A Cars forum. AutoBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » AutoBanter forum » Auto newsgroups » Technology
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Your maintenance-free battery ISN'T maintenance free !



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old March 5th 05, 03:43 AM
Lawrence Glickman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Your maintenance-free battery ISN'T maintenance free !


While I was making mischief out in the garage today, I popped off the
top of my maintenance-free battery, and discovered that the
electrolyte level was DOWN TO THE TOP OF THE PLATES.

I topped up with a goodly amount of distilled water, a lot of
distilled water, until I got a meniscus at the bottom of the level
indicator slots.

Just a Heads Up !

Lg

Ads
  #2  
Old March 5th 05, 03:06 PM
Al Bundy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Lawrence Glickman wrote:
> While I was making mischief out in the garage today, I popped off the
> top of my maintenance-free battery, and discovered that the
> electrolyte level was DOWN TO THE TOP OF THE PLATES.
>
> I topped up with a goodly amount of distilled water, a lot of
> distilled water, until I got a meniscus at the bottom of the level
> indicator slots.
>
> Just a Heads Up !
>
> Lg


Always worth checking, but low water that much often means an
overcharging condition and the battery life about over. If that battery
were four years old I'd replace it without a blink.
Run your lights for 30" with the engine off. Turn them off. Check
voltage and it should be 12.6V or better. Start the engine and the
charging voltage should be under 15V.

  #3  
Old March 5th 05, 03:32 PM
Mike Romain
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

You just caught on to one of the best scams going there!

I know a gent that goes to all the used car lots and buys all the dead
maintenance free batteries, tops them up, puts a deep charge in them and
sells them back for $25.00 with a 1 year warranty. He said he almost
never has a warranty claim.

Mike
86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00
88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's

Lawrence Glickman wrote:
>
> While I was making mischief out in the garage today, I popped off the
> top of my maintenance-free battery, and discovered that the
> electrolyte level was DOWN TO THE TOP OF THE PLATES.
>
> I topped up with a goodly amount of distilled water, a lot of
> distilled water, until I got a meniscus at the bottom of the level
> indicator slots.
>
> Just a Heads Up !
>
> Lg

  #4  
Old March 5th 05, 04:26 PM
Gideon
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

LG,

I learned this many years ago, probably because I'm such a cheap SOB.

Sometimes those covers over the cells are extremely difficult to remove,
but I refuse to let a manufacturer convince me that a wet lead-acid battery
is "maintenance free." I know that I once spent considerable time with a
Dremmel tool cutting loose the battery cell covers which had been bonded
to the battery case. I got many more good years of service out of that
"maintenance free battery" by treating it the old-fashioned way.

"Maintenance Free" is often little more than a euphemism for a battery
which is designed to fail prematurely because the manufacturer made it
difficult to add water. Valve-regulated lead-acid technology is a great
theory, but I still trust visual inspection and the addition of distilled water
a few time per year. How much effort is that, really?

As you know, the big rules to get maximum life out of a wet lead-acid
battery a
1) Top off the charge - avoid even modest undercharge states.
2) Avoid deep cycle.
3) Examine and top off the water.
4) Avoid high temperatures (>104 ?), especially during recharging.
Many bad things happen to lead-acid wet cells at high temperatures.
Charging at high temps is particularly bad because it results in
improper battery chemistry which shortens battery life. I can't
remember the particular wrong chemical reactions anymore. Let
me know if you remember.

Isn't it fun defeating planned obsolescence?

Gideon




  #5  
Old March 5th 05, 06:30 PM
Lawrence Glickman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Sat, 05 Mar 2005 16:26:29 GMT, "Gideon" > wrote:

>LG,
>
>I learned this many years ago, probably because I'm such a cheap SOB.


The word is "Frugal" Gideon. I like to think of myself as, eh,
"thrifty," yeah that's it

>Sometimes those covers over the cells are extremely difficult to remove,
>but I refuse to let a manufacturer convince me that a wet lead-acid battery
>is "maintenance free."


