Friday, 22 June 2012

Could your CAR BATTERY blow up ?

The answers yes, your car battery could blow up ?

I have bought and sold car batteries now for well over thirty five years. This is a question that I am regularly asked . Could my car battery explode, well the answers yes it could, but it is very rare. When your car battery is being charged up , this is usually a normal wet lead acid battery that you get on most normal petrol or diesel cars, (obviously not hybrid cars), then the battery will give off hydrogen and oxygen gas.
We are to some extent protected by the design of the vent caps, which are spark retarding caps, and protect the battery from exploding under normal operating conditions. The problem may occur when the battery is been changed, or when you are jumping your engine off with a spare battery. Your battery cables or terminals could cause a spark which could cause an explosion to happen.
Car batteries can explode in two ways, internal or external. Most car batteries fitted today are MF batteries (maintenance free) . These batteries greatly reduce the risk of an explosion and are generally thought to be much safer to use.
The internal explosions that usually occur come when you are starting the engine. This will possibly blow the battery tops off and splatter the battery electrolyte all under the engine compartment. The most possible cause for this is from a mixture of low electrolyte levels in the battery and a low resistance bridge formed between or across the top of the plates between a positive and negative plates. When heavy current flows in to the battery, a spark occurs and ignites the gases in one or more of the cells. A second possible cause is a defective weld on one of the plates connecting straps that fix the plates together causing a short out and possibly causing the gases to ignite causing an explosion.
a poorly looked after battery that exploded

Two kinds of explosions on a car battery

As I have explained before this is very uncommon and a sensible approach will prevent any such accidents occurring. Periodic preventive maintenance when you are working on your car battery should be carried out in a well ventilated area. If an accident does happen you can neutralize the residual battery acid, always be sure to thoroughly wash the engine compartment and the back of the bonnet with a solution of one-pound baking soda to one gallon of warm water. By far the largest number of battery explosions, occurs in hot climates. While not fatal, battery explosions cause thousands of eye and burn injuries each year. It is very important to wear protective glasses and acid proof clothing when handling batteries and battery acid. Should a battery explosion occur and battery electrolyte (or battery acid) get in your eyes, then flush them out with clean water immediately and seek medical advice immediately. Another good source to check out is on this excellent link bellow.