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Battery Q&A

1. What is battery electrolyte made of?

Battery electrolyte consists of colorless sulfuric acid with a concentration of about 37% when fully charged (specific gravity of 1.280 at 20 deg. C). This electrolyte is dangerous because it is extremely corrosive and will oxidize metals, rupture human battery, and cause dermatitis of the skin. Thus, be careful especially when handling a battery with battery electrolyte inside. In the event of a spill or if the electrolyte comes into contact with a human body or equipment, it is very important to flush immediately with large volumes of water.

2. Why do battery electrolyte levels go down?

Battery electrolyte levels drop primarily when recharging. The electrolyte decreases when the battery is applied with energy exceeding its storage capacity (overcharging), and the water in the electrolyte resolves into oxygen and hydrogen gases. The electrolyte will drop remarkably when it is hot outside. The battery electrolyte decreases in this way when the battery is being used, thus routine inspections of the electrolyte are necessary. When refilling electrolyte, use only purified water.

3. Why do batteries go dead?

Batteries go dead when they are being discharged and no longer have the necessary energy to start the engine. They also go dead when the internal parts are depleted (useful life is over). For example, a battery could go dead when a door is left open after turning off the engine, causing the battery to discharge, or the battery could naturally discharge (self-discharge) when the car is not in use. In addition, if the battery has been installed for more than three years, the useful life of the battery may be over.

4. What is a safe way to handle batteries?

To avoid accidents (and particularly explosion) take the following precautions.

  1. Do not bring an open flame or lighted cigarette near a battery.
  2. Do not connect the battery terminals with a metal tool to create sparks.
  3. Do not use a battery with electrolyte level of below the LOWER LEVEL line.
  4. When handling a battery, do not get any electrolyte on your skin or clothing.

5. How to prolong the life of a battery?

It is necessary to perform regular maintenance on a battery to prolong its life. Perform the following actions to prolong the life of the battery.

  1. Have your battery inspected regularly at the dealer, maintenance shop, or gas station.
  2. Inspect the electrolyte levels once a month.
  3. Drive the car once a week.
  4. Do not put an electrical load on the car when the engine is off.