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The battery is most likely to head the list of neglected parts by car owners. This often results in failure of battery and untimely discharge. It is important to know why battery fails prematurely because only when you know, will you be able to tackle the problem. Here are some of the most common causes of premature battery failure:

1. Overcharging
Yes, your battery needs to be charged, but overcharging can be disastrous. The positive plate grids and separators get corroded, resulting in a short circuit and a loss in capacity.

2. Undercharging
Undercharging isn’t any better. This causes buckling of the plates. Severely buckled plates will perforate the separator, leading to a short circuit.

3. Lack of usage
If you don’t use your car for, say, a month, chances are that your battery will get run down, due to self-discharge.

4. Lack of water
If you forget to top up with water, the electrolyte becomes highly concentrated. This leads to the disintegration of the separators and permanent sulphation of the plates.

5. Use of impure water
Impurities like iron and sulphur attack the plates and separators, resulting in sulphation. Now you know why they insist on distilled water for topping up.

To ensure that you get the best out of your car battery, check that the battery is installed in the precise position. This is imperative to provide the battery with proper ventilation, thereby preventing it from getting overheated. Also, don’t forget that the battery should be fitted securely to avoid jolts and vibrations. Loosely-held batteries shed the active material from their plates prematurely. On the other hand, if you over-tighten the clamps, your battery container can distort, or even crack.

Scrape away the corrosion from posts and cable connections. Clean the entire surface of the battery. Make sure all the connections are tight. And check the fluid levels periodically. Keep your battery and hence your car healthy.


Battery Trouble?

There are times when your horn, headlights etc will be functioning but the engine may not start. In such a case first remove the battery terminals, clean them, and fit them back. If even after this the engine fails to fire there may be the probability of the battery being discharged.

While driving if you notice the red light indicating battery mark glowing then immediately take it to a battery dealer for he will run a check with a voltmeter and will be able to advice you on the action to be taken.

Battery Do’S – 1-9

To keep your battery in good shape, here’s part one of a fairly exhaustive checklist:
• Ensure the correct type/capacity of battery is put in your vehicle.
• Battery should be secured firmly in the cradle.
• Terminals should be secured kept clean.
• Clamps should be firmly tightened.
• Connecting cables should be fixed to the correct poles (First + ve to + ve then -ve to -ve)
• Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) should be applied to the terminals /cable clamps
• Battery top should be kept clean.
• Periodically check the output voltage of your battery at a dealer it should not be under charged or over charged.
• Top-up with distilled water only.
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