Mom's car, sitting for 2.5 years had to be moved. The Interstate 72 mo.
battery that was put in just before storage won't take a charge...no
surprise, I put another new one in. Rather than turning in the core for $12
I will get it replaced under warranty. Is there any way to keep a new
battery on the shelf for extended periods of time? Should I keep it on a
trickle charger? Is it an urban myth that sitting on concrete will kill it?
I have about 7 batteries in the garage, 4 marine deep cycle and 3 auto
batts. About once a month or when I am not too lazy or forgetful whichever
comes first I put them on a trickle charger overnight. I have had the auto
battiers for about a year now and the marine batts over two years. All still
Not sure about the myth but I think that I have heard from a friend of a
friends cousins mother in law that that will not discharge, but I still keep
my batts on a wooden shelf..
I use (and love) a device called a "Battery Tender" when I let my motorcycle sit
over the winter. It's about the size of a big wall wart and has lots of ways you
can configure the end that attaches to your vehicle. My bike has a power plug
that's always connected to the battery (intended for heated clothing) so I just
plug it in there. The unit is completely intelligent and flat out works. Every
guy I know that has a big motorcycle has one. It's exactly what you need. - GWE
need. - GWE
I have one called a "Battery Minder" for my motorcycle and it works well.
They have some additional circuitry in them that is supposed to help prevent
sulphation in the battery. So far, it seems to work very well (I also have
6 volt version I use for my gel-cell for my digital camera (I use external
when shooting the kids soccer games)). All secondary batteries will self
discharge over time -- some faster than others. One important detail to
remember (does not apply if you live in Florida etc.). A fully charged
car battery (lead acid) freezes at something like -70 F, HOWEVER,
a dead battery will freeze at about 32 F -- it is almost straight water
when it is dead. It will freeze and split the case so keep those batteries
charged in colder areas !!
HF has a nice little float charger for about $15. Works very well. You
can leave it connected permanently if needed. The idle current draw in
any late model computerized car is 100-500MA or more than that if
aftermarket sound sys or alarm is installed. This will pull a fresh
battery down to zip in a couple weeks, max. Once fully discharged, a
starting battery will start to sulfate up, and unless recharged soon
with a very heavy current, refuse to take a charge. A battery will only
discharge into a concrete floor if the floor is damp, and the battery
has a conductive scum of electrolyte on the case. Otherwise, no.
Dweller in the cellar
Tom Gardner wrote:
Home Page: http://www.seanet.com/~jasonrnorth
HF even has sales with them under $10 quite often.
Back in the days before "dry charged" batteries you could walk into almost
any servie station and see a rack of batteries wired up with a small pilot
light (#47 ?) in series with each 6V battery. They didn't do that just for
the pretty lights 8o). Lead acid batteries left setting sulfide up fairly
quickly as well as self-discharging. I have a '62 Chevy pickup that doesn't
get much use (<64K actual miles) and I am planning to put a lighter plug on
the end of the cable of one of the HF tickle chargers to keep the battery
"JR North" wrote: (clip) A battery will only discharge into a concrete
floor if the floor is damp, and the battery has a conductive scum of
electrolyte on the case.
If a battery has a conductive scum on the case, a small current can flow
from the positive post to the negative, eventually discharging the battery.
A concrete floor, or even a copper floor would not make any difference.
Was the car sitting outside in freezing weather? If it was and the
battery self discharged (about 3% a month) and then froze, it may well
have be ruined by the expansion of the freezing electrolyte. But if it
wasn't frozen, read on.
When you say "won't take a charge" do you mean that it will accept a
reasonable charging current for several hours but then not deliver any
significant current to a load? If that's it, the battery has croaked.
Or, do you mean when you hook it up to a charger it doesn't draw any
I've seen the latter happen with "run down" batteries, but if I turn the
charging voltage way up and leave them connected to the charger, after
15 minutes or so they suddenly start drawing reasonable charging current
and will then charge normally. It's some sort of battery chemistry thing
I never learned the reason for.
Yes, trickle charging an unused battery with a "smart" charger is a good
The concrete thing is an urban myth. Back when battery cases were made
of asphalt or hard rubber they used to store them on wooden pallets at
garages and battery shops rather than on the concrete floor. The reason
for that was so that if the battery jockeys set them down "hard" the
case didn't crack like it might if it was clunked down onto concrete.
Modern battery cases can stand much more knocking around.
'Course if you cracked the case by setting it down hard on concrete, the
acid would leak out of one or more cells and you WOULD find the battery
dead when you went to use it.
I am not sure of the chemistry or physics here but when I am trying to get a
fully discharged battery to take a charge, I will hook a set of jumper
cables to a good battery for a few minutes and then hook up the charger.
