Battery maintenance during Winter

If you do not use your motorcycle, historical car or van, it is advisable to protect their battery so to find it ready to use in the new season. How can we preserve the battery during the off-season? Here you can find some quick tips.

Primary cares

Primary care to protect our battery from winter climate is to keep it in a dry place, far from sunlight and at the right temperature.

So to better preserve the battery:

  1. store it in a dry place, with low humidity. The less humidity in the storing place, the better the battery will be preserved.
  2. Store the battery in a cool place, not too cold. Temperature should be at least 10°C – 15°C. At lower temperatures, between 5°C and 8°C, it will discharge at least 10% in 6 months of inactivity. Beware that also high temperatures might by even worse for battery discharge. For instance, storing a battery at 30°C it may discharge at least 40-50% in 6 months. For this reason, it is important to keep it far from direct light and heat. Never place the disconnected battery on concrete, metal or another heat-conductive surface, because it will increase discharging. Instead, put it on a non-heat conducting surface, such as plastic, cardboard or wood, to keep it cool and ventilated. The self-discharge added to humidity may cause the battery to be useless.
  3. Regularly check its tension to be higher than 12,4V. In case not, take some time to recharge it. Store the battery in the correct way will help us to find it in proper conditions when needed, and above all, it will avoid us to replace it uselessly.

In case the battery is installed in the car you normally use, here some tips:

  1. Try to start your car with all devices switched-off. Lights, stereo, windscreen wipers, air-conditioning system, satellite navigation system or others. It’s always better to switch these devices on only when the car has already started, as once the car has started the charge will be supplied by the alternator, and therefore the battery will not be used directly 
  2. Leave the car engine on for a while, with all devices also switched on, before turning it off. In this way an extra charge will be granted to the battery that will allow it to easily start again on the next starting.

Protect the battery in Winter – Final notes

Normally a car starting battery lifespan is from 2 to 5 years, all depends on battery type and storing conditions.

If we aggressively use a battery and we do not keep its integrity with the needed cares, its lifespan will diminish more quickly. On the other hand, if we follow the maintenance instructions, the battery may keep stable for 4-5 years too.