<back to Battery Care>
Storing a battery on a concrete floor will discharge it
All lead-acid batteries will naturally self discharge. The rate of self discharge is most influenced by the temperature of the battery's electrolyte and the chemistry of the plates. Some experts believe that storing car or deep cycle batteries on a colder concrete floor might actually slow down the leakage rate because the floor acts as a heat sink.
Driving a car will fully recharge a battery
Generally, idling the engine or short stop-and-go trips during bad weather or at night will not fully recharge a car battery. When a dead battery needs to be recharged, it is best to use an external battery charger because you could over heat and damage your vehicle's charging system.
A battery will not explode
Charging a wet lead-acid battery produces hydrogen and oxygen gasses as electrolysis of the water occurs. While spark retarding vent caps help prevent external battery explosions, sparks occur when jumping, connecting or disconnecting charger or battery cables and ignite the gas causing an explosion. Lose terminal clamp is the most common cause of explosion during starting.
A battery will not lose its charge sitting in storage
Depending on the type of battery and temperature, batteries have a natural self discharge at a 1% to 60% rate per month. Over time the battery will become sulfated and fully discharged. Higher temperatures will significantly accelerate this process. A battery stored at 35° C will self-discharge twice as fast than one stored at 23.9° C.
Maintenance Free" (Ca/Ca) batteries never require maintenance
Though MF batteries don’t require addition of water, there is still a need to check for the following: correct charging system, tight connections, corrosion between terminal clamps and posts and flayed or damage cables.
Test the alternator by disconnecting the battery with the engine running
A battery acts like a voltage stabilizer or filter to the pulsating DC produced by the alternator. Disconnecting a battery while the engine is running can destroy sensitive electronic components or the charging system because the peak voltage can rise to 40 volts or more. In the 1970s, removing a battery terminal was an accepted practice to test charging systems of that era. That is not the case today.
Pulse chargers, desulfators, aspirins or additives will revive sulfated batteries
Most battery experts agree that there is no conclusive proof that pulse chargers work any better than constant voltage chargers to remove sulfation. They also agree that there is no evidence that additives or aspirins provide any long-term benefits. Short term gains are achieved by increasing the acidity (Specific Gravity) of the battery.
On really cold days turn your headlights on to "warm up" the battery up before starting your engine
While there is no doubt that turning on your headlights will increase the current flow in a car battery, it also consumes valuable capacity that could be used to start the cold engine. Therefore, this is not recommended
Car batteries last longer in hot climates than in cold ones
Car batteries last an average of two thirds as long in hot climates as cold ones. Heat kills car batteries and cold reduces the battery's starting capacity
A larger capacity battery will damage my car
A starter motor will only use a fixed amount of current from the battery, based on the resistance of the motor. A larger CCA, RC or AH capacity battery supplies only what is required. It will not damage your vehicle; however, using batteries with higher or lower voltage or physically too tall could potentially cause harm.
Bad batteries will not harm the charging system or starter
A bad or weak starting battery causes additional stress on a charging system, starter motor or starter solenoid. It can cause premature failures to other electrical components on the starting circuit due to compensating for the voltage or current.
Use tap water to refill batteries
Use only distilled, de-ionized or de-mineralized water to replace the lost water in batteries because using tap water can produce calcium or magnesium sulfate crystals that can fill the pores and coat the plates. In an emergency, use rain water because rain water does not contain calcium or magnesium