How To How To Basic Battery Care

Difficulty Level: Novice  |  Time Required: 10 minutes  |  Tools Required: Wire brush, Wrench, Battery cleaner spray and Protective gloves  |  Related Parts, Products, Services or Technology: None

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.


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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 Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • 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 is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner's Manual for more information.

     

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

  • Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android (TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Service varies with conditions and location. Requires active service and paid AT&T data plan. Visit onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic Sedan with 6-speed manual transmission 27/38; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34; Sonic Hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34.

  • Equipment from independent suppliers is not covered by the GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty. GM is not responsible for the safety or quality of independent supplier alterations.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

     

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    Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/bluetooth to find out which phones are compatible with the vehicle. Full Bluetooth feature functionality varies by device, model and software version.

  • 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 is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android™ 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam automatic high beams on/off, Following Distance Indicator.  Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information. 

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. Map Coverage available in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires available 3.6L engine and 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

  • Requires available 3.6L engine and 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

  • Requires available 3.6L engine and 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.

  • Chevy Safety Assist: 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 Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android, Android Auto, Google, Google Play and other marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.  

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark 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 is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models.

  • Available on Crew Cab models.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints.  Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint.  See the Owner's Manual for more information.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

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

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

  • 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, iPhone, Siri and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and a compatible AndroidTM smartphone. Data plan rates apply. You can check which smartphones are compatible at g.co/androidauto/requirements. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Requires available Trailering Package.  Maximum trailering ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The trailering capacity of your specific vehicle may vary. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can trailer.

  • 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.

  • Standard on all Traverse trims: Chevy Safety Assist includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam and Following Distance Indicator. 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.

  • 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, iPhone, Siri and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. 

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and a compatible Android smartphone. Data plan rates apply. You can check which smartphones are compatible at g.co/androidauto/requirements. Android, Google Play and Android Auto are trademarks of Google LLC.

  • 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.

  • Standard on all Traverse trims: Chevy Safety Assist includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam and Following Distance Indicator. 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.

  • 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.

  • Standard on all Traverse trims: Chevy Safety Assist includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam and Following Distance Indicator. 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.

  • Leather-appointed seating surfaces in front and second rows; third row is vinyl-covered.

  • Standard on all Traverse trims: Chevy Safety Assist includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam and Following Distance Indicator. 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.

  • 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.

  • Standard on all Traverse trims: Chevy Safety Assist includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam and Following Distance Indicator. 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.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Connected Navigation and Real-time Points of Interest (POI) only available on properly equipped vehicles. Requires paid plan or trial. Map coverage available in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Visit onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Standard on all Traverse trims: Chevy Safety Assist includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam and Following Distance Indicator. 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use recovery hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

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

  • 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.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use recovery hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner’s Manual.

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

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and a compatible Android™ smartphone. Data plan rates apply. You can check which smartphones are compatible at g.co/androidauto/requirements. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

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

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • 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.

  • Do not use summer-only tires in winter conditions, as it would adversely affect vehicle safety, performance and durability. Use only GM-approved tire and wheel combinations. Unapproved combinations may change the vehicle’s performance characteristics. For important tire and wheel information, go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/chevrolettires or see your dealer.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • 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.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. Connected Navigation and Real-time Points of Interest (POI) only available on properly equipped vehicles. Requires paid plan or trial. Map coverage available in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Visit onstar.com for details and limitations.

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

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

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models.

  • Available on Crew Cab models.

  • The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price includes destination freight charge. Tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment not included.

  • 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.

  • Connected navigation and real-time points of interest only available on properly equipped vehicles. Device data connection required. Map coverage available in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. See onstar.com for details and limitations

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

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