Two Year Old Trojan Batteries, Never Used

by Jay Hlavaty
(Costa Rica)

Is there any problem in purchasing batteries that have never been used (sitting on a shelf) but yet are 2 years old (manufactured date)? I believe they are fully charged with electrolite (sulfuric acid).

Hi, Jay!

In a word, yes. Batteries have a shelf life, and even if they were stored full and fully charged (that's the right thing to do with lead acid batteries), they're two years older than they were manufactured, and that has an effect on how long they'll last.

Another thing that has an effect on how long they'll last is the temperature they were stored at. Battery University says the recommended storage temperature for most batteries (including your Trojans) is about 15C.

In Costa Rica, 15C (about 60F) is not likely to have been the storage temperature! The bad news is that higher temps will age the battery in storage quicker than lower ones.

So my advice is to pass on the old batteries, or at least get a deep discount!


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Help! Golf Cart Batteries Dying Young

by Ben
(Curacao, Netherlands Antilles)

I bought 6 golf cart batteries (Napa Specialty) only 1 3/4 year ago, had a charger on them that switched off when charged and since sometimes we would not use the cart for 4 weeks or so I bought another trickling charger that would remain charging if some discharge had taken place.

All of a sudden the batteries started going down after about 8 to 10 holes and now (2 months later) I am glad to reach the 18 holes at all....Power certainly is gone then. Acid is Ok, load test is OK.

Believe I will need new batteries again, costly affair within 2 years. Any suggestions?

Hi, Ben -
A couple of things could be going on. Let's explore the possibilities, since we don't have much to lose at this point!

One, although you said the load test was OK, did you check each individual battery separately to see if there was a weak one (or two)? That can bring down the whole pack.

If, when you bought your golf cart battery pack, some of the batteries were older than others, the older ones would lose their capacity faster than that younger ones. Getting a battery pack that's all the same age is important, in addition to getting batteries that have matching capacity, or AH.

Two, did you get golf cart batteries, meaning specifically made for golf carts? Losing capacity as you describe sometimes happens when people try to substitute marine batteries or other types (SLI, maybe?) for golf cart batteries. But golf cart batteries are special, developed for the specific environment and amp draw that golf carts demand. Or, the batteries might have gotten too warm - warm climate you're in! - and prematurely died.

Three, maybe it's your charger. Sometimes a smart charger can get confused about how fully charged a battery really is, and can be fooled back into correct behavior by manually charging the batteries one time if your batteries aren't truly declining.

Four, maybe you can bring your batteries back to life with a de-sulphiting treatment - either chemical, as in the video above, or through carefully controlled overcharging.

Five...sometimes the connections can be the problem. I'm sure you've checked this already, but it's worth checking again to see if you've developed a short in the system somewhere, if something's rusted through (I live in a damp climate, it happens!), or if corrosion is taking place.

Hope this helps, Ben. Thanks for writing in!

All the best,

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Battery Life in Extreme Heat

by Chris Barrious
(Las Vegas)

I was wanting to know how lead acid batteries perform in extreme heat.

I live in Las Vegas and in the 8 years I've been here I've gone through 4 batteries in my car. Does anyone know if lead acid batteries suffer similar problems to that of regular car batteries?
I garage my car at home but have no such luxury at work and most other places I drive to.

If anyone knows any info on this subject or can point to some websites I would greatly appreciate it.

Hi, Chris -

First of all, your car's starting battery IS a lead acid battery. It's a different type than the deep-cycle golf cart batteries we use in electric vehicles, but they're both lead acid chemistry.
You can read my article about that here, if you like.

Sounds like gel batteries (also lead acid, but less electrolyte) are better for hot climates.


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