Oftentimes when a classic car is put into long-term storage, the intention is not for it to be in storage at all but rather the car was simply no longer driven. This often means many items that should have been taken care of before sitting for extended periods have created their own problems. This includes batteries, as most classic cars came originally equipped with flooded lead-acid batteries, they continue to “out gas” even while stored. These acid vapors can deteriorate lead terminals, weaken copper wire and corrode battery boxes and surrounding parts.
The battery is at the heart of automotive electrical systems. It’s important to remember the battery serves four-main functions: supplies power for initial start, supplies power for accessories when the engine is not running, provides additional power when demand exceeds alternator/generator output, and acts as a buffer to smooth out voltage surges. Given the vital role the battery plays in the car’s electrical system it’s important to ensure the battery, cables and connections are in excellent condition. It’s a good idea to replace them as part of the process of bringing a car out of long-term storage.
Ideally the battery is removed whenever a car is stored and the proper battery care is used and it is placed on a battery maintainer, even if it is only out of service for a few months, but often this is not the case. Mark Simpson tackles proper battery care in this video lesson, bringing our project 1931 DeSoto out of storage and addresses the needs of the electrical system. Follow along as Simpson removes old and corroded components and replaces them with new cables and a new battery.