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Very low fluid levels

Rob

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I tried to start my LC today and it barley turned over. Quite unusual as from my experience it either fires up instantly or it clicks if the batteries are flat. I decided to check the acid levels and they were very low (they were leaking from the top when I was in Mongolia). Got some distilled water and I managed to get over 3 litres of water into the 2 batteries :shock:

Are these batteries still usable or should I get some new ones ASAP (this is currently my daily drive and I use it to commute to work daily)

EDIT: It now starts normally
 

Paul

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They could probably do with a good charge after that much water added.

If you don't want to buy distilled water you can used defrosted ice if done in a plastic container, i think you can use water collected from the A/C too. ;)
 

Steve Wright

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Rob said:
I tried to start my LC today and it barley turned over. Quite unusual as from my experience it either fires up instantly or it clicks if the batteries are flat. I decided to check the acid levels and they were very low (they were leaking from the top when I was in Mongolia). Got some distilled water and I managed to get over 3 litres of water into the 2 batteries :shock:

Are these batteries still usable or should I get some new ones ASAP (this is currently my daily drive and I use it to commute to work daily)

EDIT: It now starts normally

The other thing, how log ago did you check them ? if only a few weeks then you need to ask your self why have they dried up, and the usual cause is over charging.

What is the voltage when the engine running ?

Steve
 

Jon Wildsmith

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I expect with that amount of dilution of the acid they won't be as good as they should! I think I remember Chris saying he got hold of some acid when he had a boiled battery so maybe if you guestimate the acid needed you can suck a bit of water out to put it in.
 

Rob

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When in Mongolia I realised the batteries were leaking from the inspection ports which turned out to be loose. I have driven it around for quite a while so should be charged, but I think I will find out tomorrow morning.

I like the acid idea, but where can I get hold of acid that strong? Also what acid?
 

Rob

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I have never checked the fluid levels before today BTW...
 
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Steve Wright

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Rob said:
I have never checked them before this BTW...

Hi again

If you have never checked them then poss over time thats where its gone, but one thing to do is do not OVER fill each cell !
You only need to just cover the plates, don't be tempted to fill to just below fill hole, it will blow out if you do.

But as Jon says acid might help, but I would try it first, as some one has said give a good charge with a decent charger, and then see how they last for starting over a week or so, and you might be lucky !

As far as the battery acid, you can buy it from good battery suppliers (look in yellow pages) but be very care full as it will burn paint off and go through jeans like butter, and not to mention keep away from your eyes. ( poss ask the suppliers to put it in for you)

But I would still check the charging voltage, and if it is more than 14.5 volts would look at changing the voltage regulator.
 

Ecky Thump

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Going back some years now there used to be a conditioning tablet that you put in each cell when you had topped up.
Not sure what they were but the specific gravity would rise after use and the battery would be better for it.

Maybe they are still around :?:
 

Andy

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That 'pill' was called a Batt-Aid, dont know if that was the trade name or if they are still around, but I remember using them many moons ago
 

Chris

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I'd forget batt aid, it doesn't put acid back in if you have lost it. I use these people. It's so cheap and they deliver like a rocket. I actually poured all of the acid out a battery once and stuck new acid in. Amazing what came out into the bucket.

http://www.mandp.co.uk/productinfo/9014 ... -Acid-Pack

Chris
 

Ecky Thump

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A wild guess this was you Chris :?:

Reviewed by CJ 16 Sep 2009
I was facing a huge bill for two new batteries for my off roader having had them boiled by a faulty alternator. After draining and flushing the cells, I refilled them with these bottles of ready mixed acid. Fantastic result, its like having two brand new batteries. I was told that I would not be able to get acid, they were wrong! M&P supplied exactly what I needed, packaged in a very handy way.
 

Chris

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Well deduced my Dear Sherlock. You have to take into account the mechanism of boiled batteries. Long story short, all the stuff that you need in the acid that goes between being deposited on the plates and going back into the acid, gets blasted off in solid form and ends up on the battery floor. You can add water and charge until the cows come home from a very long weekend. If the plates are not actually ruined, then replacing the acid is the only way to get things going. You can't get the solids back into solution.

If water has simply boiled off then diluting with water is the way to go. But if electrolyte has bubbled out, then you have lost acid too.

Chris
 

Rob

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I just checked the voltages, both are at 12.7 when the ignition is off and it rises to 14.4 on charge. Seems to be charging normally but it still turns over slowly sometimes so I may have to get some new batteries :( If bat-aid doesn't increase the acid concentration it's a no for me. I would give the acid a go but it does sound like a messy job flushing the batteries, not something I would want to do in the residents car park as I have been told off a couple of times already :roll:
 

Chris

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Nooo, not messy at all. Especially at night. Seriously, you just give it a shake about then tip it upside down into a bucket.

Now the only thing I can't remember is whether it's best to do it with the battery charged or flat. But I think it's flat. And for a tenner it's worth a blast.

Chris
 

Rob

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Chris how much acid do you think I will need for a type 250 size battery? I could work out the volume easily but I have no idea what percentage should be acid.
 
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