Consistently Check Your Battery Terminals, Cables and Voltage

Posted on January 1, 2003 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping limousines on the road and reducing downtime. Because of the heavy demand on a limousine's electrical system to power various crucial features, it is important to keep the battery, cables, and wires in top condition. However, operators should be cautious.

"There's very little electrical maintenance an operator can do himself," says Pete Corelli, president of Lakeview Custom Coach in Oaklyn, N.J.

"Operators shouldn't handle electrical maintenance themselves because the electrical systems in limousines are sophisticated and intricate. THe only thing an owner can do himself is remove the battery cables, clean them, and put them back." 

Understanding battery maintenance will help operators realize the importance of this part of their vehicle.

Cleaning Terminals

A battery has two lead terminals - one negative and one positive. Both terminals develop lead oxide buildup or corrosion. Because lead oxide is clear gray, the terminals may appear clean, even with buildup present.

Preventing these problems is simple: Keep terminals clean. Corelli recommends that owners clean the top of the battery with a solution of baking soda and water to remove grease before cleaning the terminals. Keeping terminals and cables clean increases battery life.

Checking the Cable

The second most common problem in battery care is when there is corrosion in the cable connected to the terminal. Check the wires in the electrical system, ensuring that all connections are tight. A good conversion will have wires that are color coded, housed in protective tubing, and neatly secured with plastic ties.

Checking the Voltage By checking the voltage with a voltmeter, operators can trouble-shoot alternator and battery problems. Additionally, you can check voltage by turning on the accessories in the vehicle and revving the engine. There should be a voltage increase. If not, there is a problem with your alternator or voltage regulator.

Lengthening Battery Life

Inform your chauffeur staff not to continuously crank the starter. Also, chauffeurs should keep the lights off when idling, and, if possible, refrain from idling.

Consistently check your battery terminals, cables and voltage. This will significantly reduce maintenance costs and downtime. Because limousine electrical systems carry a greater load than the average passenger car, it is essential to be sure that the alternator and battery are working together properly.

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