Johnson Controls battery leaking acid at vents.

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  #1  
Old 02-09-16, 02:17 PM
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Johnson Controls battery leaking acid at vents.

All cars in my household have battery leaking acid at vents. Thin film of acid is always present on top of the battery and comes back after cleaning.

I'm pretty sure that batteries are not over charging. Reading around 14V - 14.4V is all vehicles. (1 SUV, 1 coupe, 1 pick-up truck)

Never had that issue when I had original factory battery, and acid showed up on all batteries I have bought in local parts store.

Kirkland from Costco, Duralast from Autozone, AutsCraft Advance Auto Parts, ProStat from Pepboys, Interstate.

They all had acid leaking out from vent area and eventually causing corrosion on battery terminals.

All of the batteries I have listed are manufactured by Johnson Controls.

Does anyone know if there is a known issue with Johnson Controls batteries?

Pretty much all batteries sold in local stores are from Johnson Controls. Only Home Depot has Exide battery, but costs more than others (because of all those on-line coupon discounts).
I'm thinking of trying one next time, but want to know if others are having this issue.

I thought about AGM batteries (such as Optima), but I think they are overkill for my uses.
 
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Old 02-09-16, 05:42 PM
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I don't know if those batteries have a known problem but I have used those red and green discs on all my batteries for over forty years and have rarely had a corroded terminal.
 
  #3  
Old 02-09-16, 08:39 PM
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I have that disc as well and it does seem to help.
Still, it won't help with battery hold down corroding.

With Kirkland battery, I had positive terminal completely corroded to the point it broke even with that disc. But in this case, there was more serious problem than acid leaking from the vents.
For some reason, top cover have melted very close to the positive terminal and it was leaking acid out of that area and probably current was flowing through.
Not sure if it cracked, then melted by heat generated from electric current, or it melted first and began leaking acid. It definitely looked like it was molten outside in, but there was not a thing on top of it.
Instead of replacing the battery, Costco gave me a full refund and had me purchase new battery. Price of battery was $9 higher than when I purchased a year before, but got new battery with new warranty.
 
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Old 02-09-16, 10:59 PM
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If you are not overcharging the batteries then the electrolyte level is probably too high. I have a pair of Johnson Controls batteries from Sam's Club for my lawnmower project and I have never had a problem such as you have described.
 
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Old 02-10-16, 04:42 AM
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Are you adding water to battery's? Most new battery's usually don't need any water added. Some of them have a gel solution in them .
 
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Old 02-10-16, 04:49 AM
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I almost exclusively use Duralast batteries over the last 20 yrs and have never had an acid problem with any of them. IMO those red/green felt disks are more snake oil than anything as I've never had any corrosion as long as the cable end is in good shape and kept tight.

I also suspect overcharging or overfilling. Are accessories used often while the engine is off?
 
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Old 02-10-16, 05:22 AM
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Are you adding water to battery's?
No. I don't add any water. If it is overfilled, then it has to be overfilled from the factory. But overfill on every single battery I bought is highly unlikely.

I also suspect overcharging or overfilling. Are accessories used often while the engine is off?
I'm pretty sure I'm not overcharging. I checked voltages and they were within specs. 14V to 14.4V. Also overcharging issue with all 3 vehicles seems unlikely.

Could higher CCA than OEM spec be a problem?
I buy highest CCA available because they are more premium batteries.
 
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Old 02-10-16, 08:34 AM
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CCA (Cold cranking Amps) Will not be the problem they just extend the amount of time before battery goes dead when cold. There's more to it than that but general idea. All battery's vent a little, try sprinkling a little baking soda on top and leave it there. Will neutralize acid. Do not get in battery holes.
 
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Old 02-10-16, 08:56 AM
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just a thought but could it help to attach tubing to those vents and secure them well away--like in front of the radiator bulkhead? The battery under the seat in my Aurora is vented that way and has never shown a speck of corrosion in 13 years.
 
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Old 02-10-16, 09:44 AM
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Since this has been a problem with every Johnson Controls battery you have used, I would suggest that you contact Johnson directly. Ask them why and what they suggest that you do to alleviate the problem.

http://www.johnsoncontrols.com/contact-us

(For some unknown to me reason this site seems to take forever to load.)
 
