dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
33209
share rss forum feed

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage

1 edit

Burning hot battery terminal!

I'll post pics tonite, but I wanted to get your take on how/why the positive terminal of my battery would be so hot, that you'd recoil in pain after having your finger on it for ~3 seconds. The neg terminal is cool to the touch.

I recently had the terminals dis-assembled and cleaned at a Ford dealership, which fixed my original problem recorded here:

»[Help] Help Diagnose odd electrical problem...

The white fuzzy mice have not returned, yet searing heat has. The pink color of the anti-corrosion goop has actually turned brown because of the heat. I know, pictures are warrented here. -If you can reccomend some readings I can make, I'll post them. I'll post resting voltage with alternator not turning, and charging voltage with alternator spinning. Any other measurements I can make that would be useful?

Lastly, remember the last time you accidentally ran your battery down because of leaving your lights on, etc etc... After you jump-started, the alternator was struggling to charge a battery which is outputting ~0volt DC.. Has anyone ever heard that slight whining noise that the alternator makes, when it's struggling to charge a run-down battey? --My alternator makes that noise about 80% of the time.



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18

said by batsona:

I wanted to get your take on how/why the positive terminal of my battery would be so hot, that you'd recoil in pain after having your finger on it for ~3 seconds. The neg terminal is cool to the touch.
High resistance usually. Either in the battery at the terminal where it connects to the inside plate or at the cable end. If the cable has a temporary end on it, replace the whole cable and if the cable has any bumpiness to it at the terminal end up to a foot away, it has corrosion inside and you should replace the cable. If the cables check out, I'd have the battery looked at very closely as it may be defective.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to batsona

It sounds like what Doctor Olds See Profile is saying a high resistance connection on the positive terminal. Is the battery cable hot anywhere else?

As for readings, you could do a voltage measurement between the center of the battery post and some point on the battery clamp, and the post to wherever the battery cable is going. We want to see what kind of voltage drop you have. It's the resistance that would cause the voltage drop and heat.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

»veterans.barackobama.com, »www.vetsforobama.org, »www.republicansforobama.org/


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage
reply to Doctor Olds

The battery is actaully a new item; just replaced 2 weeks ago. The problem existed when the old battery was in place as well. --There's brown gooy stuff around one of the wires that looks like another form of anti-corrision stuff. With the old battery in place, this goo got so hot that it melted, and ran down the side of the old battery.

the Ford dealership "decided" that my battery was part of the problem and replaced it, which I think was unneccessary

I'm going to be dis-assembling everything again tommorow, and bathing the terminals in a baking-soda solution & giving the lead lugs a good scrub. The dealership didn't scrub the underside of the logs, nor did they spray the purple goop on it, and the white corrosion is starting to return again...


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
reply to SparkChaser

There are two ~4-6AWG red wires coming from the positive lug/clamp. Both wires were quite hot; much hotter than the negative. Pics are coming tonight.



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to batsona

Brand new can still be defective. Just something to remember.

Repair top post battery terminals are for temporary use and as they age they increase in resistance. They should be replaced with a new one piece cable.


Temporary repair ends

Checking Voltage Drop

--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage

I've love to replace the clamps, but with today's structured wire harnesses, there's very little play with one of those red wires, and the other has no play at all. -In this instance, i'm looking at splicing in a new section of cable? Both red wires dissapear in the black plastic corregated tubing; I'd have to put the car on a lift to see where those lines go.

My wife will make me ride a bike to work if I tell her that the car needs more work done [that I can't do myself]...



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by batsona:

My wife will make me ride a bike to work if I tell her that the car needs more work done [that I can't do myself]...
As the owner of a 2000 Focus ZTS, I feel your pain.

I like the way it handles. After that, nothing.

Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04
reply to batsona

You can get a battery terminal cleaner. It's a little gizmo with a wire brush that fits over the battery post, and another wire bush that fits inside the clamps to clean them.

You'd want to wipe off all the goop first.



koma3504
Advocate
Premium
join:2004-06-22
North Richland Hills, TX
reply to batsona

Id be curious to know what the voltage is on the battery. While the car is not running.
Then what the voltage is with it running. It is possable all though the alternator makes its whine Maybe it is overcharging making the battery get hot.
And will need to be fixed.
when it is hot be very carefull not to create any sparks.
Which you should not see with just checking it with a volt meter.
--
† Koma †
If YOu Don't Think It's Possable!! It's Acually A Reality!!The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay!!
Ya Don't Know The signal Till Ya Ride It!!
Voice Break's There's Trouble!!!!



THUD300
Part Of A Complete Breakfast
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Decatur, IL
reply to batsona

I think you are looking at a positive cable assembly replacement, based on your statement that the problem existed prior to the battery replacement.

