Whether you’re using a hybrid or a vehicle run by gas, diesel, and any other fuel, there’s always a battery present. Batteries are used by your car in order to start the engine as well as to provide power to the electrical components of your vehicle (such as the air conditioning, radio, lights, etc.) when the engine isn’t running. In most cases, vehicle owners keep extra car batteries the same way they keep spare tires and car parts. However, car batteries do require a little extra TLC when it comes to storing them. That said, Here are things you should remember when storing your battery:
First off, whether it’s new or used, it’s important that you inspect your battery for any damages. These could range from cracks, corrosions, and any other damage to the case. Always use gloves and goggles when manually inspecting your battery for such issues as fumes and leakage can be quite harmful.
Prior to storage, it’s important that you thoroughly clean the battery of deposits, corrosion, dust, and dirt. Electrolyte deposits, as well as other substances, can potentially lead to your battery self-discharging quickly due to power loss between the terminals. Auto shops and mechanics suggest using baking soda and water mix, or a battery spray cleaner when cleaning the battery terminals.
Before you store the battery, it should be fully charged at around 12.7 V and 12.8. This is to ensure that the battery is ready for use anytime. For long storage periods, it’s important that you regularly charge the battery and maintain a charge of 12.5 V every two months to prevent deep discharge.
Storage Location and Position
It’s important that you store your battery in a cool, dry place. Poor battery storage can lead to deep discharge that can result in permanent/irreversible damage. Temperature is a major factor in storage; for those living in frigid areas or areas experiencing winter, you may have heard or experienced vehicle batteries dying in the cold — this is because the battery could end up freezing in extreme temperatures. Warmer temperatures, on the other hand, would lead to self-discharge. So, ensure that the battery is stored in an area with good ventilation and has an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. Investing in a good battery case would also ensure that it’s stored in optimal temperature and is safe from damage through impact or be exposed to dust and dirt. Lastly, your battery should be stored upright to prevent any leakage.
Regular Monitoring and Testing
As mentioned earlier, you should charge your battery regularly in order to have it ready for use and to prevent deep discharge. That said, you should make it part of your routine to regularly monitor and test your battery for discharge in order to charge it accordingly, as well as to detect any damages or leaks that may have occurred during storage.
Proper battery storage “etiquette” is important in order to ensure that your battery is safe and ready to use whenever it’s needed. Lastly, if you’re about to take your battery out to use it as your vehicle’s main battery, or hook it up in your vehicle’s frame mounted battery box to serve as an auxiliary battery, it’s vital that you still do the usual routine of checking for damages, cleaning it, and test that it’s fully charged before installing it to your car.