Why keeping the car battery on a bare floor isn’t all too bad?

Vaibhav Rai

October 01, 2018 04:58 PM

It’s common of motorists, auto professionals and battery handlers to advice you about not to leave the car batteries on the floor for longer periods. Their belief is of placing the batteries on a bare, concrete and cold floor without any specific insulation such as a wooden board, an old piece of cloth or any other may cause the car batter to discharge real quick and rendering permanent damage. What are the real facts? Read on to find out more.

True or bluff

Let’s begin from the actual material that truly comes in contact directly with the floor thus sparking the debate of whether to or not to place the car battery on bare floor. Its polypropylene; a hard plastic that’s an electrical insulator! It’s obvious of the car battery to supply electricity to the entire vehicle and its different functions all the way through the terminals located on top. Since these don’t come directly in contact with the floor, the damaging factors are likely to subside here. However, things haven’t always been the same!

In early days, car batteries were crafted with wooden cases and when these were placed directly on the floor for a long period, dampness from the floor crept into the wooden frame causing leak on the floor thus gradually discharging the car’s battery.

In time, makers realise and cope with the fact by substituting wood against hard rubber but, even that failed to resolve the matter initially. Though concrete, moist from the floor reacts with the carbon in rubber battery frames which releases electrical current between the cells and discharges them internally.

Further improvement brought hard plastic cases that can totally insulate the battery which makes bare, clean and concrete floor, a safe place to keep the car batteries. In fact, professional car service in Dubai is likely to advice on this as concrete complements to excellent thermal mass which minimises the extreme temperature variations in the battery cubicle.

Still, improper maintenance is likely to cause a power leak between the terminals. On the contrary, if dust and dirt accumulate in between the terminals, the pouring acid from the cells would carbonise the particles and turn them electrically conductive thus resulting in frequent discharge and damage.

This is however preventable if you follow regular cleaning practice with top of the battery case as well as the terminals every time when performing battery checks. In addition, ‘self-discharge’ is a normal occurrence for any battery that has been left to store for prolonged period. You can overcome the issue by connecting the battery with a Trickle Charger.

Even during rainy season, keeping the battery on a cool floor is totally acceptable as long as it’s dry. Cold battery reduces chemical activity which is another reason for old and carelessly maintained car batteries can crank in colder weather albeit; this doesn’t happen with newly purchased batteries.

Conclusion : 

Warmth optimises performance of the car’s battery due to which chemical reaction happens quicker as compared to the colder weather. Still, sub-zero temperatures doesn’t damage the lead-acid batteries unless there’s a heavy discharge or misuse of the battery.