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How to Store a Car Battery

Of course, the best thing to do with a car battery is to use it. If your trip isn't too long -- or a relative, friend or neighbor is willing to take it for a 30-minute spin at least once a month -- there's no need to worry about how to store your car battery. But if that's not feasible, your only alternative is to store your car battery away until you return [source: 2carPros].

Here's how to store a car battery:

  1. Disconnect the battery cables -- first the negative (black) cable and then the positive (red) cable.
  2. Inspect the battery for leakage or damage to the case. Use gloves and goggles for protection.
  3. Remove any corrosion you find with baking soda and water [source: La Brie]. Clean the top of the battery and its terminals to remove any dry electrolyte.
  4. Check the electrolyte level in each cell if the battery has filler caps.
  5. Fill any cells that are low to the recommended level with distilled, de-ionized or de-mineralized water. Be careful not to overfill them.
  6. Charge the battery if necessary. Recheck the electrolyte levels after the battery cools down from recharging.
  7. Remove the battery from the car and store it in a cold, dry location where the temperature will not be so low that the battery will freeze.
  8. Connect a smart charger or float charger, depending on the type of battery, to maintain the charge during storage. Check the battery manual or ask an auto professional what kind of charger to use [source: Rainbow Power Company].