Question about 2002 Ford Excursion

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Cloudy battery acid.

Battery seemed to be running low on charge. When we did a hydrometer test, the acid was very cloudy (dirty / brown) in color. The battery tested fine, though. Since the battery is still under it's 3-year warranty, I need to know if the cloudy acid is a problem that will lead to battery failure in the near future?

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  • xenophanes May 11, 2010

    The previous two posters hit the problem dead on... battery bad

    Don't fool around with battery acid, please.

    Here is a bit of information about battery warranties and it being 'under warranty"

    Sears was really bad about this, but others have done it as well.

    Without picking on Sears let's assume that I, Xenophanes manufacture batteries....

    So Xeno Batteries (XBC) has a design for a battery that the engineering department says will last 3 years. Xeno battery company wants to keep its customer base, so Xeno warranties the battery for 4 years.

    Now, XBC, full knowing that the battery will die in 3 years, prices the product such that all costs are covered including a healthy profit in the original price.

    So, the customer comes back with a battery that is 3 years, 4 months old and says "This aint no good! I want my warranty claim!"

    So the XBC salesman tests the battery, kicks the floor with his shoe a couple of times, and says "You're right -- I don't know how this happened, but we are going to make it right by selling you a brand new 4 year battery and we'll pro rate the old battery and give you credit for the pro-rated amount"

    The customer walks away with a new battery and is smiling 'cause he got satisfaction on his warranty claim, and the XBC salesman is smiling 'cause he just sold a battery and as a bonus he is going to get to sell yet another battery to the same customer in 3 years, 4 months and give him yet another pro-rated discount.

    That is the battery warranty story...



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Youve got a bad cell in the battery replace the battery!!!!!!!

Posted on May 20, 2009

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The battery plates are sulfated, that is the cloudiness, u need to replace the battery.

Posted on May 20, 2009


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What is the chemical reaction that take place in the lead acid battery?

the sulphuric acid reacts with the lead in the plates with the result that the acid breaks down and tends to go water and the lead becomes lead sulphate
when a battery is dead flat, the plates are all lead sulphate and the density of the acid is approaching that of water
that can be tested with a hydrometer
When a charge is applied to the battery terminals , the process is reversed and the lead sulphate returns as lead and the water ( low ph acid) returns to sulphuric acid

Mar 05, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

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Charged battery light stays on

11v is too low, should be over 13v, check the battery for low water if it's not a sealed one, refill if necessary to bottom of the fill ring, then charge battery. If you have a battery hydrometer tester, all the cells should then test about the same, if not and one or more cells show weak, the battery is shot. If you have no equipment, most chain auto parts stores will test it for you free, if you jump start it, and can get it there, they will also check the charging system, (alternator, belts, etc.)

Feb 05, 2013 | 2006 Chevrolet Colorado

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For a battery to be good and operational, you need 3 things: Voltage, Cold Cranking Amps, and good cells.
A fully charged battery will have at least 2.1 Volts per cell. So, a 12V battery should read 12.6V to be fully charged. Before you can proceed any farther, the battery will need to be charged fully.

A "load test" will need to be performed to determine if the battery has enough energy to start your vehicle. Cold cranking amps (CCA) is the amount of energy the battery supplies at 32 degrees. This test can be performed with a hand held load tester that can be purchased at a parts store, or performed by a technician at a shop. Batteries lose their ability to supply CCA's when they begin to age or the lead material on the "plates" begins to sluff off.

If you are able to remove the battery caps, a specific gravity test can be accomplished with a hydrometer. This is a glass tube with a bulb on top for suctioning acid into the tube, which in turn will float the hydrometer. Fully charged batteries will float at 1.265 specific gravity. Each cell needs to lift the float at least at 1.265. If one or more of the cells fails to lift the float at all, it can be determined that that cell is dead.

If any of the above tests fail, the battery is considered defective.

To clean a battery, a mixture of water and baking soda can be used. Also, remove the cables from the terminal posts and clean with a wire brush. Remove all crusty buildup. Posts should be shiney as well as the inside the battery cables.

Dec 11, 2011 | 1998 Toyota Corolla

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92 honda accord will not even attempt to turn over. Was running fine, turned the car off and then would not start again. battery appears to be fine as all lights are working. now what?

The lights are not really an indication of the battery condition. They require about 5% of the power it needs to turn the starter. Check if the dash lights dim or go out when you try start. The only other ways of testing a battery is with a load tester or a hydrometer which tests the SG of the acid and give an indication of the state of charge of the battery. Try charge the battery or you can attempt a jump start from another vehicle about the same age as yours.

Apr 25, 2011 | 1992 Honda Accord

1 Answer

I drove it home and it was fine, i shut it off and within five mins i tried to start it and it would crank but wouldnt turn over, i tried a few more times and it nothing, but now my battery is going low...


The first and most likely indication of a low battery would be a hard starting problem caused by slow cranking. If the battery seems weak or fails to crank your engine normally, it may be low. To find out, you need to check the battery's "state of charge."
A battery is nothing more than a chemical storage device for holding electrons until they're needed to crank the engine or run the lights or other electrical accessories on your vehicle. Checking the battery's state of charge will tell you how much juice the battery has available for such purposes.
If your battery is low, it needs to be recharged, not only to restore full power, but also to prevent possible damage to the battery. Ordinary automotive lead-acid storage batteries must be kept at or near full charge to keep the cell plates from becoming "sulfated" (a condition that occurs if the battery is run down and left in a discharged condition for more than a few days). As sulfate builds up, it reduces the battery's ability to hold a charge and supply voltage. Eventually the battery becomes useless and must be replaced.

