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White residue near battery


saints13579
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I have a piece of cheese yaris 2002 that is falling apart all the time. 

However, I replaced the Battery and alternator in March 2018.

I often checked the voltage and it was always 12.62v engine off and 13.2/13.3v engine on. 

A few months ago when the cold set in, it wouldn't start. Just wouldn't quite tick over. Eventually got it to start. I checked the voltage and it was sitting at 12.45v and now it seems when I check it after 6-18 hours not in use it sits at 12.4 - 12.5v never 12.6v.

I took the car to a mechanic about a mixture of things and they checked the alternator, Battery and starting motor and said it was all fine. 

However, I am now seeing ******* residue in the car engine bay directly next to the car Battery, and also on the battery metal hold down clamp (none on then terminals or wiring)

What do you guys think this is? 

Also, the cars exhaust sounds like a boy racer. And the fuel economy is terrible, like 23mpg city driving. 

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Type into a search engine “ what is the white residue around a battery”. You will get the answer.

in the meantime don’t touch the stuff without protection. It’s nasty stuff, caused by a reaction as the Battery is not charged enough. Do the search.

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I did the search before posting onto here. 

It states it is usually found around the terminals but my terminals are clean. 

The residue that is to the side of the Battery on the engine bay looks nothing like the images I found online.

I chose the most expensive and what I believed to be the best Battery for my car, a Bosch s4. It is only 8 months old. Surely it can't be damaged? I don't see any cracks or swelling. 

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A search showed someone replaced his Battery and within a month white substance was on Battery clamps but not terminals. Sound familiar? Reason given was normal gasses from the Battery under the bonnet reacting with the metal on the clamps.

solution given, mix 2 tablespoonfuls of baking soda in 2 litres of water, remove battery, and pour over the parts affected. Rinse off, remove affected parts with oil based enamel paint spray.

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Catlover beat me to it, but a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water is ideal for removing that suff using a stiff brush. You will need to completely remove the Battery clamp and possibly even the Battery for complete removal. Wear hand and eye protection.

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Out of interest, can this be the cause of any startup issues? I've noticed the same on my Battery (Battery from new, car now has 60k and is 11 plate) but have always left it. Now in the colder periods, I've noticed that the car doesn't unlock with the remote anymore and I have to use the key in driver's door. The passenger door locks do some half-assed attempt at opening when I press the unlock button in driver's door, but they don't fully unlock unless ignition is on. Once it's started, everything is fine.

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22 hours ago, bathtub tom said:

How clean are your battery terminals, how old are the car and key fob batteries?

Battery terminals are clean just like OPs (sulfuric acid build up is on the clamp). I don't think car Battery has been changed from new, its a 11 plate mk2 with start/stop and 60k on the clock.

Key fob Battery was changed a couple of year ago. Only have the one key to try. The key LED doesnt show signs of a weak battery and the lock button seems to be able to lock/double lock the car fine. It's just the unlocking, key LED lights up to show signal is being sent out but car doesn't react.

Hoping to get battery tested over the weekend and take it from there.

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@Saints:

For a relatively new good make Battery, that's quite a mess around the top of the Battery, as if it's leaking.  Never seen anything like that before, although the white deposits are common.  I wouldn't expect a newish Battery to be gassing and causing this.  First thought was overcharging, as someone else has suggested, which would cause more gassing, but the voltages you quote don't confirm this.  Maybe check the voltage is stable when the engine's revved? 

A good suggestion's been made about fixing a breather tube to the vent, although this doesn't sort the cause of the problem.  I expect the battery's got a vent each end, though one may have a plastic plug insert, which can be switched around dependent on the battery orientation in the vehicle.

Despite being a Bosch, it's very unlikely, but perhaps it's been overfilled, so the electrolyte level is too high?  Bit of a long shot really.  This would leave less space above the electrolyte for the gasses to "recondense", and so more gases are veningt out to atmosphere than normal. Difficult to check this, as batteries are sealed nowdays.  In the past, with some batteries, you used to be able to see the electrolyte level through the plastic sides, and there'd be Max & Min levels marked, but this probably goes back to when batteries were top-up-able.

Another long shot: I assume the battery earth cable is good, with good connection at the battery terminal, and to the body?

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The company I bought the Battery from is straight out saying it has been overcharged and blowing me off completely.. So much for a 4 year warranty. 

I have tested volts and even at 2000 rpm the volts do not increase. 

I contacted alternator company and they are willing to send a replacement if the garage believe it to be faulty. However I don't believe so. 

The Battery had two plastic pieces I needed to remove from new when installing. That is it. 

 

Ill try and get the car to garage on Friday and post back with updates. 

 

As for yaris locking. I find my boot not shutting fully causes remote locking not to work. 

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This wouldn't get delivered soon enough to be of use for this problem, but this is quite handy (if your cigarette socket is easily seen), and barely more than £1 including postage from China:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vehicle-Battery-Voltage-Monitor-Checker/dp/B007FW9HFK/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_bs_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=BA823PZ68ZW64WM2MDFY

I have one of these, its reading is consistantly 0.1v down against a 'proper' digital voltmeter.  So probably accurate enough for this kind of job.

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Took the car to the garage. The Battery was testing faulty but the alternator was perfectly fine. 

They noticed that 'maybe' the clamp was bolted too tight and caused a couple of dents and that caused the leak. 

 

I have gone ahead to buy a cigarette lighter voltage meter. From China expecting it to be delivered in the next 12 months...

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On 1/9/2019 at 4:29 AM, saints13579 said:

I often checked the voltage and it was always 12.62v engine off and 13.2/13.3v engine on. 

A few months ago when the cold set in, it wouldn't start. Just wouldn't quite tick over. Eventually got it to start. I checked the voltage and it was sitting at 12.45v and now it seems when I check it after 6-18 hours not in use it sits at 12.4 - 12.5v never 12.6v.

A good charged Battery should be between about 13.5 to 14.7 volts, and it should be in the same range with the engine running.  If yours is down towards 12.5v then it's either faulty or not charging, and you'll have problems starting the car.

Given that your Battery seems to have a leakage problem then, personally, I'd fit a new Battery and check the voltage on the new one with the engine running.  If it's in the aforementioned high range then your problem is almost definitely solved.  If not then the charging system is faulty.

I also note you've replaced the alternator at some point.  Could the old one have overcharged/killed the battery?

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6 hours ago, alan333 said:

A good charged battery should be between about 13.5 to 14.7 volts, and it should be in the same range with the engine running.

13odd volts is a fully charged good Battery at rest.  12.6v is a standard, but not a good indication of a good Battery.

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