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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 9 month old '15 CRV with 7200 miles and decided to check the electrolyte in my batteries. To my surprise, 2 of the 6 cells were very low with the plates were exposed and dry. The electrolyte in the other 4 cells was cloudy instead of clear and needed some filling as well. The battery showed 12.4 volts which indicated that it is only 70% charged.
Anyone else have issues like this?
 

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Exposed plates are not a good sign as the air can cause problems with them. I would take it to a Honda dealer (under warranty, I believe) and make sure it is recorded that the battery was low on electrolyte. Ask them to check the charging system because either the battery wasn't full when you bought it, it is leaking, or it was overcharging and boiling the fluid out.
Buffalo4
PS: I don't think hardly any would check the battery 'fluid' level monthly, but just visually checking it and its connectors is more feasible.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is this the first time you've checked the fluid level? OM recommends checking monthly (page 22).
Kevin
Yes, 1st time checking levels. Kevin you must have a different manual that I have. Pg 22 in my manual deal with safety label locations. The only mention of battery maintenance in my manual is on Pg 129 and it says to check the battery terminals for corrosion monthly. No mention of checking electrolyte.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Exposed plates are not a good sign as the air can cause problems with them. I would take it to a Honda dealer (under warranty, I believe) and make sure it is recorded that the battery was low on electrolyte. Ask them to check the charging system because either the battery wasn't full when you bought it, it is leaking, or it was overcharging and boiling the fluid out.
Buffalo4
PS: I don't think hardly any would check the battery 'fluid' level monthly, but just visually checking it and its connectors is more feasible.
Buffalo, you have echoed my thoughts exactly. I've had a boat for years and am pretty familiar with battery charging and maintenance. My experience has been that once the plates are exposed, the battery is toast. I've seen 1 failed cell short out and cause a charger to overcharge a battery with the electrolyte boiling dry in other cells as well. In to the dealer next week.
 

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Everything in Moderation
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krawfo is to be commended for checking the battery electrolyte. :cool:


Summer use is what 'bakes' the electrolyte (and capacity) out of most batteries, but you don't notice the need until cool weather, when it takes more CCA to start an engine.

I check my batteries twice a year, the most important time is in the fall. I've been rewarded with long life (even with the tiny batteries that Honda installs).
 

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I consider myself someone who takes pretty good care of their vehicles, but I have to admit I've never tested my battery electrolyte... I guess I should add that to the list, but in today's "maintenance free" world I never gave it much thought. I've had pretty good luck with batteries, though the one in my '09 CRV did fail at 3 years which seemed pretty short life to me (perhaps I should have kept an eye on it?). I will say that Honda's fuel efficient charging system seems to push the battery more than older conventional systems (my '04 Toyota Corolla stock battery lasted over 10 years), and on top of that the stock battery size is _just_ big enough to operate the vehicle with little or no overhead.

Battery hydrometers are pretty inexpensive so I'll pick one up for my toolbox now that I've thought of it.

Of course, most should know that you should only use distilled water to top off a battery. Gone are the days that gas stations had the small jugs of distilled for that purpose ;-)
 

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Tom,


Just to be clear, my maintenance practice only includes topping off the cells with Distilled Water. The fluid should only touch the bottoms of the 'spouts' under the caps. (maybe 3/4" from the top) If overfilled, the charging system will spill the corrosive acid out, onto your nice battery tray or car body, and cause it to rust. (Fortunately, Honda installs a plastic catch tray under the battery, but why take a chance???)



I have a battery hydrometer but I haven't used it it in maybe 15 years. :eek:



Often, on today's Maintenance Free ( :mad: ) batteries, we need to cut or remove a sticker that covers the caps on top, in order to remove them. ;) In my experience, the cells on either end of the battery need water most often.


I'm getting 7 or 8 years out of even the small Honda batteries, and I replace them soon as I notice slow cranking during a start. :cool:


BTW, here's a nice gift for us battery maintenance freaks:

http://tinyurl.com/p99z3kh


It has a spring loaded nozzle that only dispenses water when it is pressed. NO SPILL!


 

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I'd expect a 2015 to have a VRLA battery and that electrolyte top up would be close to zero if charging is correct.

Pried the covers off a 10 year service VRLA to find ample electrolyte covering all plates.
 

