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  1. Ian Kinder (Bagpuss) - Joint Peak District AO

    Lead/Acid Battery - Annual Maintenance/checks

    In Jan 2019, I decided to check my battery for the first time (4 years old- supplied new by WSC with my kit, 3 years on the car with Circa 13,000 miles covered). It is kept charged via a Ctek when home too. It was the standard Banner Starting Bull item part number 530-030, which shows: However their data sheet shows: All the cells needed a 'drink' and circa 0.5L of distilled water was added! The caps for the cells have a vent hole: So given the front mounted position behind the radiator, perhaps the heat helps the water/acid evaporate/escape. Voltage tests should the volts to be 12.5V back then and ideally should be over 12.6V. It was starting okay. Cranking tests, showed (with fuel pump fuse removed): As you'll see it started (damm!) and then cut out as the fuel rail lost pressure. Subsequent cranking sounded fine to me though the volts shouldn't really drop bellow 10V on cranking. Given it just had a top up and had not really been driven, I'll see how it goes over the next month....... A few days later, it was measuring 13.2V on charge from the Ctek and only 12.3V with the Ctek off, so I replaced with a new item of exactly the same type (£65 delivered). Because of the 'early' expiry of the first item, I've decided to do annual checks on my battery now. In Feb 2020, no voltages checked, however electrolyte topped up slightly (no cells dry). Yesterday, I've checked again. Given the 'rumours' of Batteries being killed by use of Ctek's, I recorded the charging voltage as: I then switched off my Ctek and the volts were: I then left it for 10 mins and it had dropped to: So, still a good battery. I still checked the electrolyte levels in all cells with a clean lolly pop stick Which showed the level to be 10-15mm per cell above the plates. Given the impact of Covid 19 on the use of my car last year, I'm not surprised the electrolyte hasn't disappeared as much a previously. I currently feel this battery is destined to last longer then the previous item with annual maintenance and there's no issue with using a Ctek.
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