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Battery Terminal Cleaning & Maintenance | Chicagoland Jiffy Lube®

Battery Maintenance and Replacement Services

A healthy 12-volt battery will run at close to 13 volts when measured, but it’s something consumers never notice. At Jiffy Lube™, we want your battery to exhibit the healthy cells of a vehicle battery regardless of the numbers. For that, you need our expert help.

At Jiffy Lube™, we’ll locate the battery in your car, run a diagnosis of the battery’s condition and make sure there’s good contact with the battery cable clamps. It’s all part of our maintenance routine. We offer services like cleaning sulfate-caked terminals, repairing broken clamps or replacing batteries.

A healthy battery is a reason the car starts every morning, so it’s important to maintain it and replace it when the time comes. Doing maintenance on a regular basis will keep the battery doing its job all the while it’s viable. That maintenance ensures the car will start every morning.

The Terminals of a Battery

Glance at your battery and you’ll often see a couple of poles on top that cables and clamps are attached to. One pole is positive and has a designated “+” or positive sign on it, and the other is negative and has a “-” sign. These are your battery terminals.

Sometimes the poles are not visible, and the only way to know where the terminals are is to look for the two symbols on the battery’s body. In these instances, the terminals are located inside the battery. Clamps do not attach, but the cable contact is made with bolts screwed into the battery’s side. When the bolt and cable are attached, the circuit is complete. If you know how to jumpstart a battery, you know where to attach jumper cables to the poles.

If you ever remove the cables, make sure you put them back by matching up the positive or negative sign on the battery with the positive and negative designated cables. By the way, these poles are powerful enough to attach battery cables between two cars and produce enough current to start a second car. If you do proper maintenance on the battery, it’s less likely you’ll be in a position where you will want to know how to jumpstart a battery. That’s because your battery won’t die between checks with routine maintenance. At Jiffy Lube™, your battery will be diagnosed when you bring it in, and if it’s at the end of its life, we’ll replace it with a new one.

By now, you should realize that the car’s battery is the heart of the car. It starts it every time you get in, and all your electrical components run off it. While you will be kept up to date by your mechanic, will that be enough? Here are other ways you can tell if your battery is failing.

A battery’s life

The lifespan of your battery varies depending on who you talk to. Some people believe it could last as long as five years while others say seven. What is universally true is that a normal 12-volt battery will at least last three years. After three years, all bets are off. While this sounds pessimistic, it’s important to think realistically about your battery’s lifespan to avoid the roadside break-down.

Your professional mechanic can only measure how much charge a battery is holding at the time you bring the car in for a checkup. To get a truly accurate reading, the mechanic would have to charge the battery at least until it’s holding 12.5 volts, and then check at intervals to see how long it stays charged. Any tests that do less than that should be taken with a grain of salt. You may not know the status of your battery until it’s dead. So what do you do?

Take a look at your battery and you will probably find a date on it. Check when the battery is new and compare it to the calendar month you’re on just to be accurate. That’s the month and year your battery’s life starts and you can count from there three years ahead to estimate when your battery may fail due to age. At the three year mark, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your battery.

Your driving habits and the weather extremes will lengthen or shorten a battery’s life. If you live in extremely cold climates, your battery life after three years may be short. If you’re a good driver, your battery will carry you further than if you’re not such a good driver.

How Does a Battery Work?

A car battery is a square box that contains chemicals and plates. It creates an electrical charge to start the car. If your battery is in good condition, it could sit for hours or days in a garage or curbside without discharging significant energy. It easily starts the car when you turn the ignition key. After the battery starts the car, then the car takes a turn and charges the battery with an alternator.

While the car runs, the alternator continues to charge the battery and electrical devices run off the battery. Your lights work, the radio works, climate control components work, and much of the automatic features in the car run from the electrical charge of the battery. If you think of a flashlight, you know the light comes on because of the presence of batteries behind it. It’s the same with a car. If there’s an electrical component, it’s running off your car battery. That makes the battery important. It’s hard to imagine the car running at all in these times without the battery working.

Over time, a battery wears out. There’s nothing visibly different about it except that it may appear to be dusty or dirty or the battery poles may be covered with white or bluish powdery crud. When your battery dies, it doesn’t make any wheezing noises or sound like it’s dragging on the highway. It just dies. If it’s past the three-year mark, there’s always the possibility that it needs a replacement. It might be charged again, but does it hold a charge? You might want to start thinking about a new battery.

Jiffy Lube’s™ Battery Maintenance and Replacement Service

Jiffy Lube™ routinely services your battery every time you come in for an oil change or another service. We use diagnostic tools to get an accurate idea of the condition of the r battery. It’s part of vehicle scheduled maintenance. We also service the battery by cleaning the battery terminals, replacing cable ends and replacing the battery.

If your battery is getting old, bring your vehicle into Jiffy Lube™ to get a battery check and maintenance. Do the same thing if you’re leaving on a long trip. Bring your vehicle in for a battery check at any time. When we replace a battery with a new one, test the new battery along with the starting and charging system components, and retest the vehicle battery. Then we’ll start and charge components afterward. You can be confident that a battery replacement at Jiffy Lube™ will get you back on the road in a quick, painless fashion.