Jeffrey Boone: Hi! I am Jeff Boone with AAA Mid-Atlantic's approved auto repair department. And when winterizing your car preparing it for winter, one of the things that you need to pay attention to is the battery. Today I am going to show you a few things that you can do on your own. One of which is first of all, checking the fluid content in the battery. This battery is actually a serviceable battery. More than 50% of the vehicles today have a maintenance free battery and so you will not be able to check them. But for those that you can, it is simply prying off the cap to get to the hydraulic fluid using a Hydrometer to test the battery which is simply like a turkey baster. So you squeeze the bob, insert into the battery where the fluid is, fill the hydrometer so that you can then read whether or not this battery is in good shape. It gives you a low, a fair and a good reading area; identified by red, blue and green. This one is still under green which means that the hydraulic fluid inside of it is still in good shape.
Now, be very careful this is acid. You don't want this getting in your eyes, you don't want this to get anywhere near your body contact. If it does, simply wash it off with clean soap and water immediately. The next thing I would advise you to do is to inspect your battery terminals. One of the things that you need to look for on battery terminals is whether or not it has a fungus looking growth; growing around between the terminals and the battery post. That would be corrosion caused by acid leak or caused by hydrolysis from the battery. It can be cleaned off very simply. You could remove the battery terminal simply by loosening the attaching bolt, twisting the terminal, and lifting it up. Once you have removed that and always remove the negative battery terminal first. And that would be the last one which you have installed. The reason being is if you were to remove the positive first or install it last, it could shock the system and cause damage. This is a simple cleaner that you can purchase at any auto part store. It has an internal brush to clean the battery post. Simply put it on, twist it a few times and you will get a nice clean battery post. It also has an internal brush which is used to clean the battery terminal on the inside, same thing; put it in the terminal, twist it around a few times, make sure it is cleaned off, any corrosion that was inside the terminal. Once that is done you simply re-install the terminal. And once you have tighten the battery terminal down, just grab a hold of it and make sure that it is not loosen anyways, that you ensure that you have good contact between the battery and the terminal. Make sure that you have installed all the caps and they are air tight and install any covers that come equipped on the vehicle. There is another test that can be done to the battery which is actually testing whether or not the the battery can withstand the load. However, it must be done by a qualified professional to make sure that your battery is going to last through the winter. This should be done about every three months or easiest way to remember is to do it on an old chained cycle. When you have you have your all change done, ask them to test the battery.
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