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Battery maintenance


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How maintenace free, is a maintenace free battery?

When I purchased a new battery about tweve months ago, I asked about the lack of a venting tube and was told I didn't need one, as the battery was maintenace free and would require no attention.


I have just removed the six bungs on the battery and in each case the fluid was hardly covering the plates so, I topped them up.

Did I do right or are leisure batteries ment to operate with so little fluid over the plates?

I am thinking that the sales assistant may have got it wrong?????

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A lead-acid battery will always gas to some extent when being charged and this will lead to the loss of some fluid. The loss should be made good by topping up with distilled water.


Normally batteries have some form of depth gauge or level marker to show what is the correct level. The gauge can take the form of a line on the outside of the battery case (works well when the case is translucent), or some form of 'ledge' or other marker visible when the vent tubes have been removed.


The battery plates must always be covered by electrolyte and in the absence of any obvious gauge I would suggest about half an inch of cover should be OK (if there is a level maker, use it).


I do not believe in maintenance-free batteries, they all need looking at to some degree, even if it just to keep corrosion of the terminals.




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You did right, even the low/free maintenance battery will consume some water depending upon charge/discharge rates etc.


Only use de-mineralised or distilled water.


It might be advisable to charge it fully and check the specific gravity of the acid water mix, if one cell is different it might indicate problems.



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