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How to Protect Your On-Board BatteriesAuxillary and engine batteries are not always maintenance free as they are in the newer types of automobiles. Water levels and state of charge are critical in freezing conditions. A discharged battery will freeze, resulting in potential splitting of the case, rendering the battery useless. Poorly maintained, defective and poorly charged auxillary batteries can and do cause many problems, including:
1. Improper functioning of furnaces and A/C's
2. Refrigerator may not cool properly or not at all
In order to avoid these problems, the following precautions should be taken:
1. Disconnect the negative cable or, if so equipped, use the battery disconnects whenever the vehicle is stored.. LP leak detectors present a constant draw on the battery and will drain the energy in a very short time.
2. Electric steps should be turned off when storing the vehicle.
3. Some refrigerators draw battery power even when turned off, particularly those equipped with High Humidity settings. This function needs to be turned off or set to "Storage" position to avoid battery draw.
4. Check the water levels frequently! Auxillary batteries are NOT included in the vehicle warranty. Most batteries carry their own warranties, which are only in force for a limited time.
Finally, keep in mind that batteries contain hazardous materials such as acids and lead and should be disposed of in a proper manner. Also, be careful when handling batteries as they emit explosive gases. Never service a battery in the presence of an open flame or other ignition source.
Take good care of your batteries and you'll have fewer problems with your electrical systems!