Spare Batteries? Store Them Like a Pro

Being tethered to a hard wire in this day and age isn’t what consumers want. In fact, most items are battery powered so that mobile applications are inherent to the product. From cellphones to golf carts, batteries are in nearly every device. What if you need to store them? Follow these battery storage tips so that you can get the most out of your purchase. When they’re properly treated, batteries can last for many cycles.

Cooler is Better

Placing batteries in fridge is a common practice among consumers. They aren’t wrong either. A refrigerator can reduce the battery’s discharge rate while keeping them away from children’s curious hands, reports Energizer. Warm conditions, including room temperature, encourages power loss in almost every battery type.

Keep in mind, however, that the best way to store batteries is at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The fridge may be a bit cooler than the ideal range.

Orient Them in the Right Direction

An issue that’s often overlooked is the battery positioning in its storage location. You want to save space, so you stack or pile the batteries into a tight configuration. Here is where battery storage tips come in handy.

Remember that batteries will conduct power if their positive and negative terminals are in close proximity. Keep them separated during storage. If they do connect at some point, you’ll have discharged batteries on your hands.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Packaging

If you purchase a spare battery for your car, storing it with its terminal covers is typically the safest choice. Follow this line of reasoning for any other battery during storage.

For batteries in fridge, place them in their original containers or inside a plastic bag. Condensation can’t develop on their housings with this strategy.

Cover 9V batteries with their caps too. The original packaging will always make a good insulator against power loss.

Mixing Isn’t the Best Idea

The best way to store batteries isn’t to toss them all into a collective bin. This strategy might work from an organizational standpoint, but new and old batteries shouldn’t mix.

By allowing them to mingle, the old batteries can leach power from the new ones. Keep them separated by age and preferably in their original containers. Depending on the battery type, they can last for years when stored and used on a regular basis, reports Battery University.

Store Fully Charged

Most batteries should be put away with a full charge. This strategy allows them to lose some power without entirely breaking down. There’s an exception to this rule, however. Nickel and lithium batteries store well with about a 40-percent charge.

Use a multimeter on your batteries before storage. You’ll know that the batteries are at the proper voltage levels before a long rest.

Visit the Battery

Be sure to check on the battery whenever it’s in long-term storage. Ideally, hook a slow-trickle charger to the battery in order to build its charge back up. You may know how to store batteries with professional ease, but they will eventually lose a charge. Providing a safe, power source for battery rejuvenation is a smart way to stretch your dollar.

Operate the Battery Within Its Intended Application

When you’re learning how to store batteries, you might be tempted to use them for any purpose. Giving them some use should be a positive experience for the power source. This perception isn’t right, however, because the battery should always be used for its particular application.

If you have a car battery, don’t hook it up to power a speaker or other device. Place it in a vehicle if you want to give it some juice and good use.

If you find yourself with a power question, contact Northeast Battery with your query. We’ll put our heads together in order to figure out a solution. Batteries seem to make the world spin in today’s technological world. Keep power by your side at all times with our helpful tips.

Winter is Coming: Prepare Your Marine Battery Now

Glistening water with a blue sky is a dream day out on a lake or ocean. You enjoy the great outdoors, but winter’s fury is just around the corner, so now is the time to get ready Whether you’re an experienced captain or new to the boating scene, most vessels are docked or hauled before winter storms arrive. Part of the preparation involved is winterizing the electrical system. In particular, the battery must be saved so that it’s operational come springtime. Learn how to winterize boat battery components this fall as the temperatures drop outside.

1. Charge it Up

Before the concept of “battery winterize” enters you mind, charge up the unit. You never want to store a battery with a partial charge. This strategy reduces the battery’s lifespan with poor operations in the springtime.

Use a voltmeter to verify that you have a full charge. According to Boating Magazine, a good and solid charge equates to about 12.5 volts on the voltmeter. Remove the charger when the charge is good. Overcharging the battery won’t improve its functions.

2. Clean the Contacts

When you winterize marine battery components, removing the corrosion from the contacts is critical, reports Optima Batteries. Use cleaning solutions to remove these particles. Any corrosion left on the battery will spread during the winter.

Think about another step as you battery winterize your unit. Apply anti-corrosion spray onto the terminals. This liquid creates a fine film on the metal so that corrosion cannot set in. Dealing with excessive corrosion in the spring will wear the battery down in the long run.

