Does your car battery have enough juice to make it through winter? Here are some tips to maintain it

If your car engine cranks slowly, your headlights are dim, or your dashboard’s charging warning lamp is illuminated, your battery may be in the throes of “heart” failure - it’s time to have it checked or replaced, says AAA Northeast.
“If oil is the ‘life blood’ of your car, think of your battery as the ‘heart’,” said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokeswoman. “And in the middle of a raging snowstorm is not the time to think: ‘Maybe I should have replaced my battery in the fall.’”
Here are some tips to maintain your battery:

1. Clean

Clean the battery case periodically using a mild detergent.

2. Inspect

Inspect for cracks and bulges that indicate the battery needs testing or replacement.

3. Inspect/clean terminals

Check battery posts and terminals for corrosion and loose/cracked connections. Clean corrosion with a 50/50 solution of baking soda and water, using a small, stiff brush. Rinse with clean water.

4. Get your battery tested

Have your battery and charging system tested by a professional, especially if the battery is more than three years old. Remember, a jumpstart will only fix the ‘symptom,’ not the problem.