An illustration of a car battery that might need maintenance.

Fall is a good time to make sure your battery's connections are snug and to disconnect and clean them with a battery brush if they're showing signs of corrosion.

More on Car Maintenance

Have your car battery load tested once a year after it's 2 years old if you live in a warmer climate or after it's 4 years old if you live in a colder climate.

If you park your car for extended periods, a trickle charger can extend your car battery's life. Be sure to use one with built-in circuitry that prevents overcharging. 

And if you need to get a new car battery, check our buying guide and ratings for the best car battery you can buy.

Editors Note: This article also appeared in the October 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Car Maintenance Myths

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to keeping your car running smoothly. On the 'Consumer 101' TV show, host Jack Rico learns from Consumer Reports’ expert Jon Linkov the truth behind some of the biggest maintenance myths.