How do you know when your car battery needs water?

I recently learned that car batteries occasionally need water. Since this hasn't been a part of my maintenance routine, I am unsure of what to do. How will I know when the battery needs water?

Answer
Some car batteries do need water, but don’t worry, it’s not like a plant; you don’t need to water your battery!
Instead, you just occasionally should look at your battery and see how its water levels are doing. Of course, if your battery is a sealed, maintenance-free battery, this is something you won’t have to worry about at all.
Check to see if your battery has a green light on top. This usually tells you if the water level is good. If it’s gone dark then your battery needs water, or if it turned yellow then your battery needs some assistance.
You should not mess with your car battery on your own! Batteries are full of chemicals that can be dangerous. If you think your battery needs water, it is best to visit a mechanic and have them do it for you. It is also good to note that the mechanic will not use tap water for this process but instead a special deionized water.
Ways to tell that your battery might need some help include:
If you’re not sure, then it’s a good time to ask a mechanic. You can access a mechanic hotline for help through the Jerry app’s roadside assistance membership. They can help you safely diagnose what your car problems might be without you worrying about getting dangerous battery fluids on yourself.
Lauren Smith
Answered on Oct 26, 2021
Lauren has written for World Nomads, the Matador Network, Korvia Consulting, and once upon a time Three Fates Games. She graduated from Columbia College of Chicago with a BFA in Creative Writing. After graduating, she moved overseas and lived in South Korea where she spent her free time traveling and going on road trips with friends. She misses the rest stop potatoes and is trying to figure out how to recreate them at home. She's now based outside of Chicago and when she's not writing she spends her free time reading, playing video games, and exploring whenever she can.
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