How to take care of your car battery

Your car’s battery is the heart of its electrical system – maintaining battery health is vital to keeping your car going and avoiding breakdowns. Plus, you pay top dollar for one, so need it to go as far as it can. Here's how to make it last.

Six ways to avoid a flat or dead battery

  1. Check you haven’t left any interior or exterior lights on as you walk away from your car.
  2. If you don’t drive your car regularly, buy a battery charger so you can keep its charge topped up.
  3. A steady one-hour drive each week is enough to keep your car battery charged.
  4. Have the alternator and battery charging system checked at each service.
  5. Have your engine serviced regularly – poor engine condition can place extra load on the battery.
  6. By cleaning your vehicle’s battery terminals, you can actually help the car battery perform stronger, longer!

Five steps: clean your car battery terminals

  1. Loosen the nut and remove the negative ( - black) terminal from the battery post first – removing the terminals in this order makes it impossible to create a short circuit between the battery post and the car’s body, which is connected to the battery’s negative post or ‘grounded’.
  2. Loosen the nut and remove the positive ( + red) terminal from the battery post.
  3. Scrub any corrosion from the terminals and posts using water and a stiff brush, then dry them.
  4. If the corrosion is difficult to remove, use a solution of baking soda and water, but make sure none gets inside the battery.
  5. Securely reconnect the terminals in the reverse order – that is, positive ( + red) first, then negative ( - black).

If you have a flat battery or think you need a car battery replacement, call the NRMA batteries mobile team on 1300 726 751. We'll come to you and test your battery to uncover the problem, and if the battery needs to be replaced we can install a new one on the spot. Alternatively, in just a few steps you can book an appointment online for a time and place that suits you.

Need your car battery replaced?

NRMA technicians can come to you and safely install a new battery at a time and place that suits you.