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Car Battery Shelf Life?

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by 92stoccord, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. 92stoccord

    92stoccord Big Member VIP

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    I work at autozone, and we've got a "used" 51 series battery. Used in our system means its sat on the shelf too long. They sell them for 45 bucks, no warranty. I'm thinking about picking it up and sticking it on the shelf, since mine is going on 2.5 years old. How long will they last? Should I get a tender? Is it worth it? (It'll be 36 for me, I get a 20 percent discount.) Will it live long enough for me to get use out of it?
     
  2. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    A lead acid battery loses, by volume, about 10% of it's power every 30 days.

    Just a generalization. You can actually take the old batteries, and service them with electrolytes.

    I do this all the time. I still don't pay more than 50 for a battery.. and that's an Optima. Next I'm trying some things like Lithium.
     
  3. 92stoccord

    92stoccord Big Member VIP

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    So I'll be alright if I leave it sit for a year or two and then toss it on the charger and put it in when mine takes a shit? Cause christ knows what batteries are going to cost in 2 years. The battery I have now is 2.5 years old. I've seen them last anywhere from 2 years-10 years.
     
  4. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    No, not really. By that time you'll need to drain the acid totally, and replace it.

    I wouldn't advise that. A Battery Tender will be necessary.
     
  5. 92stoccord

    92stoccord Big Member VIP

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    So I guess that's my question. If I come home, and stick it on a tender, and it stays 70 degrees all day every day, will it undergo regular wear and tear on the battery? Can I expect it to be good in a couple years? I figure you'd know this best, being über boyscout tinfoil hat zombie invasion prepared.
     
  6. Dual-500

    Dual-500 Well-Known Member VIP

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    A battery in use in a vehicle with normal use, and a good charging system is good for ~5 years if it's a good battery.

    Battery life is all about charge condition. Note the period after that statement.

    Charge condition and time. Keeping it in peak charged condtion and it will last the longest. Less than peak and it will degrade faster than with a full charge. How much the degradation impacts the lifespan is a function of how low the charge condition goes and how long it's in a poor charge condtion.

    So, put a Battery Tender or other smart charger on it for maximum shelf life. Since you work at a store, put a full charge on the battery and load test it before you buy it to make sure it's in decent condition when you start with it.
     
  7. CAFROG

    CAFROG Honda Minion VIP

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    With there not be another cheap battery for you to buy at a discount when the purchase is necessary? Or is this a nice battery that doesn't come along that often? My battery knowledge is limited.

    My dad has used battery tenders on his hot rods. Doesn't have one on the current set up and I bet that battery is toast right now. (truck is electrically torn apart at the moment)

    My Die Hard battery (tiny tiny thing) lasted over 7 years until I let it sit for 9 months doing my K-Swap. It barely cranked the motor over after a 20+hr trickle charge. But a new one cost me a shade over a hundred bucks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  8. DarkHand

    DarkHand Senior Member VIP

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  9. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP VIP

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    just go to your local interstate distributor and ask them for a used battery when it comes time to buy one
    i still have one of their used batteries in one of my trucks and it has to be 4 or 5 years now
    they generally sell them for about 50 bucks. and they test it and all that jazz with their good machine to make sure its ok

    it just doesn't add up to buy a battery now on spec and keep it as inventory in case your battery goes bad. bad gamble, and you have to factor in the cost of electric to keep it charged for 3 years before you need it.
     
  10. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    Tha'ts what i was thinking.

    The day before you quit that job, or when you need one, jump on it. Inventory is expensive. First rule of business. Don't sit on shit you don't have to.
     
  11. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. Take it from me. A 15' U-Haul filled with tires.
     
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