The Ultimate Guide to Maintenance Free Batteries

Are you thinking about buying a maintenance free battery for your vehicle? Well, that’s certainly a lucrative opportunity, and it’s definitely worth it.

However, maintenance free does not constitute you being able to leave the battery as is and never care for it. On the contrary, maintenance free batteries have to be taken care of often.

In this article, we will cover the most important aspects of maintenance free batteries.

So keep reading to learn more.

A Little History

Do you know the variance between the automotive batteries of today and those that were popular in the 1940-70s? Well, the first rechargeable battery in commercial use was made of lead-acid, and that composite is still being used today.

However, earlier car batteries were not as advanced as those today, which contain a sophisticated blend of allows that prevent water loss and self-discharge. Not to mention, more durable construction and aesthetic. 

Automated robotic processes and equipment have affected the way batteries store and deliver power, ensuring peak efficiency that lasts a longer time than any traditional design.

With proper usage, water loss is practically an unexisting issue with lead-calcium alloy batteries, at least not as much as it was the case with older batteries. Most of these newer batteries have vent caps that prevent you from adding water, and the warranty is void if you somehow manage to do so.

Warning

It’s important to note that some battery chargers have a slow/fast adjustment. A slow charge will go through the storage of the battery thoroughly, whereas a fast charge will allow you start the vehicle sooner.

The charging times vary from one to twenty hours, depending on the battery size, state of charge, and whatever mode you chose to charge with.

Most vehicles made after the 1950s have a 12-volt electrical system in place. So check with your owner’s manual before starting to charge your battery to ensure that you matching the correct voltage.

Using the incorrect voltage on the battery typically does not cause consequential harm, but it certainly can on some batteries. Worst case scenario: you deplete the battery of its maximum capacity, having to replace it much sooner than you thought you would need to.

How to Charge A Maintenance Free Battery?

In order to charge a maintenance free battery, you should begin by opening the hood of the vehicle and finding the battery. Then turn off the battery charger, and unplug the power to the charger.

Connect the red (positive) charger cable to the appropriate terminal of the battery. Place the open jaws over the terminal and release clip so that it grasps upon the terminal firmly.

Now connect the black (negative) charger cable to the heave gauge metal frame or engine block (as far as possible from the battery). Make sure to face away from the battery when making this connection.

Now turn the voltage adjuster to the correct voltage for your vehicle, 6 or 12. If your charger has an automatic setting, make sure to use it, in order to avoid over-exceeding the battery capacity and diminishing its longevity.

Make sure to plug the charger into an outlet that is the furthest away from the battery. Unplug the charger when the battery has charged itself and shut off. Remove the negative (black) cable first by opening the alligator clip.

Remove the positive (red) cable from the battery in the exact same manner. Close the hood of the vehicle, and start it.

How to Care for Maintenance Free Batteries?

Even though the inside of a maintenance free battery cannot be accessed, the outside certainly can and should. Try applying the following steps to ensure that your battery is in pristine shape, and to extend longevity.

Start by putting on eye protection and a pair of gloves. Batteries have acid, which can damage your eyes and skin if an accident occurs.

  1. Disconnect the battery from the connected cables. Unhook the negative (black) first, then the positive (red) cable.
  2. Remove the battery from the tray and set it on a smooth and even surface.
  3. Examine it. Look for cracks, if you find something, replace at once. 
  4. Clean the terminals and cables. If the battery passes the voltage test and looks fine, remove corrosion with a wire brush. If you need to buy a terminal cleaner spray.
  5. Before you place the battery back, spray the applicable areas with a battery-terminal sealer. This will mitigate future corrosion from the building. 
  6. Attach the positive cable then the black cable. 
  7. Start the car to ensure the battery is working.

And that’s about. Always ensure that you’re disconnecting the cables in the correct order and that you look away from the battery when doing so. Also, if you want to extend your battery life, ensure that your park your car in a garage, especially if it’s insulated. Cold weather is detrimental to the health of a battery, specifically when it’s turned off and idle. 

Maintenance Free for You

Now that you know about maintenance free batteries, and how to take care of them, you are well on your way to ensure the best possible life for them.

However, if you ever come to a point that you need to replace your battery, you should. Don’t set aside this inconvenience, because it can quickly turn into a daunting nuisance, not to mention a safety hazard.

If you’re interested in finding the right battery for your vehicle, get in touch with us and we will happily accommodate your needs.

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