Neglect your battery and your pride and joy won’t be going anywhere. From the fine art of trickle charging to the battery conditioners we use at Windrush Car Storage, here are some pitfalls and pro tips.
When you’re putting regular miles on the clock, your car battery takes care of itself. The trouble starts when you shut the garage door at the end of the season. Placed in long term car storage without proper maintenance, your battery will rapidly drain and die. Worse, if you attempt to resuscitate it with the time-honoured jump start, you risk damage to the expensive parts, like the onboard computer. Here’s the advice of our experts at Windrush Car Storage, from battery conditioners to the art of trickle charging.
Why does my battery suffer during long term car storage?
Batteries do more than you might realise. Even when you turn off the engine, this vital component keeps on feeding everything from the radio memory to engine management systems. As such, when the wheels stop turning during long term car storage, the batteries of both modern and classic vehicles start fading fast. Sooner than you’d think, the charge will drop below the 12-volt threshold where the lead plates could harden and stop the battery from charging properly again (a process known as sulphation). At the same time, your car’s onboard computer will register error codes and you’ll need to visit the dealer for a costly reset. Fortunately, prevention is less painful than cure.
Can’t I just jump start after long term car storage?
Attaching crocodile clips to your battery might make you feel nostalgic for the golden age of motoring – but it’s actually bad news for your vehicle. By jump starting your car, you risk an over-voltage spike that does real damage to charge-sensitive electronics. As for powering up your car using a regular battery charger, this comes with its own dangers: most chargers don’t switch off automatically when full charge is reached, risking a boiled dry battery or even a fire. If you’re putting your vehicle into long term car storage, it’s better to learn about trickle charging and battery conditioners.
What are the pros & cons of trickle charging for long term car storage?
Unlike the one-off shock of a jump start, trickle charging slowly feeds your battery with a constant low-level charge, replacing the power at roughly the same level that it’s dispersed. If you’re wondering how long to trickle charge a car battery for, be aware this is not a quick fix: most charger models use a maximum of two amps (and take up to 48 hours), while others can be left charging for weeks, or even indefinitely.
Will trickle charging hurt a battery?
As long as you use a suitable model and follow the instructions, the low-level pulse of a trickle charger should be safe for your car battery. But another key question we’re often asked is – can a trickle charger charge a dead car battery? Unfortunately, no: you’ll need to be proactive, starting the trickle charging process before your battery life drops too low. Trickle chargers are designed to maintain your battery, not bring it back from the dead.
How do battery conditioners help during long term car storage?
At Windrush Car Storage, we’re big advocates of battery conditioners. In fact, every vehicle that arrives at our specialist car storage facilities in Central London and the Cotswolds is supplied with an industry leading CTEK battery conditioner at no extra cost, for the simple reason that we believe these are the best all-round charging solution. Because they’re fully automatic, battery conditioners intelligently monitor the power that remains in your battery, then optimise the charging levels accordingly – so you’ll never risk overheating, or fall below the 12-volt cut-off point, even during long term car storage.
At Windrush, safeguarding your vehicle with a battery conditioner and weekly inspection is just the start of our renowned long term car storage solution. Following a twelve-step induction process, we’ll bring your car to its own dehumidified, climate-controlled indoor storage bay, backed by 24/7 security, twice-daily checks, weekly drip tray checks and a full maintenance checkover every 60 days. There’s simply nowhere better for your vehicle.
To find out more about our long-term car storage solution, get in touch today.