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No, it is not a VRLA type battery. After reading this thread I decided to check mine. To remove the cell covers I had to loosen both sides of the battery hold down bracket and move it over enough to pop both covers. I found that there is a covering over each cell so that the plates are not visible. The two outside cells and one of the inside cells the solution was not to be seen. All of the others the solution was just above the cell covering but below the bottom of the fill tubing. I topped off all of them with distilled water to the bottom of the fill tube. I was quite surprised to find the levels in that condition for a vehicle only 11 months old! After doing this maintenance I made a planned trip 55 miles to and from with no problems. I had to leave the vehicle and return several times before the return trip and the battery had plenty of cranking power each time. Hopefully I caught the fluid level issue before it caused any harm to the battery.
My usual practice is to check the batteries fluid level twice a year, Spring and Fall. I dropped the ball on this one! I encourage everyone to check theirs too!
Jimbob15
 

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Discussion Starter #11
UPDATE: I took my vehicle in to the dealer today and explained my problem. They checked the charging system and said the battery was fine. I asked about the low electrolyte levels and was told that it's a "maintenance free battery". Again, "everything is fine". I insisted that they at least top up the electrolyte and went to the parts department with the mgr. and was told they don't have any distilled water. It will be my luck that this battery will fail after 36 months of service. Not a happy camper.
 

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If there is another dealer not too far away, try them.
I doubt it will even last 36 months.(never filled properly,overcharging, cracked case, or the electrolyte was spilled out somehow are the standard reasons for low electrolyte levels) .
I would sure like the Dealer to put the reason for the low level in writing and have him sign it. :eek:
Buffalo4
 

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Battery Issue

I have been reading these post and had an unusual experience with my Honda CRV, 2012. After sitting for 62 hours, @ 2 days, I went to start it for work and it was almost dead. It was trying to turn over but I had to get a jump to get it started. I reported it to the dealer and they ran a GR8 test and said everything tested fine. It has not sat again for this period of time to see if it will happen again. I have not, however, checked the battery fluid to see if the cells may show depleted fluid in the cells. When running, it hits on 12.5 -12.7 volts and I am being told this is normal. I am used to having mechanics tell me above 14 is normal but the dealer is telling me no, this is too high. So my question is, I should go ahead and check the cells for the fluid level and has anyone else heard this is ok for the voltage.
 

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Yes, 1st time checking levels. Kevin you must have a different manual that I have. Pg 22 in my manual deal with safety label locations. The only mention of battery maintenance in my manual is on Pg 129 and it says to check the battery terminals for corrosion monthly. No mention of checking electrolyte.
That's weird about the manual. I have to admit after a little over five months of ownership, I had not checked the battery until I saw your post :eek:. Two of the cells were low though not exposed. I replenished with distilled water, so we'll see. In my book the only batteries that are maintenance-free are those where the fluid cannot be checked and/or AGM batteries (e.g., Optimas). In event, thank you for starting this thread. And good luck with your unit.
Kevin
 

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I have been reading these post and had an unusual experience with my Honda CRV, 2012. After sitting for 62 hours, @ 2 days, I went to start it for work and it was almost dead. It was trying to turn over but I had to get a jump to get it started. I reported it to the dealer and they ran a GR8 test and said everything tested fine. It has not sat again for this period of time to see if it will happen again. I have not, however, checked the battery fluid to see if the cells may show depleted fluid in the cells. When running, it hits on 12.5 -12.7 volts and I am being told this is normal. I am used to having mechanics tell me above 14 is normal but the dealer is telling me no, this is too high. So my question is, I should go ahead and check the cells for the fluid level and has anyone else heard this is ok for the voltage.
Check the voltage with the engine running and turn the lights on. See if it now goes to 14+ volts.
Check the Honda site with your VIN and see if there are any recalls for a software update that deals with that problem.
There may be a parasitic drain when the engine is off and that should be checked.
If that is the original battery, it may also be hurting, esp if there is too much of a parasitic drain.
Hopefully the Dealer cleaned the bat terminals and connectors. :)
Buffalo4
PS: And yes,check the fluid level in the battery. :)
 

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I was totally surprised by this thread - aren't today's batteries all maintenance free? I never had to check fluid levels for my previous cars and never had any issue. Pretty sure none of my friends check it either.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I was totally surprised by this thread - aren't today's batteries all maintenance free? I never had to check fluid levels for my previous cars and never had any issue. Pretty sure none of my friends check it either.
The dealer told me the battery was "maintenance free" but I totally agree with Kevin15 - the only real maintenance-free batteries are the totally sealed ones (AGM and Gel). If a battery is maintenance free, then why are there removable caps? A truly maintenance free battery only has a small vent hole to release gasses produced during charging.
 

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If they were Maintenance Free Batteries, there would not be removable cell covers. They have the removable covers for a reason. For inspection, ventilation, and to maintain fluid level.

jimbob15
 
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