It’s worthwhile to know a little about auto batteries. You know this already if you’ve ever been stranded in a parking lot with a dead battery, texting everyone you can think of for help. Learn how to keep your car battery in great shape so that you can cash in those favors on something better than a battery jump.

More vehicle Maintenance Tips

Keep Your Battery Clean

Pop open the hood. Don’t be shy! Your battery is the box that’s about the size and shape of a toaster. Ideally, it should be nice and clean, but don’t freak out if you see some white or greenish gunk around the terminals. This is corrosion. Simply clean it off using a mixture of baking soda and water if necessary.

Clear the corrosion off your battery
Cleanin’ the battery terminals like

Check the Terminals

There are at least two kinds of terminals in this world: the ones in which you take naps at the airport, and the ones on your car battery. Give the terminals a little wiggle. If they’re loose, tighten them with a wrench. In case this doesn’t go without saying, we’ll say it: Make sure the vehicle is OFF while you’re doing this.

Tighten loose car battery terminals with a wrench
You’re doing it wrong, Spiderman.

Get Your Battery Tested

Replacing a dead auto battery isn’t as easy as popping a couple fresh AA’s into the TV remote, so you don’t want this to sneak up on you. Every time you get your vehicle serviced, have the mechanic test your battery. If it’s time for a replacement, your mechanic can put in a new battery and dispose of the old one properly.

Get your auto battery tested regularly
If only cars could change their own batteries…