Car batteries can store electricity to support your car to run on energy. However, the battery only provides this storage if you are not running your car for a long time. So how do you store car batteries?
Ways to preserve a car battery when not in use
It would help if you prepared some procedures before storing or using them. Here are some steps about how to store a car battery.
Prepare your car battery for storage
After you are sure that you don’t run your car for a long time, the first thing to do is start preparing your battery. The primary method for storing a car battery is to inspect it well and clean it up using baking soda solution or distilled water.
After cleaning it thoroughly, check whether there are some leaks at the upper side of your car battery. If there are, use duct tape to cover them tightly. Generally, car batteries can last for 3-5 years without any problems if there is no damage in the case of the battery itself.
Store your car battery properly
The most important thing about storing a car battery is storing it carefully. If you don’t want to ruin it, make sure to store your battery in a cool and dry place. A refrigerated room is the best choice for storing car batteries. You can also choose to use your garage if there are no signs of leakage.
Ensure that this storage room has good ventilation because gasses emitted directly from the battery itself are very harmful. Finally, don’t forget to check the temperature and humidity level of your storage room so you can keep it in perfect condition.
Recharge your battery after using it again
Before using your battery again, you need to recharge it for about 30 minutes so it can get enough power to run your car. You can recharge it using a trickle charge or other suitable methods for your battery. You should avoid overcharging the battery because if the battery is overcharged, there will be too much hydrogen and oxygen produced inside the battery’s electrolyte. It can make your car explode when in use, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Besides, you can start using it but don’t just drive your car immediately. You need to start your car a few times. If you don’t, the battery might become too weak to use.
Maintenance your car battery after using it again
After running your car, you should check and clean up your car’s electrical system, including the terminals/parts connected to the battery. Baking soda is a good solution that will clean up your terminals and protect them from corrosion. Besides, check the electrolyte level and add distilled water if it’s low.
Can extended storage of car battery kill it?
The short answer is YES. The lead-acid battery can deep discharge. However, it will suffer damage after prolonged storage. You can store a car battery for months or years without recharging, but the battery’s capacity will gradually decrease when in stand-by mode (not in use). So when you buy a car battery, make sure to buy one with the longest warranty period. The manufacturer will provide better replacement service if your battery dies after prolonged storage with a more extended warranty period.
Batteries usually have a storage life of 2 to 3 years before needing to be replaced. However, because they are stored for such a long time, batteries may experience sulfation, where lead sulfate or other by-products from discharging or overcharging begin to build upon the battery’s lead plates and reduce current-carrying ability. Also, rechargeable batteries discharged to a low level may freeze in cold climates.
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