As reduced lifespan and performance is the likely result of leaving a battery in storage unmaintained, CTEK, a global battery care brand, is advising vehicle owners to start a simple charging routine to considerably reduce the risk of battery failure.
Around 70 per cent of batteries returned during the warranty period are found to have a lack of charge, rather than a fault. This indicates that not enough vehicle owners look after their batteries properly. For example, routinely using a smart car battery charger ensures the battery is optimally charged, and also eliminates sulphur build-up and stratification.
Drivers who have a vehicle battery in storage should follow some simple steps to avoid the unnecessary expense of replacing it.
- Storage – If possible, batteries should be stored on wooden pallets to allow for the circulation of air at an ambient temperature. Leaving a battery on a cold concrete floor can lead to a ‘heat sink’ which should be avoided.
- Temperature – The extreme allowable temperature is minus 40 degrees centigrade to 50 degrees centigrade for the majority of chemistries, but the optimal temperature for battery storage is 15 degrees centigrade.
- Voltage – Batteries gradually self-discharge over time, meaning it’s important to regularly undertake a battery check and apply charge if necessary. Failure to do this will ultimately lead to the electrolyte solution breaking down, resulting in the battery no longer being able to hold its charge.
- Cleaning – Low levels of voltage can travel across moist dirt to the ground, accelerating the discharge process. Therefore, clean batteries are much more likely to maintain their charge.
Katariina Stahl at CTEK commented: “Batteries in storage are often neglected; they become deeply discharged and fail, creating the need to purchase a replacement. Checking and maintaining a battery regularly, as well as providing the right environment to keep it, are easy steps to take to avoid a flat battery. CTEK smart chargers revive, condition, charge and maintain batteries, and because they are fully automatic they can be safely left connected for months. Just a little bit of care can extend the life of a battery in storage by years.”