The charge level depends on the concentration of acid inside the battery. The stronger the concentration of acid in the water, the higher the specific gravity of the solution, and the higher the state of charge.
On batteries with removable caps, state of charge can be checked with a "hydrometer." Some hydrometers have a calibrated float to measure the specific gravity of the acid solution while others simply have a number of colored balls. On the kind with a calibrated float, a hydrometer reading of 1.265 (corrected for temperature) indicates a fully charged battery, 1.230 indicates a 75% charge, 1.200 indicates a 50% charge, 1.170 indicates a 25% charge, and 1.140 or less indicates a discharged battery. On the kind that use floating balls, the number of balls that float tells you the approximate level of charge. All balls floating would indicate a fully charged battery, no balls floating would indicate a dead or fully discharged battery.
Some sealed-top batteries have a built-in hydrometer to indicate charge. The charge indicator only reads one cell, but usually shows the average charge for all battery cells. A green dot means the battery is 75% or more charged and is okay for use or further testing. No dot (a dark indicator) means the battery is low and should be recharged before it is returned to service or tested further. A clear or yellow indicator means the level of electrolyte inside has dropped too low, and the battery should be replaced.

On sealed-top batteries that do not have a built-in charge indicator, the state of charge can be determined by checking the battery's base or open circuit voltage with a digital voltmeter or multimeter. This is done by touching the meter leads to the positive and negative battery terminals while the ignition key is off.
A reading of 12.66 volts indicates a fully charged battery; 12.45 volts is 75% charged, 12.24 volts is 50% charged, and 12.06 volts is 25% charged.

In recharging the battery do not attempt to recharge a battery with low (or frozen) electrolyte! Doing so risks blowing up the battery if the hydrogen gas inside is ignited by a spark.
Your charging system should be capable of recharging the battery if it is not fully discharged. Thirty minutes or so of normal driving should be enough.
If your battery is completely dead or extremely low, it should be recharged with a fast or slow charger. This will reduce the risk of overtaxing and damaging your vehicle's charging system. One or both battery cables should be disconnected from the battery prior to charging it with a charger. This will eliminate any risk of damage to your vehicle's electrical system or its onboard electronics.

Take care and good luck

NB: Your alternator might not also be charging the battery while the car is on, so try to check the alternator.

Alternators are pretty rugged, but can succumb to excessive heat and overwork. They can also be damaged by sudden voltage overloads (as when someone attempts to jump start a dead battery and crosses up the jumper connections or if someone disconnects a battery cable from the battery while the engine is running).
Sometimes alternators can partially fail. In the back of every alternator is a "diode trio" that converts the alternators AC (alternating current) output to DC (direct current). If one or more of these diodes fail, the alternator's amperage output will be reduced. It may continue to produce some current, but not enough to keep the battery fully charged -- especially at idle or low speed.
Most service facilities have test equipment that can identify these kind of problems. So if you suspect a weak alternator, you should have it tested to see if it needs replacing.
Most service facilities do not repair or rebuild alternators because it's too time consuming and requires special parts. Most will replace your old unit with a new or remanufactured unit. Your old alternator is usually traded in or exchanged for a credit (so it can be remanufactured and sold to someone else).

Oct 26, 2010 | Oldsmobile Alero Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Battery light came on, car stalled and will not start

Sounds like your alternator isn't charging your battery.

Oct 13, 2010 | 2000 Saturn SL

2 Answers

There is steam and a strong egg smell coming from the battery. What is the problem?

This is a high charging on the battery, as it is overcharged . this can be failure of the alternator rectifier or the regulator.
so use a voltmeter and confirm the voltage range to rectify the fault.
A high charging of this nature can damage the battery in the long run.

Sep 25, 2010 | 2006 Chevrolet Avalanche

1 Answer

Battery keeps failing

Have you had a charging system and battery test performed. Lead acid batteries are very fickle. A battery that is kept at a low charge (,11.7 volts) can and will eventually lose a cell (bad cell at test). I have rarely recovered these batteries. Your altenator needs to be load tested and the vehicle needs a drain test to complete the diagnosis of this problem.

You can keep throwing new batteries at this and will come up disappointed. If you have the original battery in the vehicle (ACDELCO) consider yourself lucky to get this many years out of it.

Most Auto Parts stores offer a free battery and altenator test while battery in vehicle.

Dec 02, 2009 | 2003 GMC Envoy

1 Answer

Batteries won't charge while wired to truck

Hi, seems that your alternator diodes are faulty.
You can check this by disconnecting the radio & switching off all interior lights etc.
Then remove one battery lead.
Then get an amp meter and connect it between the battery & the removed lead.
If you get a reading the alternator is drawing current , hence faulty diodes.
The alternator will still charge the battery when the engine is going but then discharges when stopped.
Also check your batteries with a hydrometer by checking the battery acid in each cell as you could have a dodgey cell in them.

Nov 28, 2008 | 2003 Ford F250 Super Duty Crew Cab

1 Answer

My dads car has been going dead he put an alternator on it. drove it to work 30 miles away and he had to get a jump. 1989 volvo 240

Hi angelakelly

Bad battery
The best way to check a battery is to put it on charge (10-15 amps overnight) and then check it with a hydrometer.

The hydrometer measures the specific gravity of the Battery which is an indication of the amount of acid in the liquid.

Batteries are a limited life item. If the hydrometer reading is low (after an overnight charge) this means the battery needs to be replaced.You can get a hydrometer at any walmart or auto parts store, They are only about $5.

Good luck Loringh PS Please leavr a rating if appropriate

Nov 27, 2008 | Volvo 240 Cars & Trucks

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