Car battery question

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On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 21:50:05 -0500, "Steve Barker"

"Good" chargers won't turn on until they see a little voltage from the battery. It keeps the thing from shorting out if you just touch the leads together. I think it is really because the charge monitor uses the voltage from the battery to bootsrtrap itself up. A "cheap" charger doesn't have that problem, nor does jumper cables.
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BTW, it won't kill you or bankrupt you if you rpelace a battery early.
But I think the idea was for you to get the answer for your question, so you would know more about this for the future.
Anotehr suggestion is to measure the voltage at the battery posts. 12.6 is fully charged, and it should be higher than that if the engine is running or there is a battery charger on it.
I forget exactly, but I think 11.6, if that is before you connect the charger, would probably go higher, probably high enough. Regardless of where it started, if it got to 12.4 that might be enough to run the car. I don't remember numbers very well, but you can learn what the various number indicate.
Most apparently sealed lead acid car batteries can still have their caps pried off, 2 caps for 3 cells each. Best to use distilled water to refill. (There are a lot of truly sealed smaller batteries, including gel cells which are sealed. But there aren't too many sealed car batteries, and it probably says it in big letters if it is. After they came out, the battery caps on regular batteries, including iirc lo-maintenance batteries, were redisigned to make the batteries look like sealed ones. I think there is a narrow, barely noticeable, 1-inch slot at each end, one for each cap, if they are meant to come off.
Fill until you see the meniscus, the place at the edge of the water where it curls up. When the water level is low, this is out of sight at the edge of the rectangular cell. When the water level is high enough, the water's as high as the round tube going down from the round hole, so you can see the curve up at the edge. That's meant to be the proper level for the water.
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