Battery Care

Battery Care Video

Watch our video on how to care for your battery.

Caution: All lead-acid batteries contain sulfuric acid which is highly corrosive and these batteries also produce excess gas during charging that may explode if exposed to an ignition source. When working with batteries, you need to have plenty of ventilation, remove your jewelry, wear protective eyewear (safety glasses) and clothing, and exercise caution. Do not allow battery electrolyte to mix with salt water. Even small quantities of this combination will produce harmful Chlorine gas.

Danger of exploding batteries: All lead-acid batteries contain sulfuric acid. Flooded or wet lead-acid batteries produce explosive mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen when charging and discharging. Because self-discharge action can generate hydrogen gas even when the battery is not in operation, make sure batteries are stored and worked on in well ventilated areas. ALWAYS wear safety glasses and a face shield when working on or near batteries. Valve regulated deep cycle and traction batteries are sealed and maintenance-free and all sulfuric acid is immobilized and absorbed, and under normal operating conditions any gas produced is recombined and is not vented to the atmosphere. All lead-acid batteries, including sealed valve regulated batteries, will vent gases if over charged.

When working with batteries:
1. Always wear proper eye, face and hand protection.
2. Keep sparks flames and cigarettes away from the battery.
3. Do not remove or damage the vent caps on sealed valve regulated types.
4. Do not open in any way sealed valve regulated batteries.
5. Cover vents with a damp cloth to minimize gas seepage.
6. Make sure work area is well ventilated.
7. Never lean over battery while testing, boosting or charging.

When installing or replacing batteries:
1. Disconnect ground cable (negative cable) first.
2. Note position of Positive (+) and Negative (-) cables. Mark cables for correct connection to the new battery.
3. Remove old batteries.
4. Clean terminals and cable connections. Broken, frayed, brittle, kinked or cut cables should be replaced.
5. Clean and/or paint and repair battery compartment and hold down.
6. Install and secure the new battery. Be careful not to ground the terminals on any metal mounting, fixture or body part.
7. Connect the cables tightly. Connect the ground cable last to avoid sparks.

When charging batteries:
1. Before operating the charger make sure to read and understand the instructions that come with the charger. Never attempt to charge a battery without first reviewing and understanding the instructions of the charger that is being used. Always make sure the charger's charging curve meets the batteries' charging requirement.
2. Always charge batteries in a ventilated area.
3. Always wear protective gear for your eyes.
4. Never charge a visibly damaged battery.
5. Never charge a frozen battery.
6. Connect the charger leads to the battery; (+) positive lead to the positive (+) terminal of the battery and the (-) negative lead to the negative (-) terminal. If the battery is still in the vehicle, connect the negative lead to the engine block to serve as a ground. If the vehicle is positive grounded, connect the positive lead to the engine block. To be absolutely sure, make sure that the battery is completely disconnected from the equipment and hook the charger leads up accordingly.
7. Make sure that the charger lead, both at the charger and the battery side of the leads, connections are tight.
8. If the charger has a battery type selector switch (I.E. Flooded, Gel, or AGM), set it to the proper location.
9. Set the timer if it is available and turn the charger on.
10. If the battery becomes hot or if violent gassing or spewing of electrolyte (in the case of flooded battery types) occurs, reduce the charge rate or temporarily halt the charger. If these events repeat themselves even after you restart the charger and/or reduce the charge rate, take the battery to a professional to be evaluated.
11. Always turn the charger OFF before removing the leads from the battery to avoid dangerous sparks.

When handling battery acid:
1. Battery acid or electrolyte is a solution of sulfuric acid and water that can destroy clothing and burn skin. Use extreme caution when handling electrolyte and keep an acid neutralizing solution, such as baking soda or household ammonia mixed with water, readily available in the event of a spill.
2. Always wear eye protection.
3. If electrolyte is splashed into the eye, immediately force the eye open and flood with clean cool water. Get medical attention immediately.
4. If electrolyte is somehow taken internally, drink large amounts of water or milk. DO NOT induce vomiting. Get medical attention immediately.
5. Neutralize with baking soda any electrolyte that spills in the work area, rinse with water.
When booster cables are used:
1. When jump starting, always wear proper eye protection.
2. Never lean over the battery.
3. Do not jump start a damaged battery.
4. Do not jump start a frozen battery.
5. Inspect both batteries before connecting booster cables. Be sure vent caps are tight and level, place a damp cloth over the vents of both batteries.
6. Make sure the vehicles are not touching.
7. Make sure both ignition switches are turned to the OFF position.
8. Connect positive (+) booster cable lead to the (+) terminal of the discharged battery.
9. Connect the other end of the positive (+) booster cable to the positive (+) terminal of the boosting battery.
10. Connect the negative (-) cable to the negative (-) terminal of the boosting battery.
11. Make the final connection of the Negative (-) cable to the engine block of the stalled vehicle, away from the battery. If this is not possible be careful when connecting the negative (-) cable to the discharged battery as the electrical current may jump at the discharged terminal creating a spark.
12. Start vehicle and remove cables in the reverse order of their connection. 

There are several things that could cause a battery to appear as though it is no longer delivering the amperage it was designed for:

  1. Corroded Terminals - will cause a poor connection between the post and cable and could result in poor charging from the vehicle alternator or simply no current delivered to the vehicle electrical system. This can be overcome by cleaning the post with a wire brush and neutralizing the corrosion with a mixture of baking soda and hot water.
  2. Loose Connection - can be a result of not properly loosening the battery clamp when changing the battery, not properly tightening the battery clamp or over tightening and stretching the battery clamp. This can be overcome by properly tightening the battery clamp or replacing the cable.
  3. Seasonal batteries often get put away for the off season in a discharged state, this will result in the battery testing very poor when it is needed for the next season or very low voltage and an inability for it to start the vehicle. Seasonal batteries should be charged prior to storage for the off season, and the main positive or negative cable disconnected so no parasite draws can discharge the battery, it is also a good idea to charge the battery during the off season or leave it on a maintenance charger when not in use.
  4. Batteries that are allowed to sit discharged during the winter stand a good chance of freezing, this could result in the plates being damaged or the battery case splitting open and electrolyte leaking out. This can be prevented by charging batteries prior to putting them away for the winter and checking and charging them periodically during the off season for state of charge, vehicles with high parasitic draw should have the batteries disconnected or left continuously on a maintenance charger to avoid discharging.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

Have Questions?

We would love to hear from you!