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Seven Mistakes That Can Shorten the Lifespan of a Boat Battery

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One of the most essential pieces of equipment to get a boat moving through the water is the boat battery. Boat batteries last longer if they are properly used and maintained. Unfortunately, boat owners sometimes make mistakes that shorten battery lifespan.

The following are seven mistakes that can shorten the lifespan of a boat battery. 

Allowing corrosion to build up on the battery terminals

Corrosion built up on battery terminals can create a lot of problems. Corrosion can interfere with the connection between the battery and the battery cables. This can make it impossible to start up a boat with a battery until the terminals are cleaned and/or repaired. 

Failing to recharge after use

A boat battery should be recharged after a long day out on the water. Some boats don't include an alternator that will recharge the battery as the boat is running. Recharging will keep preserving a battery that is getting a lot of use. 

Not keeping fluid levels adequate throughout the winter

It's important to check fluid levels in a battery periodically. A battery will not function optimally if fluid levels are low. It's especially important to charge fluids during the winter months when a boat is not getting as much use. Doing this will help keep the battery in decent condition while in storage. 

Constantly exposing a boat battery to temperature extremes

Both extreme heat and cold temperatures are not good for boat batteries. Hot temperatures can cause batteries to expand slightly and experience electrolyte loss. Running a boat battery in cold temperatures results in a reduced discharge rate. 

These scenarios put stress on a boat battery. Avoiding boat use in extreme temperatures and storing a boat battery in a climate-controlled environment are therefore beneficial practices. 

Not choosing the best boat battery for the application in question

All boat batteries are not created equal. Boat batteries are typically designed for specific types of applications and vessels. It's therefore important to make sure you're using your boat battery for the right application, or it could experience premature wear and tear. 

Failing to properly secure a boat battery

A battery can become damaged if it is not properly secured and moves around a lot while a boat is in use. It's best to secure a boat battery with nyloc nuts so that the battery will stay in place even when a boat is used in rough waters or experiences impact damage. 

Failing to address any damage to the casing

Issues with the battery casing interfere with battery voltage and leave a battery even more sensitive to temperature extremes. Inspect your battery periodically for any cracks or warping in the casing. Have a battery with casing damage repaired or invest in a new battery to avoid issues.  

To learn more about boat batteries, contact a local auto parts store.