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Are 'maintenance free' batteries really maintenance free?

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  • Are 'maintenance free' batteries really maintenance free?

    Winter is coming, the season that taxes our batteries the most and the time of year when most car batteries are replaced.

    I don't know if this merits opening a thread but after a phone conversation with one of our members, I learned that he had no idea that modern 'maintenance free' lead-acid car batteries have filling caps. He was under the assumption that these batteries NEVER need make-up water.

    My experience is, in the first few years these maintenance free batteries are just that. After a few years (or so) the caps on top should be removed and the water level should be checked. The plates inside need to be totally submerged in sulphuric acid.

    If make-up water is necessary, I have always used distilled water because it contains no minerals or metals to cause shorted cells at the bottom of the battery case.

    If the internal plates are exposed, add only two ounces of water in each cell each day between charging intervals. The charging process turns water into sulfuric acid. If the battery acid is too diluted from adding huge amounts of water, the chemical change process takes a long time.

    Just like in the 'old days', the liquid level should be maintained just to the split ring. Oh, and that little green light on some batteries... doen't work correctly when the acid level is too low. - Dave
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

    From: Royal Oak, Michigan

  • #2
    GREAT thread!!

    Hi, I'm Jon. And I support this message. LOL!!!
    sigpic
    The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

    VTCI Member#6287.

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    • #3
      I cannot recall the last time I have had to add water to any battery, it would have been years ago, maybe our temperate (cold today!) climate may have somethign to do with it?
      A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

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      • #4
        You may not have added water, but did you check the levels? That is the main idea of this thread.
        My latest project:
        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
        --Lee Iacocca

        From: Royal Oak, Michigan

        Comment

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