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Batterie explosion

Discussion in '308/328' started by Sigmacars, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Sigmacars

    Sigmacars Formula Junior
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    Jul 19, 2006
    662
    Toronto
    I had a SMART CHARGER on my batterie in my 328 Saturday Night this big bang from the Garage and all i see is batterie acid on the floor one of the side walls was gone the top was still ok.I washed everything with soap and water 3 times the sprinkle Baking Soda all over ( i called the Batterie shop and this is what the use) and them i spray acid neutralizer in the battterie compartment, there was no splay on the inside of the trunk lid.very lucky all the acid went on to the fiberglas and run down on to the Garage floor.The baking soda did the trick of getting rid of all the acid smell in 3-4 hrs and also did neutralize the acid.so for your info if you have a problem with Batterie Acid Baking soda will save you Bud. this was a $80.00 Smart charger with a 2 Amp charge level i am going to have it checkt out and see what went wrong and why it overcharged my Batterie.If you have one on your Car you should feel the Batterie and if it feels real warm tun it off this is the first sign you are getting to the limit( again a word from the batterie shop )
     
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  3. BwanaJoe

    BwanaJoe Formula 3

    Oct 23, 2006
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    That is scary. The whole point of these things is to put them on and forget them. Possibly a bad charger? What brand were you using?
     
  4. mike996

    mike996 F1 Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
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    Mike 996
    I've never liked the idea of an unattended battery charger and I have never used them. If you disconnect the neg terminal from a good battery that is fully charged when you put the car "away" it will be fine and able to start the car for at least 6 months. I have done this for many years and when I reconnect the batt, the car(s) start instantly - can't tell any difference in the car starting 6 months later from when it was starting every day.
     
  5. Sigmacars

    Sigmacars Formula Junior
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    Jul 19, 2006
    662
    Toronto
    It was a Deltran ( just connect it and forget about it )was the slogan lol.NEVER NEVER AGAIN WILL I USE A BATTERY TENDER.i think i was very lucky not to burn the Car and the house down.
     
  6. BwanaJoe

    BwanaJoe Formula 3

    Oct 23, 2006
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    I don't know if the 328 has them but on the 308 we have a ground disconnect on the drivers side front wheel arch. No need to disconnect the negative cable at the source if that is the way you want to go.

    J
     
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  8. captwillieb 328gts

    captwillieb 328gts Formula 3

    Nov 8, 2008
    1,036
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    +1

    Sorry to hear about the experience...

    I work at sea, 7 weeks on and 7 weeks off.... (used to be 4 months on / 4 months off). I always disconnect my battery in both cars and have never had a problem. Come home, reconnect, and drive on.
     
  9. Euro Quattro

    Euro Quattro Formula Junior

    Apr 20, 2005
    344
    Vancouver
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    Kent
    I have been using a battery tender for about 15 years with no problems at all,this must be a very rare malfunction.
     
  10. Sigmacars

    Sigmacars Formula Junior
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    Jul 19, 2006
    662
    Toronto
    Yes the 328 has a POS. disconnect in the same place this is what i will use from now on,
     
  11. Bones2U

    Bones2U Formula Junior

    Jul 13, 2008
    791
    Ontario
    I also had a friends battey explode while the car was in storage. The storage place checks the car every few days and found that the car had some major damage. Luckily it didn't spread to the other cars or he would have been liable. The problem we have here in Toronto is the cold weather. The battery goes from extreme cold to hot and they can't handle it. The battery needs very little in order to remain charged. I just put mine on for a couple of hours at a time once a month and don't leave it plugged in all the time. I also try to do it on the warmer days in the month if I can. That way there isn't a huge temperature swing. If worst comes to worst I will just change the battery in the spring. Way cheaper than dealing with this type of problem.
     
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  13. mike996

    mike996 F1 Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
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    One thing that you might consider if you insist on using a charger for storage is to put the charger on a timer so that it only comes on for say an hour or two a day. In my mind this would reduce the possibility of any problem and should easily keep a batt fully charged if you feel compelled to do so. But, as I said in my first post, I wouldn't bother since IF the battery is disconnected it just isn't going to discharge enough to matter.
     
  14. captwillieb 328gts

    captwillieb 328gts Formula 3

    Nov 8, 2008
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    Willie B
    This is what I use... I disconnect it and wrap the end in a towel just to prevent any funky connection while I'm gone... same with my other car. I've got a boat as well, and talking to a mechanic, he wasn't too in favor of any charger other than a solar trickle charger.....
     