As Mr Romain says, this -has- to be a SCAM. Why? Maybe because the
mfgr. can sell -more- batteries this way, by saying leave em alone,
they're "sealed for Life." ???

> I know that I once spent considerable time with a
>Dremmel tool cutting loose the battery cell covers which had been bonded
>to the battery case. I got many more good years of service out of that
>"maintenance free battery" by treating it the old-fashioned way.


See there, although in fairness, Al Bundy might be correct that I need
to keep an eye on this thing. But it is OEM 2003 and I think I should
expect 5 years out of a battery. IOW, I =should= be able to use this
thing for at least another 2 or 3 years. In fact, I had one that went
7 years in a Merc Tracer.

>"Maintenance Free" is often little more than a euphemism for a battery
>which is designed to fail prematurely because the manufacturer made it
>difficult to add water.


Hear Hear. They could be doing this because it is protection against
lawsuits from consumers fooling around with hydrogen gas and sulphuric
acid. Or maybe they're just _greedy_.

> Valve-regulated lead-acid technology is a great
>theory, but I still trust visual inspection and the addition of distilled water
>a few time per year. How much effort is that, really?


Took me 2 seconds, but I wouldn't normally have looked since the
hydrometer ball is still green. I am pretty sure it wouldn't have
been green much longer if I didn't get to it when I did.

>As you know, the big rules to get maximum life out of a wet lead-acid
>battery a
> 1) Top off the charge - avoid even modest undercharge states.
> 2) Avoid deep cycle.
> 3) Examine and top off the water.
> 4) Avoid high temperatures (>104 ?), especially during recharging.
> Many bad things happen to lead-acid wet cells at high temperatures.
> Charging at high temps is particularly bad because it results in
> improper battery chemistry which shortens battery life. I can't
> remember the particular wrong chemical reactions anymore. Let
> me know if you remember.
>
>Isn't it fun defeating planned obsolescence?


It is fun beating the &astards at their own game 8-).

>Gideon


Lg
( MISTER Frugal, eh..."Thrifty )
  #6  
Old March 5th 05, 06:48 PM
Lawrence Glickman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 5 Mar 2005 07:06:29 -0800, "Al Bundy" >
wrote:

>
>Lawrence Glickman wrote:
>> While I was making mischief out in the garage today, I popped off the
>> top of my maintenance-free battery, and discovered that the
>> electrolyte level was DOWN TO THE TOP OF THE PLATES.
>>
>> I topped up with a goodly amount of distilled water, a lot of
>> distilled water, until I got a meniscus at the bottom of the level
>> indicator slots.
>>
>> Just a Heads Up !
>>
>> Lg

>
>Always worth checking, but low water that much often means an
>overcharging condition and the battery life about over.


I certainly hope not.

>If that battery
>were four years old I'd replace it without a blink.


It is OEM on a 2003

>Run your lights for 30" with the engine off. Turn them off. Check
>voltage and it should be 12.6V or better. Start the engine and the
>charging voltage should be under 15V.


Yep. I have a 300 Amp load I use, and I will check it out.

Lg

  #7  
Old March 5th 05, 06:56 PM
Lawrence Glickman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Sat, 05 Mar 2005 10:32:43 -0500, Mike Romain >
wrote:

>You just caught on to one of the best scams going there!


Quite by accident I assure you ;0

>I know a gent that goes to all the used car lots and buys all the dead
>maintenance free batteries, tops them up, puts a deep charge in them and
>sells them back for $25.00 with a 1 year warranty. He said he almost
>never has a warranty claim.


I'm sure there are tons of good stuff tossed away because of a planned
obsolescence life-cycle, not because of *defective goods.*

Sure, if you don't add water to a lead-acid battery, unless it's gel
or AGM, it's going to go bad much sooner than it needs to.

