Should I Top Off My Battery Fluid?

July 7, 2021 10:42 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

You may hear people talk about topping off their battery fluid when their vehicle batteries start to fail. In fact, you may even find how-to articles online about topping off a battery with acid to give the battery some added power. But don’t do that!

If you have a battery that needs to be topped off, only do it with distilled water. The water inside the battery is responsible for cooling the battery and creating the electromechanical process of storing electricity, so it’s just as important as the acid you hear so much about.

A battery should never actually lose the acid inside unless there’s a hole in the case. So, when you hear about low battery fluid, it’s simply due to water that’s evaporated—not a lack of acid. Adding acid to the battery does more harm than good because the added acid will eat away at the battery’s components and may cause total battery failure.

How do I know when my battery needs more water?

The easiest way to tell that your fluid is low is if your car is slow to crank or if the lights are dimmer than usual. The battery light might also illuminate on your dashboard. However, there are a couple of other ways to tell you need to top off your battery.

Some batteries have an indicator “eye” that lets the driver know when the water levels are getting low. The eye starts out as a bright green color and slowly fades to a darker color as the battery loses water. Unfortunately, not all batteries have that eye.

For batteries lacking that indicator, you’ll need to manually check for low battery fluid by opening the fill caps (located at the top of the battery) and looking inside. The fluid should be about one-half inch or one inch from the top of the battery. If it’s lower than that, top it off with distilled water.

Should I try to top off the water by myself?

Topping off your battery isn’t all that difficult—it can be done in just a few minutes. Once the battery is fully charged and the engine is cool, all you need to do is clean off the terminals and open the filler caps. Slowly pour distilled water into the battery and then re-cap the fill holes.

While it’s easy, we still recommend bringing your battery to a professional for a top off. A professional will ensure the battery doesn’t get too full, which is worse than having low levels. A pro will also know if it’s time to replace your old battery and be able to identify whether there are more serious issues with it.

Texford Battery Co. can handle it for you!

If your battery needs some more battery fluid, just come see our team at Texford Battery Co. From refills to general maintenance, we offer a variety of services that’ll keep your battery in good working order for years. Give us a call or stop by our shop today to see what we can do for you.

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