How To

BASIC BATTERY CARE

Difficulty Level: Novice  |  Time Required: 10 minutes  |  Tools Required: Wire brush, Wrench, Battery cleaner spray and Protective gloves

With good and consistent care, you can get optimal use and longevity from your vehicle’s battery. Here you’ll find information on inspecting your battery, cleaning the battery terminals, and tips for general care and usage.

Certain conditions can lead to excessive battery wear such as not properly grounding accessories, leaving accessories plugged in when the vehicle is not in use, infrequent and short-distance driving, and storing the vehicle in freezing temperatures. It’s important to take care of your vehicle’s battery to maximize its life.

Note: These tips only apply to traditional under-the-hood batteries — they DO NOT apply to electric or hybrid battery systems. If you are not comfortable with caring for your battery yourself, please contact a Certified Service Dealer.


INSPECTING THE BATTERY

Your battery should be inspected and tested periodically. As part of the Multipoint Inspection during Dealership service visits, a Certified Service Technician will inspect your battery for cracks, leaks and corrosion; he or she will also perform a conductance test to assess battery health.

At home, visual inspections are always a good idea. Also, it’s important to note that the original equipment battery is maintenance-free — do not remove the cap and do not add fluid.

CLEANING THE BATTERY TERMINALS

Chemicals and vapors can escape the battery — mixed with extremely hot temperatures, this can corrode the battery terminals over time. The best way to prevent this is to keep the battery terminals clean.

  1. Make sure the vehicle is turned off.
  2. Locate and assess your battery. If you notice that the battery case is leaking, swollen or bloated, skip the cleaning and head to your dealership’s Service Department — your battery will likely need to be replaced.
  3. Undo the negative cable attached to your battery and then the positive cable. (Refer to your Owner’s Manual for help.)
    Note:
    If a terminal clamp is difficult to loosen, try applying some cleaner or penetrating oil. Forcing the clamp loose could break the terminal.
  4. Apply battery cleaner and use a wire brush to scrub any corrosion from the posts.
  5. Dry the terminals completely and apply petroleum jelly. This will help prevent further corrosion and help strengthen the connection with the battery cable.
  6. Replace and tighten the battery cables, first the positive and then the negative. Do not overtighten.

GENERAL CARE AND USAGE TIPS

  • If you drive infrequently, remove the black negative (-) cable from the battery to keep the battery from running down
  • If your vehicle is in extended storage, remove the negative (-) cable from the battery or connect the battery to a trickle charger
  • Charge the vehicle battery in a well-ventilated area. Charging releases highly flammable hydrogen. Keep open flames and flammable materials away from the battery
  • After reconnecting the battery (or after a battery power loss):

1. Turn the ignition on but do not start the engine.

2. Leave the ignition on for at least three minutes to allow the electronic throttle control to cycle and relearn its home position.

3. Turn the ignition off.

4. Start and run the engine for at least 30 seconds.  

WARNINGS

  • Do not disconnect a battery’s cables while the vehicle is running
  • Fans and other moving engine parts can injure you badly. Keep your hands away from moving parts once the engine is running
  • Handle the battery carefully. A cracked case could spill harmful chemicals that could cause severe burns and blindness
  • Do not attempt to charge a frozen vehicle battery. This may cause the battery to explode
  • Follow state and local regulations when disposing of the vehicle battery


RELATED LINKS AND RESOURCES


Q&As

How can I tell if my vehicle battery needs to be charged or replaced?

Vehicle batteries on average last 3—5 years depending on factors such as driving habits and climate. In general, warmer climates tend to increase damage due to sulfation. Also, long periods of time spent in a discharged state will shorten the life of a battery.

How do I select the right replacement battery for my vehicle?

ACDelco recommends the right balance of Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) and Reserve Capacity (RC). Select a battery that has the recommended amount of CCA, found in your Owner’s Manual, and with as much RC as you can get. A battery with a higher-than-recommended CCA will not start your car faster. This is due to gear reduction starters, lower viscosity oils, fuel injection, etc. The average car cranks no more than 3 seconds and as a result does not need more CCA than what the vehicle manufacturer recommends.

RC, however, is becoming more important due to the amount of vehicle electronics. The more RC you can get, the better your battery will perform.


LOOKING FOR SOMETHING ELSE? 

NEED MORE HELP?

Communicate with one of our specialists.

To find out if your vehicle has this feature, contact your dealer or refer to your vehicle’s equipment list. Please check your Owner’s Manual for more information about features.

  • The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Buick vehicles’ destination freight charges.

  • EPA estimated MPG 25 city, 30 highway FWD.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA estimated.

  • Functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth® and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • EPA estimated MPG 30 city, 32 highway 1.3L engine FWD.

  • Buick Driver Confidence: Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator and IntelliBeam. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. To use Android Auto on your car display, you’ll need an Android phone running Android 6 or higher, an active data plan, and the Android Auto app. Google, Android and Android Auto are trademarks of Google LLC.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple® and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone® and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay, Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Safety or driver-assistance features are no substitute for the driver’s responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Buick Driver Confidence Plus: Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, IntelliBeam, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Park Assist. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some phones have built-in wireless charging technology and others require a special adapter/back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, click here or consult your carrier.

  • EPA estimated MPG 18 city/26 highway FWD.

  • Requires available Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. To use Android Auto on your car display, you’ll need an Android phone running Android 6 or higher, an active data plan, and the Android Auto app. Google, Android and Android Auto are trademarks of Google LLC.

  • Bose is a registered trademark of the Bose Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

  • EPA estimated FWD model.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Preproduction model shown throughout. Actual Production model may vary.

|