  15. AHudson

    AHudson F1 Rookie
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    Jul 7, 2005
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    Adams Hudson
    My overly fastidious neighbor at the lake maintains everything he owns, beyond the book. Had a Battery Tender on his pristine boat so it'd be ready for him this spring. He was up there cleaning, heard a nasty 'bang' and went to see a similar fate to the OP. Sides burst outwardly, huge mess. He has retired his charger for good, and installed a quick disconnect. Was enough to convince me accordingly.

    Very sorry to hear the news, but glad you caught it in time. What if you'd been gone for the weekend?
     
  16. miketuason

    miketuason F1 World Champ
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    Feb 24, 2006
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    It sounds like the charger did not switch to FLOAT mode. And if that's the case then yes, you have a defective charger.
    I don't know what kind of Smart Charger you have but, I've been using the Battery Tender Plus by Deltran for years and never had problem even when it's connected for several Months. How long have you had your battery.
     
  17. Modeler

    Modeler F1 Veteran

    May 19, 2008
    7,189
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    a.n.other
    A battery tender can disguise a deteriorating battery too. Take off on a trip and find your battery can't hold its charge.
    Better to not use them imho.
     
  18. ducowti

    ducowti Formula 3

    Jan 27, 2008
    1,501
    NY/SC
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    David
    I use Shumacher Smart Chargers which are relatively expensive, have various charge amperages, and only come on when the battery is below 100%. I use them on my Ducs, and my riding cronies use them as well (4 more) on an 'autopilot' mode, i.e. always plugged in to the bikes. Have never had issues of any kind.

    I think this is a case of something errant and wouldn't run from using these tenders/chargers. To the point of disconnecting a battery once full for extended storage, well, I've done that w.my 328 and come back to an insufficient charge. Sure, you can argue the battery is done but that's not necessarily the case (and wasn't w.mine).
     
  19. mike996

    mike996 F1 Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
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    "and only come on when the battery is below 100%"

    I don't know about that particular smart charger but normally smart chargers are designed to maintain a float charge on a battery, they don't usually turn off, they maintain the batt at around 13.4 volts. When disconnected from a charger, a fully charged batt will show around 12.6v.

    I have also used these chargers on my Norton Commando and my 996 Duck (before I sold it) But I never left them connected for long periods unattended, usually just for the day I was out working in the garage. I did the same with the bikes over the non use period that I did with the cars - disconnected the bats. HOWEVER, as you know, bike batts don't last very long compared to car batts and they would NOT last 6-7 months without occasional charging like a car batt will. Of course, with the kick-start Commando, it doesn't matter much anyway; if there is 9 volts available the plugs will fire as long as you have the original point ignition. If you have "upgraded" to a "modern" ignition, it won't! But sometimes I wonder why I sold the electric start fast bike and kept the kick-start slow bike. :)
     
  20. ace_pilot

    ace_pilot Formula Junior

    Sep 6, 2007
    897
    Long Island, NY
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    George
    Typical "explosions" caused by battery chargers is usually a small spark in the area of heavy explosive (?hydrogen) gas. When a battery is charged, it will leak out hydrogen gas that can be easily ignited. I would make sure the area is well ventilated (keep the hood ajar) and keep the contacts clean so there are less chances of sparking. When I jump start vehicles, always place the terminals away from the battery and "fan" or blow on the battery to get rid of lingering hydrogen gas.

    Ace
     
  21. spiderseeker

    spiderseeker Formula 3

    Jul 22, 2005
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    You don't want to leave a battery charger on all of the time, a battery Tender however, is designed to provide a small trickle charge to maintain a full charge and is designed to be left connected for months at a time.
    A battery charger will put out several amps for a faster charge, explosions with them left in place, is not uncommon. especially if the battery is in a confined space, where gas can build up and explode.
     
  22. ducowti

    ducowti Formula 3

    Jan 27, 2008
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    If, when connecting the leads up, this Schumacher reads a battery <100% it switches on - you hear a relay click, and a fan will come on. Once at 100%, 'click', and the fan shuts off and all is quiet :) And right, your voltage is pretty well on.

