What is Battery Watering and Should You Use if For a Personal Vehicle?
The battery that operates your vehicle is filled with individual cells. Each cell has a water level that it must maintain for the vehicle to operate correctly. Most batteries will tend to last around six years if you properly maintain the water level in each cell. If you’ve never dealt with this before, then get ready because we’re going to discuss the entire procedure of battery watering.
Why Is There Water In My Car Battery?
Each battery operates with individual cells. These cells are filled with an electrolyte mixture, which contains sulfuric acid and water. This electrolyte mixture allows ions to move between the negative and positive plates of the battery’s cells. This movement happens when the battery is being discharged or charged.
A Word Of Caution When Watering Your Battery!
As you just learned above, each cell in your battery has a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. Sulfuric acid is very corrosive and dangerous when it comes into contact with the skin and eyes. You should always be wearing appropriate safety equipment when watering your battery to ensure protection against the sulfuric acid. Proper safety equipment would be wearing goggles, an apron, and gloves. This will ensure that your eyes, hands, and skin are protected from the sulfuric acid.
Once you’ve got the right protection for your body, you should also take measures to protect the environment around where you’ll be doing the battery watering. Sulfuric acid can eat through towels and other similar materials. Using automotive protective matting can protect the rest of your vehicle from this corrosive matting while watering your battery.
Check To See If Your Battery Is Maintenance-Free
While you may be under the assumption that all batteries need to be watered, that’s simply not the case. More battery manufacturers are coming out with maintenance-free batteries that don’t require the owner to do any sort of watering. There are a few easy ways to tell whether or not your battery requires regular watering.
First, take a look at the labels on your battery. Most maintenance-free batteries will state so on the side or top of the battery. Another great indication is looking at the top of the battery. A maintenance-free battery tends to have just the positive and negative terminals on the top of the battery. A battery which requires watering will have caps for all the individual cells in the battery. It also will have instructions posted on the top or side of the battery about how to properly water it.
Never Use Tap Water!
When it’s time to fill up your car battery with water, you may be tempted just to head to the faucet in your home. Stop right there! You don’t ever want to use tap water when watering your battery. Instead, opt for distilled water. Distilled water is free from minerals and other impurities that could damage the battery’s cell. You can find distilled water at your local grocery store or automotive shop.
Read Recommendations On Watering Amount
Each car battery is a little different from the next. You must ensure that you read the specific instructions for your individual car battery to know how often and how much water needs to be refilled. Having the exact amount correct when watering your battery will ensure that you get the most lifespan out of your battery.
You should never just guess when it comes to the water level in your battery. If you overfill the water too much, it will cause major damage to your battery. When the solution is filled with too much water, the electrolyte will overflow out of the battery when it heats up. This can cause damage to the battery exterior and other parts of your car due to the sulfuric acid that’s present in the mixture.
Understanding how to perform car maintenance is a must to get the most out of your vehicle. When it comes to your battery, watering is a common practice that should be done regularly for specific batteries. Hopefully, you now have a good understanding of whether or not your car battery needs to be watered and how to do it safely.