FAQ: How to Properly Care for an ODYSSEY® Battery

Spring is here, which means we can (hopefully) say goodbye to frigid temperatures and snow. Along with the new season comes the need for some spring battery maintenance. Whether your battery has been in use all winter long, or you’re just taking it out of hibernation, our experts have some friendly advice on how to properly care for your ODYSSEY® battery:

In-Use:

Are there any special procedures that need to be taken if the battery has been in constant use?
If your battery has remained in constant use throughout the winter, there is not much you should need to worry about when it comes to the operation of the battery itself. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on the cleanliness of the top of the battery, the terminals and the cables. Make sure everything is free of dirt, debris and corrosion. Also, ensure sure all battery related hardware is tight, including the terminals and hold-downs. These can all cause damage to the battery if not caught in time.

If it needs to be charged, how do you properly charge your ODYSSEY battery?
The best way to charge an ODYSSEY® battery is to use an AGM specific charger. Chargers such as the ODYSSEY® Battery Portable Charger have the required 14.7 volts needed to properly charge your ODYSSEY battery. They come in 3 sizes; 6 amp, 12 amp and 20 amp.

If it needs to be cleaned, how do you properly care for your ODYSSEY® battery?
We recommend using warm, clear water under pressure to clean your ODYSSEY® battery. If there is any presence of acid residue, create a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and water. Apply the mixture until foaming stops, then rinse. Do not use any detergents or cleaning materials with the ODYSSEY® Extreme Series™ batteries as they are made of a plastic that can breakdown and become contaminated if cleaning solutions are applied.

Sitting:

  1. Did you leave your battery sitting this winter?
    1. If you left it on a trickle charger, take these steps to ensure it’s good to go for the new season: You should be good to go if you used a trickle charger. Trickle chargers designed for AGM batteries are meant to overcome any parasitic amperage drain that is left when the vehicle is off, but the battery is still active. If you unhook that battery from the system, an ODYSSEY® battery can be left all winter without charging.
    2. Accidentally neglect caring for it? If it’s deeply discharged or dead:
      1. Deeply Discharged: Depending on how long the battery was left in a discharged state will determine your chances of recovering the battery. In most cases, very deeply discharged batteries, left for long periods of time, are more than likely not recoverable. The best course of action in this situation would be to take the battery to an authorized ODYSSEY® battery dealer for proper testing and charging. If in fact it is dead, you’re in the right spot to buy a new one.
      2. Dead: Dead is a relative term. Sometimes “dead” simply means the vehicle will not start. Anything between 11.5 to 12.0 volts has a good chance of coming back with a boost charge. Anything under 10.0 volts will be difficult to revive. You can determine how discharged the battery is by performing a voltage check. One other thing to note here, and this applies to any day of the year, is that some alternators may not have the ability to keep an AGM battery fully charged, especially if you only drive short trips. It is always a good idea to have a maintenance charger to periodically boost your battery to 100%, that way it isn’t so critical when the car is not being used for several weeks or months at a time. Some aftermarket high performance alternators are also available that can help with this problem.

For more information on EnerSys and its full line of products, systems and support, visit www.enersys.com.

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