Names can be misleading! A peanut is not technically a nut, nor is a starfish really a fish … and despite its name, a maintenance-free vehicle battery can indeed benefit from regular inspection and maintenance.
Today’s maintenance-free batteries are typically designed without removable filler caps. This means you can’t top them off with additional water. But, it doesn't mean that you can ignore regular battery maintenance.
A WELL-MAINTAINED BATTERY IS A HAPPY BATTERY
Do you know when to check your car battery? Typically, it's recommended that the battery be inspected at least twice per year (every 6 months or 6,000 miles). You'll find the schedule for your specific vehicle outlined in your owner's manual. If you can't locate your owner's manual, don't worry: Jiffy Lube® technicians can access your car's maintenance schedule and the recommended procedures.
Battery testing and maintenance are so important to your vehicle's starting/charging system that it is routinely performed with every Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change®. Car battery testing can also be performed as a standalone service. So, if you notice your vehicle is slow to start or that your lights are dim, please don't hesitate to bring your vehicle to a service center so the technicians can test the battery. By following your vehicle's maintenance schedule and responding if you notice a problem, you may be able to spare yourself the sinking feeling that comes from looking down and seeing that the "Battery" or "Charging System" light is lit on your dashboard or — much worse! — finding yourself stranded with a vehicle that just won't start.
YOUR BATTERY KEEPS YOU ROLLING IN SAFETY AND COMFORT
A 12-volt vehicle battery is sometimes referred to as an SLI battery because it's responsible for starting, lighting, and ignition systems. You depend on it every time you get behind the wheel. Every time! Without the electricity stored in your battery, you couldn't:
Start your engine
Turn on the interior and exterior lights
Raise and lower the windows or open the door locks
Operate the heater's blower
Keep the music playing
HOW DOES IT DO ALL THAT?
Your vehicle's starting and charging system is designed to work in a continuous cycle to first start your engine and then keep the battery charged.
The battery stores electrical energy
The starter converts the electrical energy to mechanical energy to crank the engine
After the engine has started, the alternator produces an electric current that replaces the energy the starter drew from the battery
Then the cycle repeats, powering your engine as the electrical energy is again converted to mechanical energy, and the alternator recharges the battery to supply additional current as needed.
WHEN TO CHECK YOUR CAR BATTERY
When you bring in your vehicle to Jiffy Lube, a trained technician will:
Visually inspect your battery, including the hold down and connections
Perform a thorough terminal cleaning (as needed with your approval)
Replace cables (as needed with your approval)
Inspect connections and tighten them, if required
Electrically test the battery, including OCV (Open Circuit Voltage) and CCA (Cold Cranking Amps)
Inspect and adjust your battery fluid level (if possible)
THERE WILL BE A Q & A PORTION
Don't worry! You don't have to study for it, and there are no wrong answers. Jiffy Lube technicians know that driving habits have an impact on a car's starting and charging system. That's why the vehicle inspection includes questions like:
Do you often drive in stop-and-go traffic? Start and stop driving may not allow the alternator to fully charge the battery.
Do you often drive on unpaved, dusty roads, or on streets covered in ice-melting salt? Airborne dirt and debris can get under your hood and interfere with your vehicle's power supply.
After both the inspection and the conversation, you can expect the trained Jiffy Lube technician to explain any issues that may prevent your starting/charging system from working efficiently. Then you can confidently make an educated decision about the next step for your vehicle.
LOOK AND LISTEN
In between regularly scheduled inspections, your battery will just naturally experience wear and tear. So, pay attention to your vehicle and remain alert for:
Dim or weak exterior or interior lights
A clicking sound when you turn your key in the ignition or press the start button
The "charging" light illuminates on the instrument cluster, which could signal a problem with your battery and/or charging system
Slow cranking during engine start-up
These signs can help let you know when to check your car battery. Don’t hesitate. Your timely response just might prevent you and your loved ones from being stuck on the side of the road with a dead car battery.
A TYPICAL BATTERY LASTS THREE TO FIVE YEARS
When the question “when to check your car battery” becomes “when to replace your car battery”, consider bringing your vehicle to Jiffy Lube. A trained technician can:
Help you choose the right battery – batteries come in many sizes and types and selecting a new one can be confusing – a Jiffy Lube technician can recommend a battery that meets or exceeds manufacturer recommendations for your vehicle
Remove and dispose of your old battery
Expertly install the new one
Replace the battery terminals, if needed, to ensure optimal operation
REMEMBER, YOU CAN RELY ON JIFFY LUBE
Don’t just think of Jiffy Lube when you need an oil change or car battery testing and replacement. Jiffy Lube can also help you with timely, consistent vehicle maintenance, the kind that will help keep your vehicle operating as engineered. When you visit a Jiffy Lube, you can count on services performed by trained technicians. It’s all part of the Jiffy Lube commitment to helping you keep your car, minivan, truck or SUV on the road and in top shape.