I might have just caught this thing in time. It's on a 2003 and I
should really be able to run it another 3 years!

Of course I live up North, and heat isn't as much as a problem here as
it is down south, so I can expect longer battery life, but shorter
auto body life, what with the salt on the roads in the winter.

I wish it would warm up around here already. I want to get under the
car and go after the obvious rust before it gets any worse. They sell
these hand-held sand-blasting guns now, no larger than a paint
sprayer. I'll use that and a can of rustoleum for a starter.

No sense in keeping an engine alive if the body is gonna fall apart.

Lg



>Mike
>86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00
>88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's
>
>Lawrence Glickman wrote:
>>
>> While I was making mischief out in the garage today, I popped off the
>> top of my maintenance-free battery, and discovered that the
>> electrolyte level was DOWN TO THE TOP OF THE PLATES.
>>
>> I topped up with a goodly amount of distilled water, a lot of
>> distilled water, until I got a meniscus at the bottom of the level
>> indicator slots.
>>
>> Just a Heads Up !
>>
>> Lg


  #8  
Old March 6th 05, 03:34 AM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The electrolyte should only be topped up when the battery is
pretty much fully charged and still on the charger. The level will rise
while charging, and you can overfill a battery by bringing the acid to
the bottom of the fill neck and then charging it. Results in spilled
acid. Spilling acid and replacing it with distilled water reduces the
SG and shortens battery life.
Charging a battery at high amperage heats it up, too, and can
wreck it.

Many batteries now really ARE sealed, and have stuff in them to
take the gases and convert them back to liquid, so they never need
topping up. It's called recombinant-gas technology. Often found in
emergency lighting, backup power systems, and we are encountering them
in aviation. Wouldn't be surprised if a few autos have them now. Cut
those open and you ruin them.

Dan

  #9  
Old March 7th 05, 05:19 PM
Steve
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Lawrence Glickman wrote:

> While I was making mischief out in the garage today, I popped off the
> top of my maintenance-free battery, and discovered that the
> electrolyte level was DOWN TO THE TOP OF THE PLATES.
>


Yep. Old news.

There ARE certain types of battery that are truly maintenance-free,
though. AGM (Absorbtive Glass Mat, aka "Gel Cells") like the Optima are
truly sealed and don't have any liquid water. You can still ruin one by
over-charging, which causes the electrolyte in the mat to out-gas too
fast and pop safety seal, opening the battery to air so that it will
dry out and die.

  #10  
Old March 7th 05, 05:47 PM
Mike Romain
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Steve wrote:
>
> Lawrence Glickman wrote:
>
> > While I was making mischief out in the garage today, I popped off the
> > top of my maintenance-free battery, and discovered that the
> > electrolyte level was DOWN TO THE TOP OF THE PLATES.
> >

>
> Yep. Old news.
>
> There ARE certain types of battery that are truly maintenance-free,
> though. AGM (Absorbtive Glass Mat, aka "Gel Cells") like the Optima are
> truly sealed and don't have any liquid water. You can still ruin one by
> over-charging, which causes the electrolyte in the mat to out-gas too
> fast and pop safety seal, opening the battery to air so that it will
> dry out and die.


Optima isn't in that class. They are a lead acid battery and do vent
hydrogen gas so can explode like any other if a spark comes at the wrong
time.

Mike
86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00
88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's
 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
battery question Jim Beaver General 14 November 6th 04 10:54 PM
Cars free for qualified drivers ... Mahesh 4x4 10 April 1st 04 08:01 AM
Cars free for qualified drivers ... Mahesh General 5 April 1st 04 08:01 AM
Fleet Maintenance Pro v9.0.19 Enterprise 100 users, STRACfastMaintenance 2.5c, Auto Maintenance Pro v9.0 Professional Incl Keygen,various other AUTO and BOAT Maintenance progs ... [email protected], [email protected] Antique cars 0 October 23rd 03 09:08 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2018 AutoBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.