Battery Electrolyte.

Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Battery Electrolyte.

Post by moses » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:17 am

Hi all
Have just removed the battery from my GL 1500SE for the first time since purchasing the bike, and found the level of acid/water was very low, in fact two thirds the way down the casing, the previous owner not very good on the maintenance front by the look of it.
The battery holds its charge well, but I’m not sure what to do about topping it up to the recommended level. Do I top up with distilled water only, or should I be thinking about adding further electrolyte? :?

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Re: Battery Electrolyte.

Post by themainviking » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:49 am

According to everything I have ever read about batteries (a lot), you do NOT EVER add more electrolyte, but they do not relate the reasons, and I have tried it, without success at saving the battery, I might add. Nothing catastrophic happened, but the battery was not saved. I have never read that anything could be damaged. That much distilled water would really dilute the acid that is in the battery. I would think that continuing to use this battery, no matter how you refill it - would only be waiting for it to fail at the most inopportune time. I would replace the battery.
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Re: Battery Electrolyte.

Post by virgilmobile » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:50 am

Distilled water only then maintenance charge.Check your charging volts.Be certain the bike isn't the cause. eg,overcharging.

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Re: Battery Electrolyte.

Post by wjnfirearms » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:21 am

Good advice given. Adding new acid will do nothing toward restoring the integrity of a used battery.

If you do not know how to check charging voltage, here's how to do it. To properly check it, you will need just a garden variety multimeter set at DC voltage. Attach the leads to the battery terminals and run the bike. You will need to do it at idle and at a higher RPM as idle voltage is usually lower than at speed. If your readings go above 14.5 volts DC, then the bike is overcharging. This condition causes a battery to basically cook and boil off the electrolyte. Often, when this happens, you can smell battery fumes. It is a potentially dangerous condition as battery fumes are explosive when contained and batteries have been known to explode if an ignition source is introduced. I've seen the result with car batteries and had it happen to me once with an emergency vehicle and it isn't pretty. It sounded like someone detonated a grenade under the hood.
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Re: Battery Electrolyte.

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:07 am

Always add only distilled water. When the electrolyte is boiled off, what is boiled off is just water, leaving highly concentrated sulfuric acid behind. When you add distilled water back to the battery, it dilutes the acid back to the concentration it should have for the proper operation of the battery.

ALWAYS wear gloves and EYE PROTECTION when working on/around motorcycle and car batteries. A quick splash of sulfuric acid can blind you for life.

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Re: Battery Electrolyte.

Post by moses » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:42 am

Thanks to everyone who replied to my post, these forums really work, I purchased a well known repair manual, (not Honda I hasten to add) for guidance, not going to name any names, but years ago the manuals produced by this particular company were renowned and very good, I have some of them on my bookshelf plenty of detailed information contained within their pages, but what a shock, now poor quality information, bad pictures printed on poor quality paper. Thanks again guys. :)

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