Toys are a great thing. But, you must keep the battery in good shape in order to get the most use out of it. By far, the most common complaint I get about seasonal batteries is that they have to be replaced every year. You can get 3-5 years out of your seasonal battery if you take care of it. Proper seasonal battery storage is the best way to do this. There are 4 main reasons for seasonal battery failure:
- Excessive vibration
- Letting the fluid drop below the plate (in flooded batteries)
- Allowing the battery to become discharged for periods of time during non-use and storage
- Manufacturing defects
Seasonal Battery Storage
We will go over some steps to do before storing your battery during the off-season:
- Make sure your battery is clean and dry. Clean any corrosion off the terminals with a baking soda and water solution or with battery cleaner that you can purchase here.
- Top off the water levels for flooded batteries. The water level should be midway between the top of the plate and the bottom of the filler cap.
- Make sure the battery is fully charged. Hydrometer readings of 12.265 or higher and/or voltage readings of 12.60 or higher is fully charged.
- Keep the battery fully charged while it is not in use. The best and easiest way is to use a maintainer. Make sure it is a true maintainer that either shuts off or goes into a float mode when the battery reaches a full charge. Be careful with “trickle” chargers or other “automatic” chargers. Even small “trickle” chargers will do harm to fully charged batteries if you leave them on charge too long. If you don’t use a true maintainer, you can put your battery on an overnight charge every 2-4 months. This will also keep your battery at a full charge. The last way you can keep it charged is to use your vehicle year round or start it every month. If you choose this option, make sure you run the vehicle for at least 30 minutes so you can put some charge back into the battery.
Follow these simple steps and you will spend less time and money replacing batteries and more time enjoying your toys. If you have any questions or need any more advice, come in to American Battery where the knowledge is always free!