Battery service should begin with a thorough visual inspection. This may reveal simple, easily corrected problems, or problems that might require battery replacement.
1 . Check for cracks in the battery case and for broken terminals. Either may allow electrolyte leakage. The battery must be replaced.
2. Check for cracked or broken cables or connections. Replace, as needed.
3. Check for corrosion on terminals and dirt or acid on the case top. Clean the terminals and case top with a mixture of water and baking soda or ammonia. A wire brush is needed for heavy corrosion on the terminals.
4. Check for a loose battery hold-down and loose cable connections. Tighten, as needed.
5. Check the level of electrolyte. The level can be viewed through the translucent plastic case or by removing the vent caps and looking directly into each cell. The proper level is 1/2" above the separators. If necessary, add distilled water to each low cell. Avoid overfilling. When water is added, always charge the battery to make sure the water and acid mix.
6. Check for cloudy or discolored electrolyte caused by overcharging or vibration. This could cause high self discharge. The problem should be corrected and the battery replaced.
7. Check the condition of plates and separators. Plates should alternate dark (+) and light (-). If all are light, severe undercharging is indicated. Cracked separators may allow shorts. The battery should be replaced. An undercharging problem should be corrected.
8. Check the tension and condition of the alternator drive belt. A loose belt must be tightened. It will prevent proper charging. A belt too tight will reduce alternator life. It should be loosened to specs. A frayed or glazed belt will fail during operation. Replace it.
NOTE: Approved Equipment tension gauge:
Nippondenso, BTG-20 (SST) Borroughs BT-33-73F
9. Check for battery drain or parasitic loads using an ammeter. Connect the ammeter in series between the battery negative terminal and ground cable connector. Toyota vehicles typically show less than .020 amp of current to maintain electronic memories ... a reading of more than .035 amp is unacceptable. If the ammeter reads more than .035 amp, locate and correct the cause of excessive battery drain.
10. Check for battery discharge across the top of the battery using a voltmeter. Select the low voltage scale on the meter, connect the negative (black) test lead to the battery's negative post, and connect the positive (red) test lead to the top of the battery case. If the meter reading is more than 0.5 volt, clean the case top using a solution of baking soda and water.
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You can now recondition your old batteries at home and bring them back to 100 percent of their working condition. This guide will enable you to revive All NiCd batteries regardless of brand and battery volt. It will give you the required information on how to re-energize and revive your NiCd batteries through the RVD process, charging method and charging guidelines.