3. Top it Off

Some marine batteries are flooded-cell designs. They have water built into their design so that electrical conduction is possible. Always winterize these batteries with a full, fluid level.

For exposed plates, add distilled water before a final charging session. Other batteries have hidden plates, which require a charging session and then a topping-off process. Think of the liquid as an important part of the preservation process. With a low water level, the battery may not function very well after storage.

4. Clear out the Refrigerator

A key part to a successful off season is using cold storage. Winterize the battery by placing it in the refrigerator. The average refrigerator has a temperature that’s not too cold or warm. There’s science to back up this strategy too.

When a battery is cold, its internal functions slow down. It’s comparable to a hibernating animal. The battery’s metabolism or discharging power diminishes. It holds onto the charge for the most part. Batteries stored at room temperature or above will have problems with lost power.

5. Check it Each Month

You may have properly winterized the battery, but don’t ignore it until the spring. Set a timer once a month so that you can check the battery’s power levels. Use your trusty voltmeter to verify the 12.5 volts.

It’s natural for some of the charge to diminish over time. A trickle charger attached to the battery each month can keep up the voltage without shocking the battery.

6. Maintain Dry Conditions

During the battery’s storage period, it’s important to prioritize dry conditions. Any moisture that remains stagnant on the battery can contribute to corrosion and poor operations in the spring.

When you place the battery in the refrigerator, don’t secure it in a bag. Allow it to remain open. Bags only allow condensation to develop, which leads to damaged batteries. If you store the battery in any other location, think carefully about the conditions before you close the door on it.

7. Inspect in the Spring

Pull the battery out of the refrigerator. Allow it to slowly reach room temperature. Examine the battery for any damage. Storing it for several months can lead to some damages. Verify that the case isn’t cracked or warped. The contacts shouldn’t have any corrosion built up on them.

Test the battery out before you install it back in the boat. A good battery will still reflect around 12.5 volts on your voltmeter.

Ask all of your questions to our Northeast Battery team today. Our team works diligently to help others with their winterizing tasks. Your battery has a chance to last through several seasons with the proper care taken before the winter. Spring’s warm breezes will return again.

Dead Battery? How to Replace Your Car Battery

It doesn’t matter if you got your call last week or 10 years ago –  there’s a battery servicing that engine. It provides enough power for your car’s engine to turn over and roar into life. At some point, the battery will decline and stop working (due to old age, cold weather etc.). Replacing the battery is a relatively simple task, but needs to be done correctly. Learn how to put a battery in a car the right way, right now.

1. Loosening the Nuts

Locate the two nuts holding the negative and positive wires onto the battery. They’re normally protected by rubber covers, which is true for both car and boat batteries.

Pro tip: Slide on gloves and protective eyewear before touching them.

Use a wrench to loosen the negative wire. Perform the same action on the positive side. Both wires should still be attached to the battery with loose nuts at this point.

2.Pulling the Wires

Putting a battery in a car requires attention to detail. Carefully slide the nut and wire off of the negative post on the battery first. Bend the wire so that it has a safe distance between the battery and positive terminal.

Remove the positive side’s nut and wire. Adjust the wire so that it’s on the opposite side of the battery from the exposed, negative wire.

Pro tip: Keeping these wires apart from each other will prevent sparking.

3.Detaching Clamps

When you learn how to put a battery in a car, you know that removing it takes some effort. The battery doesn’t just rest in a small compartment. It’s actually clamped down to the car’s mount.

Remove the clamps holding the battery in place.

Pro tip: They might require an Allen driver or screwdriver, depending on the car’s model. Be sure to place all of these small parts to the side so that they’re not lost within the engine compartment.

4.Pulling the Battery

Carefully pull the battery from its compartment. Try to use the handle if there’s one installed. The battery will be heavy so take care during its removal. Place it to the side of the vehicle.

You may know that the battery is bad, but consider a trip to a mechanic. They can check the charging rate on the battery to verify that it’s entirely bad. If it still has some juice, you may want to check the rest of the engine for any other declining parts.

5. Cleaning the Contacts

Clear away any corrosion from the wire contacts by using a wire brush. Consider the purchase of a contact-cleaner kit so that you can remove every particle from the contacts.

Don’t skip this step because clean contacts equate to a strong, electrical connection between the battery and vehicle system.

Pro tip: Poor performance and battery damage often occur with dirty contacts in place.

