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Old 30th October 2009, 00:00   #31
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I think we can put it in this way. All battery which have a opennable vent will need maintenance one day.
Do we have a fully sealed car battery?
Hmmm... thats not what manufacturers say. Amaron for eg. says that their zero maintenance batts would not need topping up during their lifetime. Yet they have filler holes. I guess the filler holes are given just in case the water is lost due to "abnormal" conditions, so that you don't have to discard the battery, if the need to replace lost water arises. A VRLA battery would just have to be discarded.
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Old 30th October 2009, 09:41   #32
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Hmmm... thats not what manufacturers say. Amaron for eg. says that their zero maintenance batts would not need topping up during their lifetime. Yet they have filler holes. I guess the filler holes are given just in case the water is lost due to "abnormal" conditions, so that you don't have to discard the battery, if the need to replace lost water arises. A VRLA battery would just have to be discarded.
So i did some research and found that a non-sealed battery with a decent AH rating makes most sense for hot Indian conditions.
A Ca/Ca battery may be sealed or unsealed. You can have water loss in a sealed battery as well and as it is sealed you cant add distilled water. Therefore buying a sealed battery does not seem to be optimal in hot and heavy conditions. If a Ca/Ca battery is unsealed then it will have removable filler caps.
Since Ca/Ca is typically more expensive than Sb/Ca, Sb/Ca seems to be more prevalent.
So i bought a Amaron 55B24LS battery with a CCA rating of 418 and a AH rating of 75. Got a Rs 350 discount on my old battery for a total price of 4900. It comes with a 30 month repl warranty and a further 30 months pro-rata warranty.
While the AH rating is ok (but not great) i was checking what is a good CCA rating. According to this website Battery Cold-Cranking Amp Estimation for an Accent Viva i need a CCA of just 196. This was a bit of a surprise to me as i thought a 4 cylinder petrol engine would need upwards of 400-500 CCA. So I am wondering if this website is wrong.
If the website is right then most Indian batteries are way over-rated as far as CCA is concerned and we are paying unnecessarily for this over-rating. Anyway CCA does not seem to be critical for hot Indian conditions.
Any opinions?
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Old 30th October 2009, 10:03   #33
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There is no totally maintenance free battery. The same technology when marketed for Telephone Exchanges and the like, is called Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) battery. They are (ultra) low maintenance and not strictly zero maintenance. The most common cause of rapid fluid loss is over charging. The standby current for a 135Ah battery is typically under 0.5A.
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Old 30th October 2009, 15:21   #34
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^^^ A VRLA battery is supposed to be truly maintenance free. It has no filler holes... so how would you "maintain" it even if you want to? The only maintenance you can do is to keep it fully charged.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 09:35   #35
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If a battery is sealed then there is no "maintenance".
Perhaps this is a semantics issue. Depends on what you mean by maintenance.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 10:34   #36
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Originally Posted by Raccoon View Post
^^^ A VRLA battery is supposed to be truly maintenance free. It has no filler holes... so how would you "maintain" it even if you want to? The only maintenance you can do is to keep it fully charged.
VRLA batteries are the closest a user can come to no-maintenance batteries. It is no maintenance for you, but if there is a problem then take it to the company's battery service point.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 10:37   #37
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Definitely go for Amaron Maintainence free batteries ,
I have changed my exides to amaron and they are execllent in performance and no maintainence.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 12:48   #38
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All car batteries need maintenance, do go through the user manual to know the recommendations.
Bosch S4 needs check up every month as per it. so will all have.
Manufacturers can always use this against warranty claims.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:43   #39
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^^^ How do you define "maintenance"? What I mean is all you can do is keep the electrolyte topped up, and the battery fully charged. So how I understand it is that VRLA eliminates the topping up process. The charging will be taken care of by the charging system, as long as the vehicle is in regular use. What else will you maintain??

As for the BOSCH S4 you have mentioned, what check up do they instruct you to do? If it is a sealed battery, all they can ask you to do is check the voltage readings at specific periods or if it has filler caps, then sp. gravity. I'd say this is more a formality and also it does not qualify for the term "maintenance". Check-up would be a better term.

Last edited by Raccoon : 3rd November 2009 at 15:44.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 18:08   #40
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It can be put up as check up.
Maintenance is a comprehensive term which covers all. voltage check and level top up are the only things which can be done. in addition it will help in identifying overcharging, failing alternator, loose, burnt or dirty connection connection etc.
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Old 26th January 2010, 07:52   #41
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Last evening I got surprised to learn about the term "zero maintenance" term from the battery shop owner & hence posting this question.

They said that no batteries are maintenance free including Amaron. But they never mentioned clearly that its distilled water or something else has to be topped up in Amaron, they only said that the battery needs to be bought to them, say once in 3 months & they will check the battery using some device & then do the needful. They showed the place (squared RED in color in the pic) as where the maintenance is being carried out.

Since I'm not very clear on this concept & the lady didn't sound technically, I did not ask more questions over there. Somebody pls help me understand if this is true since I haven't bothered to see if the car battery exists under the hood since I bought it in Mar 2007 till date.
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Old 26th January 2010, 15:39   #42
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Thats right, you have to pry open those 2 lids to reveal the filler caps. Only distilled water is to be added, if required. However, since yours is a Zero Maintenance battery, it should NOT be required for a very long time... in fact it should most likely never be required in its lifespan (unless you develop some charging problems).

That said, If I were you, I'd not take the battery to them for any "maintenance". Firstly, its not really required, and secondly, they often do more harm than good. At the most, just check the voltage once in a while.
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Old 26th January 2010, 18:08   #43
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Thanks Raccoon.
The dealer y'day said to bring the battery for testing once in 3 months or so to check with some meter at his place. So I hope this is another way to milk my money. Well, just for my knowledge, how can I determine or be watchful if the battery ever needs some distilled water? Is there any indicator or test to check this out? Pls let me know. Thanks.
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Old 27th January 2010, 15:51   #44
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Hmmm... I'm not sure if you can check the water level on these colored cases. Try shining a powerful flashlight on the side or backside, and see if you can see the water level. Rock the battery a bit if required. Else, I'm afraid there may be no option but to open the filler caps and check. But as I said, as long as your charging system is working as it should (check it), you aren't using the battery in a very hot environment, and the battery stays near full charge at most times, you really needn't bother about it... at least not frequently.

Last edited by Raccoon : 27th January 2010 at 15:55.
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Old 27th January 2010, 16:00   #45
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Well, then I think I should start checking my battery sooner as its 3 years old now & based on this I need to keep a spare one ready.
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