How to Store Your Batteries for the Winter
Now that summer’s behind us, you may be putting your four-wheeler, personal watercraft, boat or motorcycle into winter storage. Although you may not think much about these vehicles during their long winter’s nap, it’s important to perform a little routine maintenance on their batteries so come next spring, you’ll be ready to go again. Here are a few winter battery storage tips:
Disconnect Unused Batteries for Storage
It’s tempting to keep your battery connected in your boat or vehicle during the off-season. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Normally this is not the best choice. Disconnect your batteries if you’re planning to let them sit unused for an extended period of time. Some vehicles draw a little power even when they’re not in use (we call that “vampire power”), and a minor energy drain coupled with the battery’s self-discharge rate will accelerate the battery’s discharge. In non-technical speak, that means the battery may run out of juice faster if you leave it connected. We recommend keeping your batteries in a garage or storage facility where the temperature never falls below freezing during the winter.
Keep Your Batteries Clean and Dry
Batteries, despite their myriad shapes and sizes, have a common enemy: Corrosion. You can fend off corrosion with a little TLC. After removing the batteries from the vehicle, clean them down with a mixture of baking soda and water, rinse with clear water and wipe dry. The baking soda solution will neutralize any battery acid on the case and will help you remove any existing corrosion on the terminals.
Recharge Stored Batteries At Least Once a Month
An unused battery can deteriorate faster than one that is used (recharged) regularly. As a battery sits, the chemicals inside it react, causing it to self-discharge. Depending on battery type and temperature, the rate of self-discharge varies. Top off the charge monthly to lengthen its service life. A fully discharged battery is more likely than a fully charged battery to freeze when the temperature drops below zero.
Make sure to use a charger specifically for your type of battery. Flooded and sealed batteries often require different chargers. Always monitor your batteries when charging, whether your charger is automatic or not. Never allow a battery to become overcharged or overheated. If the battery casing feels hot to the touch, disconnect the charger immediately and let the battery cool down before you finish the charge. When it’s finished, take it off the charger. Overcharging can evaporate the battery’s water and cause internal damage.
Read more about proper battery maintenance, including how to check water levels.
Need to prepare your car for winter? Check out our winter car care tips, including how to help your battery power through the season.
- Interstate Batteries Introduces AGM Battery for High-Accessory Vehicles (allbatteryfranchise.com)
- Indomitable Interstate Gets Gypsy Home (blogbattery.com)
- Interstate Batteries Pro ECL Series: More Cycles, More Life (blogbattery.com)
- What’s Inside Your Marine Batteries? (blogbattery.com)
Posted in All Battery, Automotive, Maintenance, Marine, Tips
Tags: Automotive battery, Deep cycle battery, Interstate Batteries, maintenance, marine battery, marine/rv battery, recycle automotive batteries, rv/marine battery, Winter