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Yogi Berra and Other Tips for a Good Battery

Power - by David Neubert - updated on 9/6/2013

Virtually everyone loved Yogi Berra as the talented and charismatic catcher of the dominant Mid-20th Century New York Yankees, especially his battery-mates Whitey Ford and Don Larson, who pitched numerous, memorable World Series games with Yogi as their catcher. Together, with Berra, these pitchers formed two of the most effective "batteries" in baseball history.

Similarly, when we think of the batteries that we use to power our electronic devices on a daily basis, we expect them to last a long time, too – durable and dependable, use after use. However, there are many factors that can inhibit us from getting the most out of our batteries, so here are a few helpful hints that will ensure you get the best performance out of your Lithium-ion (Li-ion) laptop or cell phone batteries, like the Yankees did with Berra, Ford and Larson:

New York Yankee catcher, Yogi Berra

Get it out of the heat!

Storing your phone in a hot car, or in direct sunlight, will seriously drain its battery. Plus, it's not safe. Some aftermarket batteries simply don't have the appropriate protection circuitry to prevent the battery from overheating, unlike all Batteries Plus Bulbs batteries which DO have it! Highly Disputable Tip: While some experts argue it may be overkill, and in fact totally unnecessary, others are convinced that if you want to store your battery at about 40%, in an airtight container in the refrigerator (NOT the freezer!), it can help optimize the battery's life. If your cell phone does begin to overheat, here are some tips to cool down your phone.

Man in a chair on the deck with laptop and cell phone

Keep your contact points clean

By using a simple pencil eraser, you can easily rub-off the thin layer of oxide that often builds up on the metal tabs of a Li-ion battery

Careful of overcharging

Unlike NiMH batteries from the previous generation of battery technology, most Li-ion batteries should be charged frequently, or “topped off”, before reaching a deep discharge. However, there are still some devices that do work better if the battery is completely depleted before charging, such as digital cameras, flashlight models and power tools. For any device, occasional depletion is always good for resetting the meter in charge of the circuitry that estimates the amount of power left inside of a battery. Still, it's debatable as to whether or not you should remove your battery altogether if you're using a device while it's plugged in, such as using a laptop essentially as a desktop. Some experts believe this will cause the battery to cycle or overheat, shortening its lifespan. Others believe it has no effect. Either way, staying away from cheap aftermarket parts and accessories, that may not contain the safeguarding circuitry needed to avoid damage caused by excessive heat, is always a good idea

Expert Tip!

It's a good idea to deeply discharge a lithium ion battery at least once every three months, but other than that, it's best to keep it over halfway charged. Lithium ion batteries in storage should be discharged to about half of their capacity. The danger with fully discharging a lithium ion battery, or leaving it idle for too long, is that sometimes the battery can go into "sleep mode" where it will not charge using a normal charger. This is especially true in a laptop battery. The battery may need a higher boost of charge. Some Batteries Plus Bulbs stores have a laptop battery analyzer that comes in handy for situations like this since it has an "awaken" mode. Cell phone batteries can typically be "woken up" using the special boost of the Cadex in our stores. – Melinda Hurley, Associate Product Manager, Batteries Plus Bulbs

For all other battery questions, please visit one of our more than 720 store locations, or search for answers on our website. Plus, we have published blogs in the past that explore other types of batteries' maintenance, so feel free to search our archives.

Famous quotes from Yogi Berra (Yogi-isms)

  • It ain't over 'til it's over
  • It's deja vu all over again
  • You can observe a lot by just watching
  • When you come to a fork in the road…take it
  • I didn't really say everything I said