Make your car battery last longer

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Make your car battery last longer
Image by AndyArmstong on Flickr

Intro
If you don't look after your car's battery, then it won't run
properly. In fact, it might not even start at all. Car batteries
can last for up to five years if you look after them properly,
and doing so will let you save time, hassle, and most
importantly of all - money!
That being said though, this is written
by an enthusiastic amateur, not a
professional, it's always better to
consult with one of them first when it
comes to your vehicle!
Image courtesy of KNOW MALTA by Peter Grima on Flickr

First off...
Clean the battery posts by making a paste with baking soda
and lukewarm tap water. About one cup of baking soda
should be more than enough.
Stir the mixture until it is smooth and well mixed, and
remember to add the water slowly when you do. You don't
want to make the mixture too thin. Make sure that you don't
get any of the solution on auto windscreens or the car's
paintwork - it could get a bit messy.
Image by [F]oxymoron on Flickr

From there...
Take the paste that you made in the previous step, and dab it
onto the battery terminals thickly (the battery terminals are
the posts where the cables attach to the battery).
Leave this paste on for about 45 minutes or so, and clean
around the posts with a toothbrush (preferably not one that
you plan on using...)
After that, wipe the paste away completely (perhaps using a
damp rag) and dry the battery posts off.
Image by James Bowe on Flickr

Alternatively...
If you can't be done with making the paste involving baking
soda that we mentioned, then there's something a little
easier.
Bizarrely, a can of cola has much the same effect - just pour a
whole can of it over both battery posts. The phosphoric acid
in it dissolves rust, and helps to clean off existing gunk.
Once it stops bubbling, clean the posts off with a rag -
however, make sure they're absolutely dry by the time you've
finished.
Image by Enokson on Flickr

Finally...
Make sure that the battery posts are kept clean by
transferring the corrosion to something else. The easiest way
to do this is to tape a copper penny to the top of the battery
(not on the posts themselves though)
As a result, the battery posts will remain clean - even if the
copper penny changes colour!
Finally, spread some petroleum jelly such as Vaseline over
each battery terminal before attaching any battery cables to it
- doing this will prevent corrosion with regards to the posts
themselves.
Image by ell brown on Flickr

Further reading...
http://www.ehow.com/how_4506814_make-car-battery-
last-longer.html
http://www.motorpoint.com.au/Make-Car-Battery-Last-
Longer-Work-Better.asp
http://www.autorepairtips.org/autorepair/how-to-make-a-
car-battery-last-longer.php