Hot fun in the summertime
With the temperatures heating up, it’s time to get ready for a summer full of outdoor fun. For many, that means hitting the trail or water with a powersport machine. Whether you have a personal watercraft, motorcycle, ATV or motorbike, it has a battery that needs a little TLC to ensure that it’s ready to go when you are.
Nothing can ruin a day of fun faster than a dead battery. Proper care and maintenance can extend the life of your battery. Read on to learn how to keep your powersport batteries in working order all summer long.
Before you take your machine out for the first time, do a visual check of the battery and assess the overall condition of the battery. Run through these steps to ensure that your battery is ready to roll.
- Check the terminals for dirt. To clean the terminals, remove the battery from the machine and use a solution of baking soda and water. Put petroleum jelly or waterproof grease on the terminals to help prevent corrosion.
- Look at the case for damage. If it has bulging sides, it is likely that it froze and has suffered permanent damage and should be replaced.
- On a conventional lead acid battery, check the acid level. Fill with distilled water if necessary. Use caution when removing and replacing the caps.
- Examine the exhaust tube on a lead acid battery making sure that there are no kinks or clogs.
- Make sure that the cables are on tight and that there are no loose connections.
- Ensure that the battery is secure on your machine.
While you’re using your powersport machine, a little basic care will go a long way for keeping your battery in tip-top shape.
Recharge the battery after each use. This will help ensure that your machine is ready the next time you want to use it.
Keep an eye on the condition of the battery. Don’t let dirt or moisture accumulate on the terminals.
Avoiding battery drain
Battery drain is the enemy of your powersport machine’s battery. Every day that your battery sits idle, it naturally loses some of its charge. As the days add up, your battery is losing the charge it needs to power your motorcycle, ATV, dirt bike or jet ski.
To keep your battery in working order, run it for 15-20 minutes every two weeks. If your machine won’t be used for a long period of time, you’ll want to consider an alternative for keeping the battery charged.
Tend to your batteries
If your machine is going to sit idle for any amount of time, consider hooking a battery tender up to the battery. A battery tender hooks up to your battery and plugs into a standard AC outlet. This device keeps your battery charged and ready to go.
This is also ideal for keeping your batteries charged during the winter months while your machine is in storage. You can find battery tenders at your favorite auto parts store.
End of season
At the end of the season, don’t just put your powersport machine in the garage and forget about it. Take a few moments to get your battery ready for the long winter.
Store your batteries above 32°F. Keeping your batteries in freezing temperatures can lead to a cracked case or buckled plates.
Keep each battery on a battery tender. This will ensure that it stays charged and is ready to go in the spring. Letting a battery sit over the winter not only drains it but can reduce its lifespan.
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