    Not that this = any guarantee nothing will happen of course, but I have three or four bikes in my lake garage on these Schumacher chargers literally year round, for the last 4 or 5 years. I have never worried a moment about them. Maybe I should install a halon auto-system in there though :eek:
     
  23. Euro Quattro

    Euro Quattro Formula Junior

    Apr 20, 2005
    344
    Vancouver
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    Kent
    Heres what the company has to say......anything can happen I guess, but after 15 years I have had no issues. Maybe the older ones were better quality


    In theory, you can leave the Battery Tender Plus battery charger connected to a battery forever. Like they say, “Just plug it in and forget about it!” Practically speaking, it is a good idea to check on the battery at least once a week. Strange things can happen. Sometimes a battery can have a weak cell that won’t show up until the worst possible time. Of course, that time is usually when the battery is connected to a charger. If something goes wrong, then you have to deal with the question of the chicken and the egg. Which came first? Did the battery fail because it was connected to the charger or did the charger fail because it was connected to the battery?

    No matter how good a product is, anything can break. With a battery and a charger connected together, it’s a much better idea to be proactive and anticipate problems, however unlikely they may be. In more than 99.9% of cases, nothing will go wrong. That still leaves about 0.1% where something might. Learn to respect electricity. A little common sense can go a long way.
     
  24. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Jun 8, 2004
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    Sam Saprunoff
    Good day All,

    It is also possible that one or more of the battery vents were plugged... As the battery charges it releases Hydrogen gas that if not vented could build up... and perhaps cause the battery to explode? I was taught this in school, but wondered if the pressure got so great then why would it just not pop the vent caps off? Anyway, just another possible theory for the mishap.

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
  25. Artvonne

    Artvonne F1 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2004
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    I just dont understand what is so hard or difficult about disconnecting a battery cable on a car that will be sitting a while, even a few weeks. Thats what our Fathers and Grandparents did. Once disconnected, NOTHING can happen. In moderate climates a good battery should hold a charge for a year. In cold northern climates they will hold a charge all winter. The fact remains, regardless of how many people havnt seen a problem, others have. Once you see the results of a battery maintainer going postal, you wont ever want to use one again. Ive seen enough first hand evidence that I wont EVER leave a battery hooked up to any kind of charger more than a few hours without observation, and generally not overnight. After watching a brand new class A motorhome burn completely to the ground after a "maintainer" set the battery on fire, you couldnt pay me to use one. Glad no one was sleeping in it, it went up pretty fast.

    As long as they dont fail, they are fine. But when they fail, they can do a phenomenal amount of damage, and possibly burn down you garage, you home, your possesions and your family in the process. Not worth it IMHO. We just had a fire on the news a month or so back they blamed on a charging battery. Bad news.
     
  26. CliffBeer

    CliffBeer Formula 3

    Apr 3, 2005
    2,192
    Seattle, Washington
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    Cliff
    Agree wholeheartedly with the "disconnect while not in use" theory - this seems to work very well. I've also noticed that extreme temperature swings are hard on batteries as well - best to store them (and the car) in a heated/AC space with a reasonable range of temp.

    I've found that people tend to expect to get more life out of a standard battery than it reasonably can give. If you have a standard lead/acid battery you should be changing it out after three years in most cases. You might get four years in a very moderate/temperate climate, and maybe only two in an extreme climate. If you're trying to nurse along a six year old battery with a battery tender then you're really not putting the focus where it should be (replacing the battery). As the battery ages it won't take the charge as well, nor hold the charge.

    It seems that the Optima type batteries will go a couple of extra years, everything else being equal. And, there doesn't seem to be as many "exploding battery" stories with these type of batteries either which is a very good thing when it's in a ferrari (not a rusty Nova).
     
  27. 2dinos

    2dinos F1 Rookie

    Jan 13, 2007
    2,525
    I've had one show a green light and the battery was totally flat. I had to replace the maintainer and battery. The maintainer was from Sears. I believe it's made by the same company as the battery tender .

    Sorry for going a bit astray, I have a friend who lost everything, but was lucky to be able to climb out the window with her husband as the entire house was engulfed. The fire department was way too late. The cause: one of those inexpensive power strips with two small appliances that were switched off. I try to not rely on luck, and consider the failure modes on everything. I will re-think the maintainers - - - - - They're supposed to but out a couple hundred mA, maybe a tiny fuse???
     
  28. Island Time

    Island Time F1 Veteran
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    Dec 18, 2004
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    I never liked them. If a battery goes dead, just buy a new one. You'll always know what you've got.
     

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