If knowledge is power, and power corrupts, what does this say about the
A lead/acid battery begins to deteriorate as soon as it is activated
(acid is installed), whether it is put into use or just sits on the
shelf. If it sits on the retailer's shelf for a year before you
purchase it, it is a one-year-old battery that you've purchased.
Hint: When shopping for a battery, try to purchase a "dry charged"
battery. This is one that has not been activated and can sit on the
retail shelf indefinitely without any maintenance. When you purchase
it, the retailer installs the acid to activate it. Deterioration
starts as soon as the acid is installed.
Batteries come from the factory "dry charged". The acid comes in a
separate container that is included with the battery. Retailers (or
their distributors) tend to install the acid as soon as the battery
plus acid shipment is received from the factory due to Hazardous
Materials handling regulations that require the acid to be installed
by someone specially trained in handling such materials. The HazMat
specialist is usually a contractor that comes in after hours to
install the acid. This is convenient for the retailer but, for you
the purchaser, it means that you are not getting a "factory fresh"
battery. To ensure that you are getting a "factory fresh" battery,
you must observe the acid being installed with your own eyeballs after
you purchase the battery.
Yes, preferably an automatic one to prevent overcharging.
A lead/acid battery loses 5 to 10 percent (depending on ambient
temperature) of its charge per month sitting anywhere. Concrete has
nothing to do with it.
| Mom's car, sitting for 2.5 years had to be moved. The Interstate 72 mo.
| battery that was put in just before storage won't take a charge...no
| surprise, I put another new one in. Rather than turning in the core for
| I will get it replaced under warranty. Is there any way to keep a new
| battery on the shelf for extended periods of time? Should I keep it on a
| trickle charger? Is it an urban myth that sitting on concrete will kill
Most battery warranties are prorated, so be prepared to pay about a
third of the battery's cost, at least.
The concrete thing had to do with the bakelite shell. When the
concrete's would get too cold, the battery would freeze, crack or break open
the case, and the acid all over the floor made for a real mess. I think
there was some chemical interaction, too, but I forgot what it was.
Battery cases are made of plastic now, so there's nothing to worry
Any acid traces or residue on the bottom of the battery will etch any
concrete it comes in contact with, doing severe damage to the concrete if
there is very much acid. I think that's why we learned to not set them on
Sometimes removing one of the cables will reduce the idle time discharge but
trickle charging is the answer to long term storage.
My guess is that the battery became deeply discharged because some
minimal loads were still drawing current.
What I do is similar to what searcher1 does, I just keep then on a
proper (suto sensing) trickle charger. I have a couple of marine
I'm writing Sears, suggesting that they change the name of their DieHard
battery to DieSuddenly, Well-before-the-expected-lifetime-Battery.
What an effing pita.
And then they're gonna *pro-rate* it?????? Please.....
formerly Droll Troll
Thanks all!!! I'll get a charger and have a spare battery. I only gave the
old battery 10 minutes on a charger, it was taking about 8 amps. I wasn't
going to screw with it. Amazingly, the Town Car started instantly after
sitting over two years. It might revive but I have a bud at a dealership
that will just replace it without pro-rating it. DAMN, I love having
On Sun, 11 Sep 2005 04:28:27 GMT, the blithe spirit "Tom Gardner"
Consider a solar charger if your battery lives close to the sun.
Why pay the Shrub's oil conglomerate any more money than you have
to for energy? HF - $9.99 , JCW - $29.99
Man, what happened to JCW's prices/selection?!?
Never ascribe to malice that which can
be adequately explained by stupidity.
One of the small maintainece chargers works pretty well. Lift the
negative ground clamp though. There are often Things in cars that
keep a very low level drain on the battery. Clock, alarm etc
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire.
Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us)
off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give
them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you
for torturing the cat." Gunner
A well-designed charger will maintain it. There's a lot to know
about battery charging, that knowledge is incorporated in "good"
Batteries vary a lot in longevity, Interstate makes good batteries.
The bit about sitting on concrete once had basis but is now an urban
myth. Having said that, it's easy enough to set the battery on a
block of wood.
I replaced the batteries in my Ford cars after 8 years just because I
thought I should, being in MN and all. The three batteries in my
boat are now 5 years old, still work well. The boat doesn't get used
between mid-October and mid-April.
There is a little known phenomena called electrolyte stratification where a
cold concrete floor can increase the self discharge rate of a lead acid
battery. The bottom layer of electrolyte gets cooled by conduction from the
floor while the upper layer stays basically at room temp. Since there is no
natural circulation to mix the layers, the situation is static and the
increased leakage current flow will eventually discharge the battery.
Diesel-electric submarines had bubbler tubes in their batteries to agitate
the electrolyte . The problem was potentially serious because the batteries
were exposed to very wide temp. ranges in submarine duty.
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