Automotive

Car Batteries - FAQ, General Information, Tips & Tricks

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  • Jan 21st, 2019 6:14 pm
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Member
Jul 11, 2005
337 posts
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Piklishi wrote:
Jan 6th, 2019 10:48 pm
I filled up the battery last night. It was easier than I thought, following your advice. I didnt remove the battery though as there was plenty of space to work from above. Each cell took about 50 to 75ml of distilled water. Some pictures below. Also I cleaned it up a bit. The build up was in the negative side. I mistakenly had mention that its on the positive side.
I did the same maintenance last month on my 08 Mazda and it it looks like I gained maybe another year out of the original battery .
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Jan 27, 2006
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TrueDon wrote:
Jan 7th, 2019 1:59 pm
I did the same maintenance last month on my 08 Mazda and it it looks like I gained maybe another year out of the original battery .
Did you charge and test it?
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Oct 26, 2008
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Piklishi wrote:
Jan 6th, 2019 10:48 pm
... Each cell took about 50 to 75ml of distilled water.
That sounds like a lot of water for each cell unless they were all clearly below the top of the plates. The correct level is when the electrolyte just meets the underside of the base of fill hole.

You know that level is reached when you see the electrolyte suddenly form a ring as it clings to the base of the fill hole. Requires careful use of a dropper.
craftsman wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2019 6:27 pm
..... When filling, be careful as the battery acid tends to splash when filled. Since you removed the battery, fill up to the minimum fill line initially, then charge. Once fully charged, fill again but this time so that the fluid level lands in the middle of the two lines, then charge again.
Only translucent case batteries have fill lines presumably? And you have to wing it with black case batteries?
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macnut wrote:
Jan 7th, 2019 10:04 pm
That sounds like a lot of water for each cell unless they were all clearly below the top of the plates. The correct level is when the electrolyte just meets the underside of the base of fill hole.

You know that level is reached when you see the electrolyte suddenly form a ring as it clings to the base of the fill hole. Requires careful use of a dropper.
The battery has been in service for a good number of years and from my experience, the factory fill of fluid isn't necessarily 'FULL' - I know with a recent Kirkland purchase I made for a relative, the level was no-where near full.

macnut wrote:
Jan 7th, 2019 10:04 pm
Only translucent case batteries have fill lines presumably? And you have to wing it with black case batteries?
That's correct. The dumb thing is that when it's installed, there's not enough light for you to use those fill lines without removing the battery!

As far as the black case batteries, yes, winging it is really the only choice. I did notice however on the newer Johnson Control batteries (mine was that recently purchased Kirkland), they installed a grey plastic plate under the fill hole. I assume that the location of the plate is probably the LOW fill line and the bottom of the fill hole is the FULL fill line.
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Jul 25, 2015
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Burnaby, BC
I might have overfilled it then. I went over the plates right where that black edge is, bottom of the picture below. Is that too much?
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  • 20190105_165051.jpg
Last edited by Piklishi on Jan 8th, 2019 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jan 27, 2006
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Piklishi wrote:
Jan 8th, 2019 12:12 am
I might have overfilled it then. I went over the plates right where that black edge is. Is that too much?
You mean the black edge of plastic at the bottom of the fill hole, right? It's not terrible if you go past that mark... it's just that if the battery gets hot and the fluid starts to bubble (which is really rare except when doing a high current charge), there's a possibility of the fluid coming out of the battery.

Speaking of charging, have you have had a chance to charge that battery yet?
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Jul 25, 2015
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Not the plastic one. The metal edge in the bottom.

I turned the car on and the cranking was already improved. I didnt charge it externally no. I measured the voltage and it was 12.5V. Also idle was 14.1 to 14.2V.
The car would always turn on no problem, it was just taking like a 0.2 sec delay when the winter started.
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Dec 23, 2003
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Piklishi wrote:
Jan 8th, 2019 12:21 am
Not the plastic one. The metal edge in the bottom.

I turned the car on and the cranking was already improved. I didnt charge it externally no. I measured the voltage and it was 12.5V. Also idle was 14.1 to 14.2V.
The car would always turn on no problem, it was just taking like a 0.2 sec delay when the winter started.
I would strongly suggest that you put a charger to fully charge the battery. This way the current will circulate the electrolytes in the battery. Also, depending on the charger, it can help to remove any buildup that is on the plates.
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Piklishi wrote:
Jan 8th, 2019 12:21 am
Not the plastic one. The metal edge in the bottom.

I turned the car on and the cranking was already improved. I didnt charge it externally no. I measured the voltage and it was 12.5V. Also idle was 14.1 to 14.2V.
The car would always turn on no problem, it was just taking like a 0.2 sec delay when the winter started.
That should be fine in regards to the fill. Sounds like you basically covered the plates which is what you want.

While the voltage is an indication of the state of charge on the battery, it's not necessarily an indication of the state of health of the battery. Are you measuring the 12.5V after the battery has sat overnight? The idle at 14.1V is just saying that your car's charging system seems to be working fine. Note> the car's charging system is not meant to actually charge a depleted battery, just to maintain it with regular use. Fully charging the battery at this point is recommended using an external charger.
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Jul 25, 2015
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Thanks, I do have a charger and I will charge it overnight. If I remember correctly it has 3 options to charge. Never used it so I have to double check.
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Piklishi wrote:
Jan 8th, 2019 3:30 pm
Thanks, I do have a charger and I will charge it overnight. If I remember correctly it has 3 options to charge. Never used it so I have to double check.
If you post a picture or let us know the make/model of the charger, we can help you with the correct settings. It should be pretty straightforward.
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vtec300 wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 1:37 am
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/moto ... 1519p.html

Your thoughts on this charger?

I leave it on auto mode where it varies charging rate automatically. Never used it boost dead car, though.
Depends on what you really need to do with the charger. If you aren't going to boost a dead battery, then go a level down. If you aren't going to need to use the express/fast charge, then go another level down.

If you are going to just basically do top-off charges (which most people do), a 4-AMP or so is plenty as at 4-AMPs, most batteries will be completely topped off in 4 to 8 hours. Even with a 12-AMP unit, you may save an hour at most since all of these newer multi-stage chargers will spend 20% of the charging time at high current and the other 80% on a much lower current (typically under 1-AMP). What I would look for is a charger with a recondition mode that you can manually engage rather than anything that 'automatically detects' the need for reconditioning/repairing the battery - most of those automatic detection systems don't work before the battery is completely failed.
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Jul 25, 2015
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hightech wrote:
Jan 8th, 2019 4:29 pm
If you post a picture or let us know the make/model of the charger, we can help you with the correct settings. It should be pretty straightforward.
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  • 20190109_082308.jpg

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