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The Gentleman's Express: Tech-Tips from the JIOC

Table of Contents

Battery Care and Cleaning

Author: CFF

With proper care an automobile battery could outlast the car itself. Some of the steps taken to ensure a (longer extended) life is to keep terminals and cables clean and free from corrosion, checking both ends and the condition of the cable - frayed, worn, etc; also make sure that cables are making good connections at both ground and solenoid. Keep battery acid above minimum. Do not allow battery to overcharge, or to run low. Protect battery from excessive heat (a little hard to do in our Interceptors, and this is probably the major reason for their replacement (symptoms of an overcharged battery or one exposed to too much heat is swelling or distortion of the case).

Let’s assume you have a free afternoon and you decide to clean your battery and check everything out, so some needed tools are:

  1. Selection of 7/16, 1/2, 9/16 open-end wrenches
  2. Similar for sockets
  3. Baking soda and water
  4. Vaseline
  5. Pliers - just in case
  6. New cable covers, if possible
  7. Wire brush
  8. Semi-gloss black spray paint

Now proceed in the following order -

  1. Remove negative and then positive terminals from the battery
  2. Remove hold-downs and/or cover
  3. Remove battery from the car
  4. Check cables for wear and condition of ends, replace as needed
  5. Mix up a solution of baking soda and water and wash down the battery compartment, hold downs, cable ends, battery and posts, etc
  6. The solution should be allowed to sit for a few minutes or until anybubbling action stops. Then rinse with clean water and let dry
  7. If any corrosion is still apparent, use wire brush and repeat steps e. and f. until clean
  8. Paint all clean metal such as battery cover/hold down, tray, compartment etc and allow to dry
  9. Repeat steps a through c in reverse, replacing worn or questionable parts as you go, coating the battery posts and cable terminal ends with vaseline
  10. Top up the battery with distilled water and wipe any excess clean
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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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