Do you know that batteries that are properly maintained tend to work well and have a longer life? A battery that works well is very important to keep your car working well.
Checking the water level in your car battery is one of the important checks every car owner should perform in the process of maintenance of batteries.
Let me tell you one thing, this article here talks about batteries that are not the sealed type. Because the sealed or maintenance-free batteries are not designed to be opened and you cannot add water to those kinds of batteries.
But if you are dealing with a battery that is not the sealed type, you are here at the right place.
This article deals with various aspects related to water and batteries such as the cause of battery water loss, whether a car has any symptoms of low water inside battery, how do you know when your car battery needs water and many other aspects related to water and batteries.
How do you know when your car battery needs water?
Before talking about this, you need to understand some aspects regarding the water present inside your car battery.
What is this car battery water actually?
When we talk about car batteries, we usually talk about wet batteries. So the battery has some electrolyte solution present in it which produces the current.
Yes, your car battery has water in it mixed with sulfuric acid to a specific concentration. This water plays an important for the chemical reaction to occur inside the battery.
Even though many modern cars are using maintenance-free or sealed batteries, many traditional cars and other old model car have been using these batteries which require water to be topped up if necessary.
Low water in car battery- What happens?
As i told you already, water is very essential for the chemical reaction to occur inside the battery. Low water inside the battery could damage your battery beyond repair.
Lack of required amount of water inside the battery will result in sulfation and causes an obstruction to the flow of current through the electrolyte.
As you know that water is a good conductor of electricity. Lack of water will certainly cause hindrance to the flow of electricity inside the battery.
Hence maintaining the proper water level is very essential to maintain your vehicle battery.
So, how do you know when your car battery needs water?
Issues related to car batteries are not easy to detect. Similarly, it is not easy to detect if your car battery has low electrolyte in it or if it has the necessity of adding water.
Some batteries that require filling water are provided with an external level indicator. They have a visual guide of the upper level and lower level printed on the outside of the battery.
Also, if the water level inside your battery is low, it will have an impact on the battery’s ability to hold a charge.
Sometimes you may also notice a rotten egg smell from the electrolyte solution if the battery water level is low.
You usually notice a reduction in your car’s battery power if there is no required amount of water inside the battery.
All these above symptoms of low water inside the battery are difficult to notice. Hence the best way to find out if your car battery needs water is by checking the water at regular intervals.
It is best to check the electrolyte of your battery for every 3 months, or else for every 6 months depending upon the condition of the battery.
Every car battery is not the same. The frequency of checking your car battery water level depends upon various factors such as battery age, quality of the battery and the temperature outside.
If you have an old battery, it is better to check your battery more frequently. Similarly, if you live areas of hotter temperatures, the water tends to evaporate more easily. Thus more water loss occurs. In such cases, frequent water checks might be necessary.
Always remember to check the water level, so that it does not drop below the top of the plates. Reduction in water level below the top of the plate could cause irreversible battery damage. The water level should always be an inch higher above the top of the plate.
What is the main cause of battery water loss?
Many cases of premature car battery failures occur due to the loss of water inside the battery.
Various processes such as battery overcharging, evaporation due to excess heat and excessive gas release are the reasons for water loss in batteries.
Usually, in a lead-acid battery, the reduction in the level of electrolyte or the level of water occurs through gassing as hydrogen escapes during the charging and discharging processes.
Whereas in a sealed battery the loss of electrolyte is usually caused by the process of overcharging. Charging the battery carefully by adjusting float voltages and surrounding temperatures prevent these kinds of issues. This is important because you cannot refill the sealed battery, unlike non sealed batteries.