  #11  
Old 02-10-16, 12:36 PM
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All battery's vent a little, try sprinkling a little baking soda on top and leave it there.
I actually have tried that before. But, baking soda quickly dissipates as some wind blows in engine compartment. I have some baking soda on battery tray, that I hardened a bit by damping with water. Since battery tray is well protected from wind, it seems to stay there pretty well.


could it help to attach tubing to those vents and secure them well away
I don't see any good way to attach tubing to the vents.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4.../ibs_MT-34.jpg
This is how Johnson Control batteries have their vents. Small flat slot on the cap is the vent.
I found batteries that are made to be under the seat or trunk has a side hole that can be attached to tubing to vent outside. But that is not the case with my vehicles.

I would suggest that you contact Johnson directly
I'm actually surprised that I am the only person to have this problem.
I'm not saying acid is actually pooling in liquid form. Just a thin oily film which eventually reaches battery terminals and starts corrosion.

This is not my picture. But wet area on top of the battery is just like what I see on my batteries.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...z/DSCF0023.jpg
 
  #12  
Old 02-10-16, 01:21 PM
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When lead-acid batteries are fully charged AND continue to receive charge above a certain voltage (about 15 volts for a typical lead-acid battery) they will expel hydrogen in a process that is called gassing. This can be both beneficial and harmful at the same time. Gassing has a tendency to thoroughly mix the electrolyte and this is the good part. Bad is when the gassing becomes so vigorous that minute droplets of the electrolyte are carried out the vents with the hydrogen and these droplets then settle on the battery case, terminals and nearby areas.

Running the electrolyte level a bit lower and making certain the maximum charging voltage does not exceed 14.5 volts is usually sufficient to eliminate the problem.

My Johnson batteries had varying levels of electrolyte among the several cells but they were all below the little ring. That left a good three-quarters of an inch or more below the top of the cell. The one thing that is most important is to not let the electrolyte level drop to the top of the plates as that is certain death for the battery.
 
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Old 02-11-16, 09:25 AM
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I don't see any good way to attach tubing to the vents.
I guess these vents aren't as common as I thought. You mentioned Kirkland batteries from Costco. Costco no longer carries Kirkland and has switched to Interstate (also made by Johnson). The battery I bought from Costco last week for my daughter's Buick was a sealed battery and had nipples on the sides--and most of the Interstate batteries on the rack had these same nipples.

 
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Old 02-11-16, 03:16 PM
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I have used Johnson Controls replacement batteries from Sam's Club for years and never had a problem with acid seeping out on top of the battery and never had a corrosion probem at the terminals. On my last truck though, after I changed the alternator I started getting slight corrosion on the positive terminal. The regulator was built into the alternator. I attributed it to slight overcharging and gases from the acid, but it never caused any other problems. I am due for a new battery this year and my local Sam's Clubs have now started stocking Duracell branded batteries from East Penn. I hope they give performance like those from Johnson Controls.
 
  #15  
Old 02-11-16, 06:08 PM
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Costco no longer carries Kirkland and has switched to Interstate (also made by Johnson).
I haven't been to Costco myself for long time. I didn't know they switched to Interstate. What kind of warranty do they have? Kirkland had 36 months free replacement, and 100 months prorated warranty. Best warranty I have seen so far.
I'm sure battery will not last 100 months. It is probably a sales tactics to have customer come back and buy new battery again with some discount.

Just did a quick google search, and looks like Interstate sold in Costco is model that is specifically made for Costco. Seems like they just changed name to Interstate since it is well known brand and some people would think Kirkland is cheap lower end brand battery. It is specifically made for Costco and not their regular line.
Apparently, they now have 42 months free replacement warranty. Not sure what kind of warranty after that.

had nipples on the sides--and most of the Interstate batteries on the rack had these same nipples
I'm pretty sure it depends on battery size type (group size). Most batteries don't have side vent tube.



ever had a problem with acid seeping out on top of the battery and never had a corrosion probem at the terminals.
Not even a wet looking area? Once I used anti-corrosion pads under the terminals and coat terminal with battery terminal protector (I think it is paraffin grease), no more corrosion. But, still have some acid on top of the battery.
I bought a solid brass, gold plated battery terminal for the one that corroded and broke. Not sure if it really has gold, but it will take a looong time to eat through this thick brass.
http://assets.suredone.com/1943/medi...-8-gauge-3.png
Only downside is, now I need 2 different size wrench to remove terminals. (10mm and 5/16")


Sam's Clubs have now started stocking Duracell branded batteries
Just looked up what they were selling before. Looks like they used to sell Energizer? And by looking at the shape of battery vents, manufactured by Johnson Controls.
From what I found, Duracell is manufactured by EastPenn, aka Deka batteries.
East Penn Releases New Duracell Automotive Batteries - East Penn Manufacturing

I have heard about Deka, but never seen or used one before. I wonder how good they are.
 
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