Maintainable VS Maintenance Free
When selecting a battery for your vehicle, boat, lawn mower or motorcycle, you may be faced with the decision of choosing between a Maintainable or Maintenance Free battery. But what are the differences - and why should you choose one over the other?
Maintainable and Maintenance Free batteries are similar in many ways - they're both filled with electrolyte and function in essentially the same way. But there are some key differences which you should keep in mind.
Maintainable battery benefits
As the name might suggest, Maintainable batteries have removable caps which enable you to visually check the electrolyte level in each cell. The lifespan of the battery can be extended by periodically checking the electrolyte level, and top up with demineralised water if required. Depending on the battery, the electrolyte levels should be checked at least once per year.
This loss of electrolyte can be caused by overcharging, heat exposure, and most importantly evaporation - which occurs at a faster rate when compared to sealed maintenance free batteries.
Maintenance Free battery benefits
In comparison, Maintenance Free batteries come sealed for life from the factory, and do not require maintenance of the electrolyte levels. The most significant benefit of the sealed design is that no service attention is required, other than ensuring the battery is kept clean and fully charged.
Maintenance Free batteries tend to lose electrolyte at a much slower rate than Maintainable models, so extended battery life can be expected as a result.