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Car Battery Cells – Status and Storage

Car Battery Cells – Status and Storage

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  We all know how a car battery looks like. But what many may not know is what the batteries are composed of.

  A typical 12-V battery in your car is made up of six cells. They undergo a chemical reaction that produces the voltage and amperage required to start your car. These cells are immersed in battery acid and battery water to facilitate the reaction.

  The liquid must be kept at a specific level to keep the cells working. If not, the battery will no longer work.

  In this guide, we will be discussing the status of these cells regarding acid and water levels. It matters because that is the only way you can keep an eye on its performance.

  Car Battery Cells Low

  As stated above, car battery cells are immersed in a fluid. The fluid is a mixture of sulfuric acid and distilled water. It is called an electrolyte.

  It's the electrolyte that creates the electricity to efficiently power the modern car. However, this fluid can evaporate and reduce overtime, and hence, require a top-up.

  One good thing about these batteries is that they are low maintenance. But you will still need to take care of it. And changing or topping up the fluid is an important part of this maintenance.

  The first step to identifying this issue is knowing the battery type in your car. Modern cars come with either maintenance-free or non-maintenance-free (NMF) batteries.

  NMF batteries, all wet batteries feature removable filler cups. These batteries have six fill caps for each cell, or two covering three cells each. The fluid in these batteries must be checked regularly and topped up as required.

  Maintenance-free batteries, on the other hand, have a large flat cover over the cells. They do not have filler cups and will often be labeled as maintenance-free. Most cars today come with these batteries. They are maintenance-free because they don't require a top-up. Although it's still important that you check them often.

  NMF batteries are still in plenty on the market. If you have one, you want to make sure the fluid level is set right.

  It is important to tell when the battery needs topping up. Some batteries come with an indicator "eye" on the top that will glow green for normal levels and go dark when the fluid is discharged. Yellow light means the liquid level is low, and you may want to add more. Or it could mean the battery is defective.

  There are signs of low battery cell liquid you should never ignore, for instance, slow crank or any crank when starting your car, dimming lights, flickering alternator light. You can also check the engine light; it will show when there is an issue with your battery.

  When the car battery cell is low, the battery will still work, but not in optimum condition. Besides, it only gets worse, and you may find yourself in a bad place, unable to start your vehicle. Don't wait for that point when you can create the right conditions as soon as possible.

  Car Battery Cells Dry

  Flooded-cell, lead-acid batteries are the most common batteries in modern vehicles. The batteries contain six cells that give out two volts each. The plates are covered in an electrolyte fluid, which we have discussed above.

  If the battery is in good condition, the fluid level should be optimal. It should not be too high above the indicator or too low.

  Sometimes batteries get exposed to excessive heat. In that case, the cells will be boiled dry. That means it will not contain and fluid, and you will notice sulfation forming on the lead plates.

  Can you repair dry battery cells?

  Most manufacturers recommend that you don't try to fix such batteries. However, it's possible to get them back in good working condition if you are careful enough.

  Here is how you can do it?

  1.Open the six plastic cell caps on the upper part of the battery. Make sure you are using the right tools, like a screwdriver – or just twist them off with your fingers if they are not too tight.

  2.Look inside each cell at a time and check for sulfation. You won't see the plates very well if they are covered in sulfur. That would mean you need a new battery. But if the deposits are partial and you can see smallish parts of the plate, you might just get them to work again.

  3.Carefully pour distilled water into each cell. You want to fill up to the maximum marker visible on the outside casing. Leave the battery for about five minutes. Recheck the level and top up if necessary, and then give it a few minutes.

  4.Connect the charger. Keep the red clamp connected to the positive (+) terminal and the black clamp to the negative (-).

  5.Start charging from the lowest charge setting. It may be called 'trickle charge' on your charger. It's crucial that you start charging slowly and for a long time. This is to allow the distilled water to change into an electrolyte to disperse the sulfation. There was no fluid in the cells because the battery had boiled dry; it now has pure distilled water.

  6.Now turn on the charge and let it charge for 12 hours. Then check if the battery casing is getting warm and little bubbles are forming, which indicates a good battery. If not, replace it.

  7.Give the battery another 12 to 18 hours of charging.

  8.Turn off the charger.

  9.Replace the caps

  Your battery should be ready for use again. Just make sure it does not require replacement instead.

  Car Battery Cells Empty

  If your car battery runs out of water, the cells will burn dry. Empty cells will not produce the energy required to start the car.

  The best way to deal with this would be to replace the battery. But there is no sulfation; you can still refill the cells and continue using.

  Battery cell maintenance is a crucial part of keeping your car running and the battery operating smoothly. Always check it.

 

 

 

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