It is not uncommon to receive advice from motorists and even battery handlers that you shouldn’t leave your car battery on the floor for prolonged periods.
Their reasoning is that placing your car battery on a bare cold, concrete floor without any sort of insulation like a wooden board or an old rag could cause your car battery to discharge super-fast or even cause irreparable damage.
Is this true or just empty talk?
To start with, let’s take a look at the actual material that comes into contact with the floor if you place your car battery on the floor.
It is a type of hard plastic (Polypropylene), an electrical insulator.
Your car battery outputs electrical power to your car through the terminals located on top of it, which doesn’t make any contact with the floor at all.
It wasn’t always like that.
In the early days, car batteries were made with wooden cases – you guessed it – When car batteries were placed on the floor for prolonged periods, the damp in the floor will seep into the wooden case and current will leak onto the floor gradually discharging your car battery.
Battery makers later evolved, changimg the casings to hardened rubber. This did not solve the problem.
A moist concrete floor will react with the carbon in the rubber battery cases and create electrical current between the cells, internally discharging them.
As stated earlier, today car batteries are cased in hard plastic that totally insulates the battery.
A clean concrete floor is actually an excellent place to store your car battery.
Concrete offers good thermal mass to minimize extreme temperatures variations in the battery compartment.
But Yes. Your battery could “leak” power between the terminals due to improper maintenance.
If you let dust and dirt gather between the terminals, acid leaking from the cells could carbonize the dirt and make them electrically conductive. The result is gradual discharge and damage.
This is preventable by regularly cleaning the top of your battery cases and the terminals everytime you perform battery checks.
Also “self discharge” is a normal occurrence for a battery stored for any length of time. You can mitigate this by connectimg a Trickle Charger.
With the present rains, you may also want to know that while a cool (not wet) floor is OK for storing your car battery. A cold battery has reduced chemical activify. This is the reason older and improperly mantained car batteries are reluctant to crank in cold weather (newer batteries are not bothered)
Warmth optimizes your battery performance – Reactions happen faster when the battery is warm and slower when it’s cold.
Cold temperatures doesn’t damage lead-acid batteries unless the battery is heavily discharged or has been abused.
Try keep your batteries in an optimum charged condition. Clean it regularly. Store it on a clean, dry floor. It won’t get damaged.
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