This DIY Car Maintenance Task Could Prevent a Serious Breakdown This Winter

Don't get stuck on the side of the road this winter because of an issue you can prevent. Check out these tips to prevent a car breakdown.

car breakdownFamily Handyman

Test Your Car Battery

Car batteries have a limited life. Don’t wait for yours to fail and leave you stranded. You can check the condition of the battery, starting and entire charging system with a computerized battery tester. One choice is the SOLAR BA9. Besides testing voltage, a computerized battery tester checks for internal resistance and conductance, giving you a good idea of the battery’s overall condition. Plus, the tester also checks the condition of your starter and alternator. Make sure you buy a battery tester that works on conventional lead acid batteries, as well as gel and absorbed glass mat (AGM) styles. That way you can use the same tester on your motorcycle and lawn and garden equipment. Don’t want to invest in a tester? Most auto parts stores will test yours for free. And just in case, review how to jumpstart your car battery. Buy this tester on Amazon now. Did you know you don’t need to go to the shop for these 100 car repairs?

Clean Your Battery Terminals

Corrosion buildup on battery posts and terminals can cause hard starting problems in cold weather and prevent your charging system from fully recharging your battery. Disconnect the negative cable first, then the positive cable. Clean the battery terminal posts using a battery cleaning tool or wire brush. Then clean the cable terminals. Clean off all grease and acid residue from the top of the battery with a paper towel. Then re-install the positive cable terminal, followed by the negative cable.

Protect Your Battery Terminals

Reduce future battery terminal corrosion with a battery terminal protectant spray. Once the battery terminals are cleaned and re-installed, spray each terminal with a liberal coating of battery terminal protectant spray (around $7 from any auto parts store or online at Amazon).

For more car tips, check out this one simple trick to defrost a car window in seconds and 46 car detailing tips that will save you money.

Plus, check out how to replace a car battery in the video below.

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