The battery of your car steadily depletes its charge when not in use for a stretched period of time, and recharging a dead battery can take forever. Car batteries normally discharge for not so long before they become ineffective, requiring you to recharge.
Conversely, with car battery maintainers, your batteries are perpetually fully charged without them being charged excessively. With battery maintainers, you keep batteries in storage for an indefinite period without disturbing yourself about them getting damaged or needing to be recharged.
Majority of the battery maintainers available in the market are manufactured to revive low batteries and preserve charged batteries. Also, there are some that can function well with 6volts and 12volts batteries.
In this article, we examined:
- 5 best battery maintainer for winter storage
- how to keep car battery charged when not in use
- how long will a car battery last if disconnected
- how to keep car battery from dying in cold weather
Related articles: 10 Best Battery Tenders for Cars
Six Best Battery Maintainer for Winter Storage
Battery maintainers enhance the longevity of your batteries and ensure the car will start efficiently when it is used, hence eliminating the time you’ll spend to jump-start the car. Batteries are quite costly to purchase. So, you need to avoid the risk of having to get a new one as a result of poor maintenance.
Now, let’s look at 6 battery maintainers that can operate at maximum capacity to ensure the efficiency of your battery.
#1. Battery Tender ® Plus 021-0128
This battery maintainer takes the top position of battery maintaining technology and it is ideal for winter storage. It is designed with a 1.25 amp battery charger and comes with an amazing 10-year warranty. This first-class battery maintainer has an AC cord length of 6 foot, 1.5 foot DC output cord length, and mechanically changes to float mode when charged. It also has LED indicators and it is guarded against spark and reverse polarity.
One sensitive facet of this battery maintainer is that it is sensitive to temperature, meaning it automatically means no matter the temperate, it will automatically regulate to make certain that irrespective of the temperature, the battery is charging to the exact voltage.
#2. Schumacher SC1300 Battery Maintainer
While Battery Tender® is pricey; the Schumacher SC1300 battery maintainer is affordable and is perfect for winter storage. It features a 1.5 amp and alternates between floating and charged mode. It comes with LED indicators that lets you know when your car battery is still on charge or completely charged. It has an auto voltage guard and regulates amp rate. It has just a year warranty and it is reasonably priced and compact.
#3. NOCO Genius G4 Smart Battery Charger
This battery maintainer is ideal for garages with more than one car. It comes with 4 banks that can concurrently charge four batteries. It wouldn’t be idyllic for you to acquire four battery maintainers for 4 cars, where you would have wires scattered everywhere. However, NOCO Genius battery charger takes care of this problem. This battery maintainer had diverse amperage options (0.75 to 26 amps), with a 5-year warranty.
Also, it has extension cables, clamps, and terminals. It works efficiently with 6volt and 12volt batteries and offers sensitive diagnostic information. It is properly protected against spark and reverse polarity. The extra banks make this maintainer cost-effective.
#4. Optima Digital 400 12V Performance Maintainer
Optima battery maintainer is a bit classier compared to other brands. It comes with an in-build battery health mode and 4 amps. Optima Digital 400 can be used on motorcycles and marine. Apart from charging, it also helps to maintain the battery and features a standard connection that makes the device protected from sparking. It also has a hook and stand for easy mounting and LED indicators and is best for winter storage.
One distinguishing feature that comes with this battery maintainer is that it has the capacity to recover discharged batteries. This is a trait other maintainers lack. If a battery drops to 1.25 volt, this battery maintainer will automatically recover it.
#5. BatteryMINDer 1510 Battery Maintenance
This Battery maintainer is a trustworthy brand that produces different battery maintenance devices. This maintainer works as a charger, maintainer and a battery desulfator. It is FFC certified and comes with an ambient temperature sensor. It has the capacity to maintain four batteries at the same time. It can be used for different types of batteries.
