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How To Properly Boost Your Car Battery

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Even the best battery will eventually show its age and require replacement. And somewhere along the line, it will likely need to be boosted, and there's a proper way to do it!In 1860, Frenchman Gaston Plante invented the first practical rechargeable battery based on lead-acid chemistry. Today, lead-acid batteries come as original equipment in most internal combustion vehicles. Most car batteries in Canada have a life expectancy of around five years and most will fail in extremely cold conditions. Our winter weather is a battery killer.

Steps to properly boost a dead car battery:

  1. To boost a dead battery from a good (donor) battery, park both vehicles close together, but not touching. Turn off the donor vehicle during this process because a surge is generated when the cables are connected that could damage the electrical system.
  2. Open the hoods and locate the batteries, often enclosed under a plastic cover. Remove the cover to expose the terminals and carefully wipe off any excess corrosion. Inspect the dead battery for damage and if it is cracked or leaking, do not boost it!
  3. Use heavy-duty booster cables and connect the batteries in the following order:
    • Connect the positive (red) cable clamp to the positive terminal on the dead battery. Next, connect the other positive clamp to the positive terminal on the good battery.
    • Connect the negative (black) clamp to the negative terminal of the good battery. If this is not possible, connect the black clamp to a bolt or other grounded metal surface in the engine compartment. Some vehicles have a designated negative ground post in the engine bay. These are typically well marked, but you can also refer to your owner's manual for specific locations.
  4. Be aware of moving parts in the engine bay such as belts to ensure that the booster cables and clamps are clear and unobstructed. For your protection, wear safety goggles or a face mask and gloves. Batteries are dangerous and battery acid is highly corrosive, so protect yourself. If all clear, start up the donor vehicle.
  5. Now that you've completed the connected circuit, wait a few minutes for the voltage to transfer from the good battery to the discharged battery, then start up the vehicle with the dead battery. Make sure all of the lights and power features are turned off to minimize load. Once the vehicle is running, disconnect the booster cables in the reverse order: negative off the boosted battery, negative off the donor battery, positive off the donor battery, positive off the boosted battery.
  6. Leave the boosted vehicle running for at least ten minutes to partially charge the battery before driving off. If the vehicle does not restart on its own after a lengthy drive, have your battery, alternator, and charging system inspected by a service technician.

Visit your local Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centre for the best deal on automotive batteries for all makes and models of vehicles. The Quick Lane crew will be happy to swap out your old battery with a new one and dispose of the old battery safely and efficiently. They will also provide a proper visual inspection to ensure your other vital components are in good working order. To book an appointment CLICK HERE.

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