Battery VS Car Storage
Car batteries are kind of mysterious in that they can really fail at any time especially as they get older. Yes you can use them regularly, and yes you can maintain them, but really past about 3 years its really a guessing game for failure time. Additionally, to be honest, storing your car will exacerbate the issue.
The bottom line is that car batteries don’t like long term storage. HOWEVER, you can MINIMIZE the failure risk while storing your vehicle with a few precautions.
Please note that these are precautions that we take and anyone who is storing your car should take to ensure your battery is in the best possible shape upon de-store.
Disconnect the Battery This is the most basic but most important step
Modern cars have lots of electronic systems that are always on regardless of whether the car is running or not. These systems need juice from the battery to run. Most of the time, this sort of draw is okay since most people use their cars every day and the alternator will re-charge the battery while the car is running. However, during storage, the car is being started less frequently…if at all. So you should disconnect the negative terminal. Usually this can be done quite easily with an 8 or 10 mm wrench.
(optional) Battery Trickle Charge Recommended but not required
A trickle charger can be hooked up to your battery during storage.This system will simulate the load that a battery would experience during regular use of the car. It therefore keeps the battery conditioned and lasting longer. We at AAAA storage provide this service for a little extra since it draws electricity but are happy to accommodate our customers if they elect to do so.
Maintain the Water Level Many batteries now are sealed and cannot be maintained.
However if your battery has removable caps on top you can and should remove them from time to time and check the water level. If the water is low, fill the battery backup with distilled water. Keeping the water levels in a battery optimal will ensure that it doesn’t overheat. Overheating, leads to swelling, and swelling leads to bursting. Battery+explosion+acid=a bad time.
Clean and Coat the Terminals.
It’s a good idea from time to time to clean the battery terminals and coat them with Vaseline or specialized protectant specifically for batteries. The cleaning will ensure that the maximum amount of energy is going to the car’s systems and not into thin air. The coating will ensure that corrosion is slow to pop up in the future.
Charge the battery If you leave your car with someone who specializes in vehicle storage, ask them to charge your battery before you pick your car up. This entails hooking the positive and negative terminals up to a special fast charger and will bring your battery up to a full charge.