Posted: Sep 19, 2012
Your battery is going to die
Batteries are consumable items and while we know OPTIMA® batteries can last up to twice as long as flooded batteries, we also know that even the best batteries in the world have a finite lifespan.
We had a frost warning in Wisconsin last night, near OPTIMA's world headquarters and that reminded us that winter is around the corner. It won't be long before our sponsored anglers, like Matthew Pikka trade in their PFD for a parka. Why should you care? Because winter often signals the end of a battery's useful life and that could include your battery.
Even though many folks believe cold weather hurts batteries, it really serves to bring out the damage done during hot summer months. However, that wasn't the case for much of the country last winter, as we had a relatively-mild winter. What that meant was that a lack of severely cold weather allowed batteries which might have normally failed under cold conditions to continue operating.
While some of those batteries may have ended up failing within the next few months regardless of the weather, many made it into the summer months, which for most of the country was extremely hot. Those extremely hot temperatures caused even more damage in many of these batteries, creating a scenario where many are now on the verge of failure.
This is a very predictable cycle and one that battery manufacturers have been tracking for years. However, for many consumers, their dead battery will take them by surprise at a time that will likely not be convenient. What can you do to make sure your battery is ready for winter? Have it tested. Many battery professionals do offer testing services for batteries and some will even do it for free. These tests will help determine the health of your battery and it's ability to perform during the upcoming winter months.
If you've had your battery tested and have determined it's still ready to perform, make sure you maintain proper voltage in your battery. For REDTOP® batteries (and the 34M BLUETOP®, fully-charged voltage levels will be about 12.6-12.8 volts. For YELLOWTOP® BLUETOP batteries (besided the 34M), full voltage levels will be approximately 13.0-13.2 volts.
If your car, truck or boat is going to be sitting in storage during the winter months, make sure your battery is fully-charged and maintained while in storage. If it isn't possible to keep your battery on a maintainer while in storage, consider at least fully-charging and disconnecting it from your boat or vehicle or even removing it entirely and storing it somewhere that allows it to be properly-maintained. Batteries do best in cool, dry locations (concrete floors won't hurt them).
Remember, it's a lot easier to test your batteries and take care of them now, then it will be when the weather turns cold and you need them to perform. For more useful tips on battery care and maintenance, please visit our YouTube channel.