries that use a liquid electrolyte need to be checked regularly because the electrolyte boils off over time. When this happens, a premature battery replacement is a certainty, but if you are not comfortable with the idea of working with highly corrosive battery acid, you can have the battery checked by a specialist battery dealer at least four times a year.
Go easy on accessories
While automotive electronics have reached a ridiculous level of complexity, the power behind all of the gadgets, trinkets, and control modules that keep your car going still comes from a relatively primitive lead acid battery that needs to be in perfect condition to supply all the black boxes with sufficient power.
So, if you don’t want to pay for a premature battery replacement, go easy on the number of non-original accessories you fit to your vehicle. All gadgets and especially aftermarket audio systems draw amounts of power that the battery was not designed to deliver, so make sure that the total current draw does not exceed the batteries’ capacity.
Secure the battery properly
Batteries that are not secured properly are subjected to vibrations that they were not designed to withstand. Undue vibration can cause internal connections to fail, and while this might take some time to happen, you will almost certainly get no advance warning that it is about to happen. Therefore, the wise thing to do is to make sure that the battery is secured properly, and that nothing can rub against it or collide with it repeatedly. Your battery is supposed to last for up to five years, but it won’t if its internal connections are not protected against impacts and vibrations.