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Winter Battery Storage

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Winter is upon us! If you haven’t already begun the process of storing the batteries used in recreational vehicles, now is the time!

Most vehicles use some form of a lead acid battery to start the engine. When these starting batteries (car, boat or motorcycle batteries) are not used for an extended period of time, they begin to self-discharge. This may lead to sulfation, an internal breakdown of the battery. Sulfation will then lead to permanent damage and battery failure. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

There are several factors that go into properly storing your battery.

Avoid extreme temperatures. A discharged battery can freeze and become permanently damaged. Freezing of even a fully charged battery can happen anywhere between -19 degrees and -98 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above 80 degrees can accelerate the process of self-discharge. Temperatures above 110 degrees can cause the battery to swell and become permanently damaged.

When storing your battery, it is important to completely charge the battery. Storing your battery at a discharged state can result in shortened battery life. While your battery is being stored, periodically measure the voltage of your battery. A 12-volt battery should be kept at a voltage of 12.5 or higher. It is best to purchase a “smart” charger that will constantly monitor the battery’s voltage level and will apply a charge when necessary to keep your battery at a proper storage voltage. This will help your battery to retain its capacity to store energy.

If your battery has been stored for some time without being connected to a smart charger and is no longer holding a charge, then it may be time to replace your battery. Battery Giant has a large selection of starting batteries for all of your vehicle needs. Visit your nearest Battery Giant and speak with one of our battery application specialists today!

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