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Old 06-21-2009, 10:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sealed Batt Needs Water Added?

Yep, you read it right...

On the '06 TSX this hot evening, we made a stop while I waited in the car for my Wife to run into the store. Instead of leaving the engine running, I used the recirc and fan from the stored A/C charge and shut down the engine.

5 minutes or so later -- flat battery. The indicator eye was cloudy which designates "Charge Required". We got a jump and headed home.

Here's the best part: we made the short drive home and the eye is now red -- "Distilled Water Required". There are little X's where it looks like you add water, but there's a big sticker covering most of the top that says "sealed battery" except for small holes in the sticker for the X's

So apparently it isn't? I'm confused. It's the stock Panasonic "Maintenance Free Battery" with about 3-4 years / 48,000 miles on it.

So now it requires maintenance or replacement. Is it worth peeling the sticker away to see if it's possible, and add distilled water? Since it's my Wife's ride, I'd hate to screw it up and have her stuck somewhere -- or burn up the alternator.

RH77

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Old 06-21-2009, 11:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RH77 View Post
Yep, you read it right...

On the '06 TSX this hot evening, we made a stop while I waited in the car for my Wife to run into the store. Instead of leaving the engine running, I used the recirc and fan from the stored A/C charge and shut down the engine.

5 minutes or so later -- flat battery. The indicator eye was cloudy which designates "Charge Required". We got a jump and headed home.

Here's the best part: we made the short drive home and the eye is now red -- "Distilled Water Required". There are little X's where it looks like you add water, but there's a big sticker covering most of the top that says "sealed battery" except for small holes in the sticker for the X's

So apparently it isn't? I'm confused. It's the stock Panasonic "Maintenance Free Battery" with about 3-4 years / 48,000 miles on it.

So now it requires maintenance or replacement. Is it worth peeling the sticker away to see if it's possible, and add distilled water? Since it's my Wife's ride, I'd hate to screw it up and have her stuck somewhere -- or burn up the alternator.

RH77
Ok, so back in the late 70's there was this "idiot light" epidemic, where cars would lose oil pressure, but the light wouldn't come on until the pressure was below 2 PSI... meaning that when the light came on, it was already too late, in most cases.

That little "eye" in your battery... consider it a 70's idiot light. Just replace the battery, and save yourself problems down the road.

Alternatively, yes, I'm sure you can add water to the battery. I've done it before, it's a pain, but you can do it. It's not necessarily the best thing to do, but it might "get you home" until you can get another battery, if money's tight or you're out of town or something.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Every "maintenance free" battery I've seen can be opened to add water.

You can do it, but I think Christ is probably right - the battery is toast. Giving it a drink probably won't do an awful lot.

By next fall, and the first cold morning, you'll definitely need a new one.
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Every "maintenance free" battery I've seen can be opened to add water.

You can do it, but I think Christ is probably right - the battery is toast. Giving it a drink probably won't do an awful lot.

By next fall, and the first cold morning, you'll definitely need a new one.
If you would have caught the battery a little sooner giving it a drink would definately help, if you can get cheap EDTA or build a desulphator, give it a drink and you can definately bring it back if the voltage stays at 12v or higher.

Every battery in my yellow electric car was dry, a little edta and lots of charge cycles later they are working 3 yrs later, albeit not as well.
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Bummer. I figured it was time for replacement. Less than 4 years kinda stinks for a failure rate. I guess it's par anymore.

The one in Teggy is up to 7 years and almost 80K miles with EOC and other general abuse. If I can only find one like that again...

R

EDIT: RMay -- It didn't really give any warning. It sounded slow to start after sitting for a couple days, but that's the ol' "Butt Dyno" talking. I miss full gauge packages with a voltmeter or even the option to cycle through an electronic menu. At least it has a timer (because I use that every trip -- right) The SGII's on the other car. I just checked the darn thing a few weeks ago and the eye was fine, but it got really hot pretty quickly today. Season High today: 95F / Current = 83F; Dew Point 74F, RH 74%.

I might put a voltmeter across it and see where it stands. I'm not sure where to find EDTA over-the-counter...
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Last edited by RH77; 06-22-2009 at 01:35 AM.. Reason: It takes me forever to respond sometimes
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Buy a L&G battery that's at least 300 Cranking amps, as long as you're not in a cold climate.

They're cheap to replace, and half the weight of a standard battery. (Unless your standard battery is a Group 51 or 51-R (Most Hondas))
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RH77 View Post
Bummer. I figured it was time for replacement. Less than 4 years kinda stinks for a failure rate. I guess it's par anymore.

The one in Teggy is up to 7 years and almost 80K miles with EOC and other general abuse. If I can only find one like that again...

R

EDIT: RMay -- It didn't really give any warning. It sounded slow to start after sitting for a couple days, but that's the ol' "Butt Dyno" talking. I miss full gauge packages with a voltmeter or even the option to cycle through an electronic menu. At least it has a timer (because I use that every trip -- right) The SGII's on the other car. I just checked the darn thing a few weeks ago and the eye was fine, but it got really hot pretty quickly today. Season High today: 95F / Current = 83F; Dew Point 74F, RH 74%.

I might put a voltmeter across it and see where it stands. I'm not sure where to find EDTA over-the-counter...
I've found it of all places at the health food store, but trust me you want to buy it elsewhere. JC Whitney might have it add the 10-20% off with free shipping and it might be doable.

There is also the china battery depot stuff, it works fine and is relatively cheap off ebay, I can't say how LONG your battery will work after using it though. My fathers Miles ZX40 has a set of them treated, they work OK but don't have as much capacity as they should though they at least WORK now.

And of coarse if you don't want to spend much you could just add epsom salts mixed with hot distilled water to fill the batteries, you could then also have a nice relaxing epsom salt bath afterword. Epsom salts mixed in water added to a battery do tend to bring them back if they are in OK shape. (after a nice long overcharge on a dumb battery charger anyway) Only trouble is your battery will self discharge quicker if you leave the car set for extended periods.

If nothing else you will have a spare battery after all this which isn't a bad idea anyway with the way batteries are made now, my fathers walland battery in the buick lasted through 2 summers and one winter before dying hard.

Ah well.
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
Buy a L&G battery that's at least 200 Cranking amps, as long as you're not in a cold climate.

They're cheap to replace, and half the weight of a standard battery. (Unless your standard battery is a Group 51 or 51-R (Most Hondas))
Fixed... meant 200 amps, was a typo.

Napa L&G battery - $25.45 195CA and I think 40 min reserve capacity.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Fixed... meant 200 amps, was a typo.

Napa L&G battery - $25.45 195CA and I think 40 min reserve capacity.
Those only make 1 or 2 seasons don't they? I made it over 12 years on an old set of fleet farm batteries in my 82 diesel suburban. But the batteries were $100 each.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I used one in 3 of my vehicles over 3 years, even through the winters.

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