#6. BLACK+DECKER BM3B Automatic Battery Charger
This battery maintainer is affordable and also best for winter storage. It comes with a float charger that can charge at 6volts and 12volts. It features 1.5 amps and is ideal for wet batteries, AGM, and Gel. It has clamps and terminals and alternates between charging modes. It is protected against reverse polarity and has a mounting bracket that is in-built.
How to keep car battery charged when not in use
There are several ways you can keep a car battery charged when not in use. One of such ways is to use a battery tender. A battery charger is way dissimilar from a battery tender in the sense that the charger applies continuous current to the battery while the tender applies current but automatically shut off when battery is filled up depending on the electrical energy of the battery.
It is not really ideal to leave your battery for an extended period without making use of it. When you do this, your battery begins to stale or sulfate. For batteries that are marginal, an alarm system could drain it in a short time.
There are various ways a battery can die; however, you can prevent your battery dying using numerous techniques. A battery can die due to various factors including:
- Extreme temperatures
- Parasitic drain
During cold months, the temperature is low, and this can lead to low available amperage to crank over an engine. Hot weather on the other hand is worse as it literally destroys battery. Hot weather does have a negative impact on car batteries
However, you can prevent extreme hot or cold from destroying a battery by ensuring it’s in the best feasible shape. A battery’s electrolyte tends to evaporate away during the hot summer, so it’s vital to keep it topped off. Low electrolyte harmfully has an effect on the performance of the battery.
A parasitic drain can quickly destroy even a new battery. The battery can jerk back to life with the use of a trickle charger. However, the battery can still go dead again due to the parasitic drain. This can destroy your battery without you having the slightest inkling because you won’t notice anything unusual.
Parasitic drain usually has an outside indicator to reveal to you that there’s a problem. The component of the car draws current when your car is off, and may continue until you go to start your car and get an ineffective retort.
However, a parasitic drain is unable to cause any permanent damage unless your battery is old. You can spot the source of the drain, and repair it to prevent your battery getting drained many times.
You can track down the causal factor of parasitic drain by removing fuses, one after the other, until the light goes out, or the ammeter drops to zero. You can map out the drain to an exact component(s) using an right circuit diagram provided.
During storage, a battery can be preserved by disconnecting the electrical system of the car to prevent it from killing the battery.
If you plan on leaving your car for an extended time in storage, you may have to disconnect the battery. On the other hand, self-discharge will cause even a new battery to gradually lose charge. Although lead-acid batteries do have a comparatively slow self-discharge rate, about 5% each month, long-term storage can allow normal self-discharge to exhaust a battery to a treacherous level.
To keep your battery charged when not in use, you can charge it up from time to time, and employ a float charger that mechanically charges when the battery drops below a certain voltage.
A battery tender or float charger can put a stop to your battery from dying while your car is not in use. However, it is still advisable to check on your car regularly to ensure everything is working fine.
How long will a car battery last if disconnected?
Most people who have left their cars parked for some time may want to know how long a car battery will last if disconnected. It is vital to be careful of the period of time you leave your car parked without driving it. BMW gives a maximum time frame of four weeks. So, your battery may likely last for about 4 weeks if disconnected. According to BatteryModeOn.com, a car battery can last less than two months if disconnected.
How to keep car battery from dying in cold weather
Weather extremities like cold winters or hot summers are bad for car batteries. The only choice you have to care for your car battery and safeguard it from the negative effects of excruciating weather is garaging. The best way to keep your car battery from dying in cold weather is to ensure it’s always in the optimum shape.
Ensure you keep the electrical connections dirt-free, and the battery accurately charged to help during the cold weather when less cranking amperage is obtainable. The capacity of a lead-acid battery can drop about 20% when the cold weather temperature rises to the freezing point. This means that every amp counts the more the mercury level plunge. This is more applicable to smaller batteries that don’t possess low cold-cranking amps.
What to Read Next: How to fix a car battery that doesn’t hold charge