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Check Your Car Battery

Man replacing a car battery.

Content provided courtesy of USAA.

Today, most car batteries are designed to operate maintenance-free for several years. But because extreme summer temperatures can destroy a battery and leave you stranded, the nonprofit Car Care Council recommends having your car's battery tested periodically and, if necessary, replaced.

A professional mechanic or an employee at an auto parts store can test your battery for free or a small fee.  Some do-it-yourself tips include:

  • Jiggle it gently to make sure it's securely mounted.
  • Inspect the metal connection terminals. They should be tight, clean and free of corrosion.
  • Monitor your car for signs of a weak battery, such as dimming lights, accessories not working and the battery indicator light staying on.

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Autos