battery maintenance

Brett Dikeman brett at
Sun Jun 22 01:49:52 EDT 2003

If you feel like a mini-project, check up on your battery.  Our cars
can be pretty tough on 'em.

Pull the back seat(very easy, two Phillips screws, tilt the front,
unplug the 2-3 seat heater wires, pull out), and have a look-see.

A few checklist items:

-vent hose connected to the battery, no pinches.  The vent hose MUST
be in place...and for that matter, the battery must have a vent
connection, unless it's something like an Optima or similar Valve
Regulated type.

-plastic cover over positive terminal(this is a MUST, or you might
end up with a shorted battery if someone of, uh, large stature, sits
in the passenger side seat!)

-battery bracket in place

-no crusty stuff or residue anywhere on the battery.  Don't touch it
without neutralizing it first(see below)

-all the good stuff mentioned at
about maintenance(first link).  Stuff like cleaning the terminals,
neutralizing+removing any electrolyte, checking the levels/specific
gravities, applying an equalizing charge, etc.)

-check the noise-deadening felt on the side with the vent hose; mine
clearly absorbed some acid(neutralize anything with a warm-water and
baking soda solution)

-check the condition of the body side of the ground cable.  It
terminates straight to the sheet metal, and I've noticed substantial
corrosion in that area.  Even the slightest resistance will cause a
large voltage drop under heavy load(such as starting).

Consider, especially if you don't drive the car much, getting one of
those cheapo solar panel battery maintainers or a float
charger(Battery Tender is one such unit, there are others the FAQ

I found the site above excellent- loaded with information about how
to care for the beasties and keep 'em running strong.

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

More information about the 200q20v mailing list