Sealed batteries = unsealed?

Tue Oct 3 09:41:51 EDT 2000

Sorry, but there's NAC...

My '97 Passat TDI needs a new battery.  It seems reasonable to me (for a
3-year-old car) because the car spends the week in the garage and only comes
out to play on the weekend.

The battery was dead when I recently tried to start the car.  I removed the
caps, topped the cells off with (approved) water and let it charge
overnight.  The half near the positive terminal spewed black gunk all over
the top of the battery and the negative half seemed OK.  Upon disconnection
from the battery charger, it was unable to start the car.  No lights, no
reading on the odometer, nothing.  Time for a new battery?...  Replace with
a standard "VARTA"?...

Additional question - why does VW/Audi not use a sealed battery?  Or the
better question - are sealed batteries truly sealed?  Or can you just NOT
add water to them when they die out?  Looking at the "green eye" to see if
the battery is charged is kinda convenient.
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