Vehicle Battery Maintenance

We do like to take a look under the hood at the battery

And you should too, or you could be left without a ride when your car refuses to start at just the right moment (that is, usually when needed most).

Car batteries, and similarly for vans and trucks/lorries, used to need periodic maintenance, checking on the water levels and making sure they are between the minimum and maximum marks. If you remember doing that there is a good chance you’re above 40 years old!

Nowadays, with the advent of so called “maintenance free” batteries, it has become ignored and expected to just work, so much so that most car owners never open their bonnets to have a look at what’s underneath.

But take a look and you will find there are a few things that you can do to keep your car reliably able to start, when you need to start.

So, after you have popped the hood, what do you look out for?


The Age Of The Battery

Batteries in Singapore cars usually last from 18 to 30 months (as short as 12-14 months for a van or other diesel commercial vehicle). So do look out for that handwritten date by the mechanic who install the battery and if it is close to 18 or more months in age, you have to be alert to a few more things below – so keep reading.


Battery Post Corrosion

A blueish or whitish powder can start to appear at the battery posts (the two metal poles that stick out from the top of the battery). This indicates that the battery is close to the end of life, as the liquid (usually acid) within the battery is boiling over and seeping out from between the posts and the plastic cover – which eventually leads to low acid levels and a weaker voltage and weaker CCA (cold cranking amps).


Battery Voltage

It’s good if you have a voltmeter lying around somewhere. Use it to measure the battery voltage by touching the two leads to the two battery posts while the voltmeter is set to V DC.

You should measure the battery after the car has stopped running for a few hours, preferably overnight. This gives you a better gauge of whether the battery is able to hold its charge. A battery that falls below 12 volts is in poor condition and should be changed immediately to save you being stranded. Depending on the battery chemistry types, batteries should be at 12.4 and above, falling below may result in sulphation and shortened battery life.

A result above of 12.4 is good.


Use Your Instinct

No voltmeter around the house? Use your ears and your feel.

Does it take two or more cranks before the engine starts when it used to start the first crank? It could be due to a weak battery having less CCA. This is a sign the battery is starting to reach the end of life and it could be in its last couple of months.

Does it crank and sound like it only just made it start, no energy to spare? It probably won’t last past two weeks, time to change as well.


If you see any of the above signs, call 9Battery 92288379 for a quote for replacement of your car battery at your preferred location, be it your home or workplace, we will fix you up fast with the correct battery. Do tell us if it is not an urgent situation – scheduled replacements cost less!