Batteries naturally self-discharge 1% to 15% per month while in storage, and lead sulfation will start occurring when the state-of-charge drops below 80%. If left in a vehicle, disconnecting the negative cable will reduce the level of discharge by eliminating the parasitic load. Cold will slow the self-discharge process down and heat will speed it up. Use the following six simple steps to store your batteries:

9.1. Physically inspect for damaged cases, remove any corrosion, and clean and dry the battery tops.

9.2. Fully recharge the batteries.

9.3. Check the electrolyte levels and add distilled water as required, but avoid overfilling.

9.4. Store in a cold dry place, but not below 32o F (0o C).

9.5. Depending on the ambient temperature and self-discharge rate, periodically test the state-of-charge using the procedure in Section 4. When the state-of-charge drops below 80%, recharge the batteries using the procedures in Section 6. An alternative would be to connect an automatic voltage regulated, solar panel or "smart trickle" charger to "float" batteries. Based on the manufacturer's recommendations, use an automatic or smart charger that has been manufactured for this purpose and battery type. You may also use a setting of 13.02 to 13.8 volts for wet batteries and 13.2 to 14.1 volts for VRLA batteries, compensated for temperature, and the correct automatic or smart charger that has been designed not to overcharge the batteries.

The following graph from Concorde demonstrates the effect of temperature on float voltage requirements.

[Source: Concorde]

9.6. Equalize only wet (flooded) or AGM batteries, when you remove the batteries from storage; use the procedure in Section 6.

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