Whether you're locking up a sports car over the winter or leaving town for a vacation, it's important to properly store your car's battery over an extended period. When a vehicle sits dormant, its battery naturally wears down from leaking, especially if locked away in extremely cold or warm temperatures. If you keep different vehicles locked up in a storage garage, here are key measures to take when storing a car battery.
Disconnect the battery
If you're keeping a car stored away for longer than a month, it's best to disconnect the battery from the vehicles. When removing car a battery, remember to disconnect the black, negative cable first before disconnecting the red, positive cable. Since most vehicles have a negative ground, electrical charges are live when the negative cableis connected to the battery. Removing the negative cable first avoids a potential accident.
Clean the battery thoroughly
A battery corrodes because over time it leaks acidic materials from inside. Before keeping it locked away for the season, it's important to keep a car battery clean so it's easier to reinstall. When cleaning a car battery, create a mixture of baking soda and water. Scrub this solution on your battery with a wire brushbefore rinsing it off with cold water and drying.
Learn more about how to clean a car battery
Find proper storage space
A car battery can get damaged in freezing temperatures or sweltering heat. Make sure your battery is stored in a place where the conditions are regulated above freezing or at room temperature. The area should also be as dry as possible since too much moisture can corrode the car battery, which increases the chance of damage and makes installation harder.
Recharge the battery
An idle battery can actually wear out faster than one being used constantly. Different chemical reactions cause fluids to leak and discharge out of a battery box when they're dormant. To prevent this from happening frequently, it's important to charge your car battery every one or two months, depending how long it's in storage. Remember to monitor your battery while it's charging because overcharging can cause significant damage.