6. Adding the Battery

Verify that all of the wires are out of the way as you slide a new battery into position. Be sure to position the battery so that the positive terminal is closest to the red wire. The wires shouldn’t stretch into any unusual positions.

Clamp the new battery down with the brackets removed from the old battery.

7. Preparing the Posts

The battery’s posts should have protective covers. Remove and discard them. Slide anti-corrosive washers onto the posts afterwards. Many batteries come with these accessories.

Without the washers in place, corrosion has a pathway across the posts and wire contacts. You want to hinder this progress as much as possible.

8. Securing the Wires

Apply battery-protector grease onto each post. Slide the positive wire contacts into place with the fresh grease. Repeat this process with the negative side. This fine film is another protective agent against corrosion. Your battery is vulnerable to rapid corrosion growth without the grease.

Secure the wire contacts onto the posts with a wrench or socket driver. The connection should be hand tight. Don’t over torque the contacts because damage might result.

Consider a call to our experts at Northeast Batteryfor all of your power needs. Car batteries are our specialty. Take care of your car so that it can run for thousands of miles without any failures. Regular maintenance and helpful advice will keep you on the road.

How Much ARE Golf Cart Batteries Anyway?

A battery for your car might average $100, but how does that compare to golf cart batteries? So many factors come into play – lifespan, warranties, quality, chemistry. Learn more about the cost and why it’s set within certain ranges – then there won’t be any surprises down the road as a result.

The Bottom Line

According to Golf Cart Resource, a golf cart battery price can cost up to $1,500+. Why is there such a large gap in pricing? There are several factors that collectively define the final price, such as:

  • Battery type
  • Voltage amount
  • Installation costs

A golf cart battery has a different job than the standard car battery. When you power a golf cart, you’re offering electrical power to every component during an entire ride. Car batteries only activate the engine at first, then the engine takes over.

Although golf cart batteries can be an investment, they often last for five years or longer. Take care of them for the longest life possible.

Multiple-Battery Benefit

You can have eight batteries or more on a given cart, based on its power design. No golf cart will ever have just one battery. Take a look under the hood, and you’ll see a battery package with a series of connections between them. This power design takes advantage of the power within each battery. They act as one unit, which offers reliable power.

It’s possible for one battery to go bad within the pack. You need to choose which solution is best for your budget. Replacing the entire pack at once is pricey, but dividing out the purchases one by one will be even more expensive over time.

Looking at Cycles

When you’re considering cost, look closely at the number of cycles advertised on the battery. High-quality batteries might run for more than 1,000 cycles. This term refers to the amount of times that you can charge and discharge the battery. Be aware that you get what you pay for.

Golf cart batteries with high-capacity cycles will be more expensive. You pay more upfront, but they’ll last longer than less expensive varieties with fewer cycles. Think about your habits with the cart before choosing between batteries. Carts in use every single day will want a high-quality power source.

Opting for Sealed

Sealed batteries are great for your golf cart. These vehicles may not be riding on the freeway, but they do encounter turbulence in the form of vibrations (getting up over curbs, gravely golf paths etc.). Two types of batteries are perfect for these carts, including:

  • AGM
  • Gel

The electrolyte design stays in place so that power is continuous. There’s no topping off of distilled water either. Go drive the cart with a maintenance-free battery. Your only main concern is checking for periodic cracks on the housing if the vibrations are strong enough down the road.

Considering Lithium-Ion Options

The Golf Course Industry cautions consumers about the use of lithium-ion batteries in place of lead-acid, AGM or gel designs. Lithium-ion batteries work well for AA or D batteries, but not for golf carts.

You’ll experience less power with a higher cost. Currently, these batteries aren’t recyclable either. Most experts agree that lithium-ion batteries should be put aside for this application. Traditional, electrolyte-based batteries are still the best choice.

Keeping up a Good Charge

The experts agree that you should be charging your golf cart battery after every vehicle ride. Use the cart throughout the day, and hook it up as you retire indoors. The battery may have several more miles left on its charge, but there’s no reason to run the power source into its deepest levels.

Charging the battery when it’s partially used will help it stay fresh. Batteries will eventually decline in quality because of the materials breaking down within the design. However, but this process is slowed with regular charging.

Power up your knowledge with Northeast Battery. We can answer any questions about golf-cart batteries so that you get the most from your investment dollar. Zip down the road or around a property with a brand-new battery today. Be sure about your purchase with our expert assistance.