Maintaining Lawn Mower Batteries in Winter
Batteries used in machines need to work during the winter months, but that can sometimes be a challenge. They must go into the season fully charged, or else they can struggle to turn on. Generally, batteries below a 70 percent charge tend to have difficulties starting. This is typically for cold engines.
Also, because of the temperature, batteries produce less energy at colder temperatures and the overall state of charge lowers as well. Since battery replacements can also be difficult in the cold weather, you will want to make sure you are being preventative, which will make it much easier to keep your equipment maintained.
How to Maintain Lawn Mower Batteries in the Winter
Let’s take a look at some of the steps that can help you be preventative with your machine batteries.
Perform a Load Test
Load-testing your batteries will be a necessity, so you can make sure they are ready to perform before you start your engine.
Fully Charge Your Batteries
Batteries should be fully charged before they are placed into storage. If they are not fully charged, you will want to make sure they are at least above a 70 percent charge.
Batteries are likely to discharge over time, however, lower temperatures actually slow the process. If you do not plan on using your equipment, it’s a great idea to consider storing it in a cool, but not freezing, location.
Disconnect Negative Ground Cable
Operators must disconnect the negative ground cable. In addition, this helps to reduce discharge caused by electrical components. You will want to restore this cable before the end of each season.
How Long Can a Lawn Mower Battery Sit Unused?
The amount of time a battery can sit unused is dependent on a number of factors including the type of battery, age, and the storage environment. That said, when your lawn mower battery sits for too long in an undercharged state, crystals can begin to form on the battery's plates, which lowers its ability to hold a charge for a prolonged period of time.
How Can I Extend the Life of My Lawn Mower Battery?
To extend the life of a lawn mower battery, it is best practice to store it in a cool, dry place, avoiding extreme temperatures, such as a cold garage or hot car. In addition, keeping batteries clean and dry are key ways to ensure the longevity of your lawn mower battery.
Should I Remove My Lawn Mower Battery for Winter?
Removing your lawn mower battery for the winter is dependent on a few factors including the type of battery, how often you use your lawn mower, and the climate you live in. For instance, if you live in a very cold climate or don’t plan to use your machinery for several months, it’s best practice to remove the battery and store it indoors. Or if you have a lead-acid battery in your lawn mower, it can be damaged by cold weather if it's left outside for too long, resulting in it not being able to be recharged.
How Do I Store My Lawn Mower Battery in the Winter?
The best way to store your lawn mower battery during the winter season is to first remove the battery and disconnect the negative than positive cables. From there, clean the battery and cables to prevent corrosion and charge the battery to its full capacity. Finally, store the battery in a cool dry place, avoiding direct sunlight, and check the battery charge every few months.
How Often Should I Check My Lawn Mower Battery in the Winter?
Depending on how long the winter season is where you live, it’s best practice to check the battery every couple of months to ensure it isn’t losing battery over time.
What Are the Signs of a Bad Lawn Mower Battery?
The most common signs of a bad lawn mower battery include:
- The engine won’t start.
- The engine dies after starting.
- The engine cranks slowly as it's turned on.
- The headlights on your lawn mower are dim.
- The battery terminals or cables are corroded.
- The battery is old.
How Do I Keep a Lawn Mower Battery Charged Over Winter?
There are a few ways to keep your lawn mower battery charged over the winter. One way is to hook up the battery to its charger, often called a trickle charger or battery tender, which will ensure your battery always has full charge. Another way is to remove your lawn mower battery and store it indoors, which will help reduce battery loss from storing it in cold conditions. That said with this method, you’ll likely have to recharge the battery before starting up your tractor for the season.