If you’re running a fleet business, you should always have extra batteries on hand for your vehicles. When a vehicle’s battery dies on the road, it causes significant disruption to the vehicle’s driver and whoever has to bring them a battery. The only way to ensure the proper operation of your vehicle batteries is to replace them regularly, and this is easier if you always have some batteries on hand. However, there is a specific way to store a car battery so that it does not get damaged or cause damage to the area around it. Let’s discuss how to store a car battery long-term.
Why Do Batteries Require Specific Storage?
We’ve already discussed how frustrating a dead battery can be. Did you know that improperly storing your battery can cause it to deteriorate? This is even true for batteries that have never been used.
You want to keep batteries from discharging fully. When a battery is fully discharged, it can become irreversibly damaged from solvation.
Of course, the location of your stored battery matters. This article discusses the storage of sealed lead acid batteries, which are the most common in vehicles. We have two tips when it comes to where to store these batteries.
First, you should store them out of the way. If someone or something bumps the battery, the terminals may become crossed accidentally. You can avoid this problem by keeping your battery on a shelf where things won’t move around much.
Secondly, you should ensure the temperature is appropriate for battery storage wherever you place it. The spot you choose should stay between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit consistently. This will keep your battery in good working order for when you’re ready to use it.
If you want your battery to last until you’re ready to use it, you must ensure that you store the battery fully charged. This is because batteries lose charge even if they’re just sitting there. Sealed lead acid batteries lose about 3% of their charge every month. This may not sound like a lot, but if you’re storing it for a few years, it can add up.
When batteries discharge, it causes sulfation on the battery’s plates. This buildup can permanently reduce your battery’s ability to regain full charge. Sulfation happens at a higher rate once a battery’s charge drops below 60 or 70%.
Like any vehicle component in storage, you should check your batteries frequently. The most important thing you’ll need to do regularly is recharge your battery. To avoid the sulfation problem, test your battery about every three months. If the power is below 12.4 volts, slowly recharge the battery to full capacity.
There are also multistage battery maintainers available that keep the battery connected at all times when it’s on the shelf. This may be a good solution, especially for fleets with multiple batteries in storage.
Along with charging the batteries, you must need to clean the terminals. This is mainly important for batteries that have been removed from a vehicle. Corrosion on your battery terminals or case can cause the battery to self-discharge. This process is known as transient power loss. You can clean the terminals and battery with a neutralizing solution, then treat them with corrosion-resistant sprays.
How Long Can You Store a Battery?
How long you can store a battery depends on whether the battery is new or not.
Manufacturers recommend storing new batteries for six to nine months maximum. However, a brand new battery can hold a charge for up to two years, although it diminishes over time, even if you charge it regularly.
Store used batteries for no more than a year or so. You’ll have to top these batteries off more frequently to ensure that they remain operational.
Keep on Top of Maintenance with Azuga
Azuga is here to help you keep your vehicles operational. Our fleet management software helps you with all elements of fleet management, from tracking to safety to, of course, maintenance. Schedule a demo with one of our experts to see what Azuga can help you accomplish.