Ride-on cards for kids bring excitement and entertainment to allow their imaginations to wander. However, there are factors that can decrease its electric power, so it's vital to save life on batteries so they can prolong their life to last as long as possible. Lead acid batteries are the most common battery used in electronic ride-on cars for kids, and it is essential to take care of them to get the most out of these exciting toys for the best adventures.
In this blog, we will go over helpful tips on how to save life on these batteries and why it's essential for the quality and safety of your kids to enjoy for hours.
Follow Proper Charging Practices
How lead-acid batteries are charged is one of the main variables affecting their lifespan. Follow these charging procedures to ensure peak performance and longevity:
- Charge at the Right Voltage: Make sure your charger matches your battery's current voltage on the packaging. The performance of the battery can be impacted by charging at a greater or lower voltage since it can harm the battery's cell structure.
- Avoid Overcharging: Overcharging a lead-acid battery can result in excessive heat production, which can shorten the battery's lifespan and cause degradation. To avoid overcharging, get a smart charger with overcharge protection or set a charging timer.
- Avoid Deep Discharging: Lead-acid batteries function best when they are not completely discharged. Regular deep discharges can lead to sulfation, which impairs a battery's capacity and general performance by forming sulphate crystals on its plates. To prevent deep cycling and lengthen the battery's lifespan, recharge it before it reaches a low state of charge.
Charge Fully and As Often as You Can
A lead-acid battery's cells become stressed if it is undercharged for an extended period of time, as undercharging results in sulfation, reducing the battery's capacity and overall performance. Therefore, lead acid batteries must be charged fully after each discharge cycle to avoid sulfation. It's important to not allow the battery to discharge under 50% which can cause further damage to the battery.
To keep lead acid in good shape, give it a full charge that lasts between 12 and 15 hours. If the charge cycle doesn't let you do this, fully charge the battery once every few weeks. If you can, keep the temperature low and prevent deep discharges, but charge as often as you can while avoiding overcharging.
If you keep charging a lead acid battery beyond its charging capacity, it can overheat which ultimately reduces the battery’s lifespan.
Store Properly When Not in Use
Follow these storage recommendations to extend the lifespan of lead-acid batteries:
- Charge the Battery to its Fullest Capacity Before Storing: A battery that has been completely charged is less likely to sulphate and deteriorate while being stored.
- Keep the Battery in a Cool, Dry Place: Keep the battery out of direct sunlight and areas with high or low temperatures. High temperatures can limit the life of batteries and hasten their deterioration.
Mitigating Stress on Battery Cells
Letting the battery get to a level where it can't hold any more charge or totally draining it puts more stress on the battery's cells. When a battery is deeply discharged, chemical processes happen inside that can damage the electrodes and electrolyte materials. This stress can cause the battery's capacity to decrease over time. Here are ways to mitigate the stress on lead-acid battery cells:
- Regular Inspections: Check the batteries frequently for signs of deterioration, corrosion, or leaks. The battery's lifespan can be considerably increased by keeping it clean and maintained. Regular inspections allow you to detect problems early and, if necessary, seek expert assistance or a replacement.
- Use the Proper Charging Equipment: Lead-acid batteries should only be charged using chargers made just for them. Using incompatible chargers or temporary fixes can result in improper charging and battery damage.
Don't Let It Get Too Hot
When batteries get too hot, they can pose safety risks and even shut down while charging. Overcharging and too much heat can cause the battery to leak or even catch fire in the worst cases. Some modern chargers have safety features that keep them from overcharging, but it's still a good idea to unplug the charger when the battery is fully charged to be safe. Heat is one of the main factors that cause batteries to wear out. When batteries are exposed to high temperatures for a long time, chemical processes can happen inside the cells, which causes the internal parts (especially the active materials on the plates), to wear out faster. This can cause the battery's capacity and performance to decrease over time, which shortens the battery's lifespan.
Moreover, temperatures over 80 degrees can cause battery degradation to lead acid batteries, resulting in self-discharge. Therefore, minimizing the battery temperature in storage or while in use extends its lifespan and charge quality. Research suggests batteries can live longer if they are not exposed to situations that increase degradation. It also has a positive environmental impact because battery production produces greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.
Both the ride-on car and its battery can become too hot after a long play session. Charging the battery while it is still hot can result in more significant heat generation during the charging process. Heat can place additional strain on the battery cells, thereby reducing their lifespan. Allowing the ride-on car and battery to cool to room temperature before charging ensures a safer and more efficient charging operation.
Taking care of the battery in kids' ride-on cars is crucial to extending its life and ensuring peak performance. By charging wisely, storing at low temperatures, avoiding deep discharge, overcharging, and letting it cool down, you will increase the life of your batteries while providing a safe and entertaining experience for your children. Proper battery management not only saves you from often replacing batteries but also helps lessen environmental impact, boosting long-term playtime enjoyment.