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Exploding Battery!!

I recently had an experience I thought I'd share to see if anyone else
has had the same problem. My 87 5000CS Turbo Quattro was rear ended in a
parking lot (due to an icy, sloped entry)...Anyway, when I picked it up at
the body shop, they had to give me a jump start. O.K., no problem, someone
just left the lights on, right?...Nope - later that day I tried to start
it again - dead. Since I was already at home, I figured I'd go ahead and pull
the back seat and take a look. Oh My God! I found myself looking at the
plates inside the battery through gaping holes in the case. The top and
3 of 4 sides were literally blown apart.

So, being a tad concerned that the body shop did something that made my 
battery explode, I called them. First they were going to send someone
out to clean it up and install a new battery. Then the owner of the shop
called and said that the mechanic he talked to stated that this
was a common problem with Audi's that have the original battery - that the
electrolyte level will get low and jump starting them can cause a spark and

My question is whether anyone else has had their battery go boom. Thus far
it has been a real pain to clean this up - I've gone through a 4lb box of baking
soda neutralizing what appears to be a small amount of acid that actually
escaped (thus supporting the low electrolyte claim). It would have been a lot
easier to clean up if the battery were under the hood - too bad there's no
room with that turbo in there  ;-)...

Mark Aaldering
Cypress Semiconductor
Voice: (408) 943-2823