Here's What You Need To Know About Your Car Battery When Storing The Vehicle

Posted on: 10 June 2016

Whether you have an extra vehicle that you don't drive during the winter months or you've moved into a home with limited driveway space and you have a vehicle that you drive only occasionally, it's a good idea to park the vehicle at an auto storage facility. These facilities range considerably in their available features, but at minimum, you'll keep your vehicle out of the elements in a secure location. Being smart about storing your vehicle involves more than just dropping it off on the desired date; if you want to be sure that your vehicle will start up with ease when you pick it up, you need to focus on your battery. Here are some things to know.

Don't Risk A Dead Battery

Even when your vehicle isn't in use, the battery is constantly draining slowly. Just think of a flashlight that you've seldom used; in many cases, when you go to use it after several months, the batteries are dead. A similar principle holds true to vehicles, which means that leaving your battery hooked up in the car will likely result in it being dead when you return to pick up the car.

At The Very Least, Unhook It

The simplest way to avoid the battery draining while your vehicle is in storage is to unhook it but not remove it from under the hood. This is generally a good idea during warm-weather storage but isn't effective if the car will be exposed to freezing temperatures. To unhook the battery, you'll either need a slotted screwdriver or an adjustable wrench. The process is as simple as loosening the two battery connectors with your tools. To avoid the two connectors making contact, it's a smart idea to secure them to anything sturdy under the hood with plastic wire ties.

Take It With You In Cold Climates

While a battery can sit unhooked for a long period of time in warm climates, and then be connected again with ease when you're ready to drive the vehicle, this doesn't hold true in cold weather. When left in cold climates, the liquids inside the battery can freeze; in doing so, they'll expand and cause damage to the cells, which will kill the battery. If you're storing your vehicle in a storage center that isn't climate controlled, it's a safe practice to remove the battery. In addition to unhooking the connectors, you'll typically need to unscrew a bracket that holds the battery in place. You can then lift the battery, take it home with you and store it inside until you're ready to pick up the vehicle.