AGM Batteries and Storage

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So we’ve already covered batteries and car storage here. I wanted to cover a specific kind of battery that we see most often in our enthusiast customer’s cars: The Gel Cell or AGM Battery.

Since we cater to enthusiasts we have seen these quite frequently over the years. Most of the time, they can be spotted by the yellow or red top. Above we see a yellow top optima battery. The car in the shot is an absolutely stunning Mazda RX7 of early 90s vintage…hopefully more to come on that in a later post.

Your typical car battery is lead-acid, the AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) used fiberglass mats sandwiched in between the battery plates. These fiberglass mats contain the electrolyte that allows the battery to discharge and charge.

AGM batteries are appealing because they do not require constant maintenance, ventilation, and can be mounted in any orientation.

HOWEVER a big downside, if you are not careful, is the risk of failure during long term storage. As usual, simple precautions that we (and any other professional storage facility should) take will reduce the risk that your battery will fail during your car’s term of storage.

First, please make sure you disconnect the negative terminal.

Second, always start and run the car regularly with the negative terminal reconnected. This will charge the battery via the alternator.

Third, make sure, as we show above, that you are trickle charging the battery if it is weak. When you do this, do not go over 2 amps or use the AGM setting on your charger. This will reduce the likely hood of overcharging and damage.

When charging, BE PATIENT, it is our experience that AGM batteries take much longer to charge than there lead acid counter parts.

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