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Lito

Battery Problems

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I sold my 1979 Fiat Spider to a friend, and as the battery was dead, I replaced it with a regular (but at least new) CT battery.I installed it myself, so I know the terminals both on battery and car, inside and out, were very clean and tight. The car was delivered days after the new battery was installed.Now he reports that the car doesn't seem to hold a charge for longer than 5 days. If he gets it started in between it isn't a problem, and with a boost, the battery charges fine and it is good for another 5 days before it dies again.Now, charging seems not to be a problem, and I don't think any short would take over 5 days to drain the battery, so I am guessing that quite simply, the battery is not good.However, he also tells me that both terminals were covered on the white dusty rust one finds sometimes on battery terminals. What could be causing this? What's the fix?

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Draining batteries are just bad for the battery. Once the batteries below 20% it's starts to warp the plates and leads to sulfation which kills the battery. I deal with allot of batteries for solar and we actually have a wearhouse just for battery storage. Also note some batteries are not sealed batteries and need to be topped up with fluid. When I had my alternator issues my brand new battery was killed the same day but lucky I played stupid and they covered it under warranty. Could be two things:1: batteries pooched2:something's draining the battery (which could lead to #1)Bring it to ct and they'll do a free battery check ☺️

Edited by dmoonen

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"something's draining the battery" ...Sure, but what could possibly drain it over such long periods of time? I think even a single light would kill it in less than one week.Also, I know that rust over the neg terminal maybe common sometimes, but over both terminals? What can be causing that?

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"Frequent and continuous overchargeCorrosion at the battery terminals can prevent a car from starting due to electrical resistance. The white powder sometimes found around the battery terminals is usually lead sulfate which is toxic by inhalation, ingestion and skin contact. The corrosion is caused by an imperfect seal between the plastic battery case and lead battery post allowing sulfuric acid to react with the lead battery posts. The corrosion process is also expedited by over charging. Corrosion can also be caused by factors such as salt water, dirt, heat, humidity, cracks in the battery casing or loose battery terminals. Inspection, cleaning and protection with a light coating of dielectric grease are measures used to prevent corrosion of battery terminals.Sulfation occurs when a battery is not fully charged. The longer it remains in a discharged state the harder it is to overcome sulfation. This may be overcome with slow, low-current (trickle) charging. Sulfation is the formation of large, non-conductive lead sulfate crystals on the plates; lead sulfate formation is part of each cycle, but in the discharged condition the crystals become large and block passage of current through the electrolyte."I'd clean the thermals and check the voltage while running and when it's stopped, ifs it's still funny take out the battery and get it tested and test the alternator at the same time. You can clean the terminal to create a better contact but still there's usually something else that's up.

Edited by dmoonen

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Thanks again dmoonen! I'll have him bring the car to the CT where I bought the battery, and let them sort it out. In the meantime, I bought him a trickle charger at Princess Auto as a gift ;)

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