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Spring Battery Maintenance

Spring Battery Maintenance

Power

For the first time in months, you're thinking about taking your spring equipment out of storage. Whether it is your motorcycle, your personal watercraft, your car or truck, or even your kids' toys, it's time to enjoy outdoor activities again. However, neglecting the battery inside of these items is the quickest way to end a fun weekend before it even gets started. Here are some "dos" and "don'ts" to properly maintain your battery so it's ready to go when you are.

Personal Watercraft

DO…

  • Keep your battery fully charged between rides. This ensures it will not only be able to crank over your engine, but also that the battery retains its ability to hold a full charge down the road.
  • Invest in a quality battery charger. They won't overcharge or overheat — and in turn damage — the battery. They'll also maintain a steady charge without requiring constant supervision.
Personal watercraft in water

DO NOT…

  • Allow corrosion, dirt or moisture to build up on the terminals because they'll drain power. To clean the terminals, remove the battery from the craft, clean with a solution of baking soda and water, and rinse with fresh water. Once dry, apply a light coat of waterproof grease to protect the terminals.
  • Jump at the cheap price of the standard “wet” battery. Newer alternatives like AGM batteries may be more expensive up front, but require less maintenance, are often better suited to the harsh demands of personal watercraft thanks to their superior resistance to shock and vibration.

Motorcycle

DO…

  • Store your bike battery in a place that is always warmer than 32 degrees during winter months.
  • Trickle charge your battery at least once a month. A battery that is fully charged will have a longer life and is less likely to freeze during cold winter weather.

DO NOT…

  • Automatically settle for the lower-cost conventional battery. AGM batteries are more vibration-resistant and have a longer life.
closeup of a motorcycle

Ride-On Toys

DO…

  • Recharge your ride-on toy batteries after each use, regardless of how long the vehicle is used. The more often the batteries are used, the longer they will last. Using the batteries once or twice a year will actually shorten the life span of the battery.
  • Refer to manufacturer's charging instructions for proper charging times and procedures.
kid riding on a toy car

DO NOT…

  • Run the batteries down completely.
  • Store your child's vehicle with discharged batteries – fully charge them before storage and once a month thereafter.
  • Charge the battery for less than 12 hours or more than 18 hours at a time. Recharging less than 12 hours will decrease the life of the batteries. Recharging for more than 18 hours consecutively will begin to damage the battery cells.

Cars & Trucks

DO…

  • Routinely charge car batteries that are used sporadically – like in a car driven only for short distances. A car's alternator is not designed to fully restore a depleted battery, but rather to maintain a healthy one. Use a battery charger to keep it starting easily.
  • Clean corrosion from the top of the battery and around the battery cables.
  • Test your battery on a regular basis, including when you have your car serviced, before long trips or after it's been recharged.
jeep with a boat on the roof

DO NOT…

  • Overcharge the battery. An automatic charger that turns off or on with a timer is your best bet.

Batteries Plus has over 30,000 batteries and trained associates there to provide helpful advice and services, so make us your one-stop battery source. Visit your local Batteries Plus store to learn more.