To every vehicle owner, a drained battery can present a load of frustration, and in some situations, expose oneself to precarious situations (especially to the fairer sex) when it occurs in a desolate place or in the early hours of the day when there is scarcely any traffic around. Rarely do passing motorists stop to assist. It is still possible to call the Automobile Association on your mobile phone. However, there is still a waiting period, could be hours. What if, in such a situation, your phone dies on you, the battery ran flat too!

Most cars, today, are equipped with automatic transmissions. This compounds the situation of a drained battery as compared to a car fitted with a manual transmission. In the case of the latter, it is still possible to 'push start' the car with the assistance of your passengers or passing traffic, if any. In the case of the former, 'push starting' the car is not possible. The only alternative is to obtain an external electrical power source.

To maintain your car battery in optimal condition, it is necessary to ensure that the electrolyte level of the battery is kept at an appropriate level; ie between the MIN and HIGH level markings on the battery casing. In the case of 'maintenance-free' batteries, regular checking and topping up of electrolyte is not necessary. Beside checking the electrolyte level, the battery also requires to be recharged on a regular basis. This is especially true if the car is minimally utilized, the battery does not get to be recharged through the car's built-in charging system. Here, an external source, such as a portable battery charger is required.

Besides the use of electrical power from batteries to start our car's engine, electricity is also required to power our mobile phones, laptops, etc. I believe many of us have been also done in a situation where we need to utilize the mobile phone or laptop, but the battery ran flat. A frustrating situation, especially when you are outdoors, you can not plug your equipment into any electrical power source to recharge it.

Fortunately, through the marvel of technology, portable battery chargers , and / or jump starters are readily available in the market today to take care of such situations.A wide range of products is available to suit every budget.

Car Battery Maintenance Tips

* Keep electrolyte level between MIN and MAX level marks on battery casing. Alternately, where markings are not clearly visible, ensure that the electrolyte level just cover the grids. Electrolyte used is distilled water.

* Keep the battery terminals clean. Dirty terminals can create increased resistance and impairs optimum recharging of the battery. 'White' stuff found on the terminals is sulfate. Pour hot water over the sediments. This will dissolve the sulfate.

* If the vehicle is not to be operated over a period of more than a month, disconnect the battery terminals. This will minimize the discharge rate and prevent the battery from self-discharging

* Use a hydrometer to check the SG (specific gravity) of the battery's electrolyte on a regular basis. A reading of below 1.20 indicates that the battery is not in optimal-charged condition. Use a portable battery charger to recharge the battery.

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