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, around $80 from auto parts stores. 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.
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. Need a more in-depth guide? Learn how to replace a car battery.