If you can follow one of the positive leads to an underhood fuse block, take a voltage drop reading (important: with the car running and plenty of accessories on) from the battery end of the cable (not the post, the clamp) to the terminal at the fuse box. You should have a very low voltage drop reading, maybe .2 volt. If you see much more than that, bingo.
--
Your actual mileage may vary. Operators are standing by.


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage
reply to Doctor Olds

OP here... Had to work late tonite; no daylight to take pics left... I did do some voltage readings. The battery at rest, with the car off for 2 hours was 12.6v. I started the car and took the same reading, and got 14.1v. The car dropped to idle speed when I was there, and it went down to 14v.

I made the measurement suggested by Dr. Olds above, where one probe is as the center of the post, and the other is against the braded copper. I got zero. --I'm not sure how this is supposed to measure voltage - I thought measuring voltage had to be done across positive and negative. What will happen if I put the probes against the same wire?

Anyway, after I shut the car off, I made another measurement, and got 12.9v.


Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04

said by batsona:

I made the measurement suggested by Dr. Olds above, where one probe is as the center of the post, and the other is against the braded copper. I got zero. --I'm not sure how this is supposed to measure voltage - I thought measuring voltage had to be done across positive and negative. What will happen if I put the probes against the same wire?
You're measuring the voltage drop between the two points. If there was a bad connection and the battery was under load at the time, there would be a voltage drop.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to batsona

Voltage Drop Testing
»www.aa1car.com/library/voltage_d···ting.htm



sdgthy

@optonline.net
reply to batsona

If you see a difference between a post and the cable, you have a poor connection of the cable to the post. Or the terminal to the post. Narrow it down by measuring between each to find where the voltage loss is. + and - battery posts gives you your baseline and then work back. Opposite battery terminal to clamp, opposite battery terminal to cable, etc.



THUD300
Part Of A Complete Breakfast
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Decatur, IL
reply to batsona

To see a voltage drop, there *must* be current flowing through the part of the circuit you are testing; that's why part of my previous post was bolded.

The voltage readings you got are normal, no overcharge is indicated.
--
Your actual mileage may vary. Operators are standing by.



SmokChsr
Who let the magic smoke out?
Premium
join:2006-03-17
Saint Augustine, FL
reply to batsona

Doing that test you are looking for a voltage drop between the terminal and the cable. What you need to do is turn the car off, turn the headlights on bright and then measure the voltage. If the terminal is getting hot, the voltage will be there. With just the headlights it may be quite low but it should be enough to let you know. Anything above 0.1 indicates trouble. More than likely your original problem is still there, and by working on it the connection was agitated enough to work for a short time.

I don't know how many times I've walked up to a car that someone said had a dead battery and needed a jump, and I felt the terminals and found a hot one. Then I'd just grab it and give it a little twist by hand and tell them to start the car. Once the car started, I'd tell them to clean the terminal connection. This works on side posts as well. I have gone to do it once when the bad connection was inside the battery and when you twist the whole terminal came out the side of the battery. In that case it was oops sorry looks like your battery is bad. Luckily I was able to show them on the part that came out where it had melted internally, to prove my point.


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage
reply to Doctor Olds

Excellent link about voltage drop testing. It makes sense now - The voltage that can't flow thru the suspect connection will flow thru the meter, causing voltage to be present. I wish I could become 6" tall, so I could get to my alternator - I can barely see it on my ford focus. I'll do as many tests as I can before I dis-assemble all the connections for cleaning...


Bobcat79
Premium
join:2001-02-04

said by batsona:

The voltage that can't flow thru the suspect connection will flow thru the meter, causing voltage to be present.
No, that's not how it works.


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

batsona See Profile I measured my 2000 ZETEC, with the lights on the worse I could get was 0.06V from the Pos terminal to the crimped cable closest to me. That was the cable itself. Most of the drop is in the crimp. (on mine )



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Bobcat79

said by Bobcat79:

said by batsona:

The voltage that can't flow thru the suspect connection will flow thru the meter, causing voltage to be present.
No, that's not how it works.
Current is flowing out the battery. The higher the resistance of the connection the higher the voltage (Ohms law E=I*R) . Until, the resistance gets to infinity (open circuit) and then it's the battery voltage.

There is a small current flowing through the meter depending on the input resistance of the meter. Most meters these days that would be in the megohm range a new Fluke is 10 megs. So, the current would be 12.5E-7 or a little over a microamp.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

»veterans.barackobama.com, »www.vetsforobama.org, »www.republicansforobama.org/


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage
reply to SparkChaser

Click for full size
Wide shot of the battery area...
Click for full size
Shows location of liquifying anti-corrosion jell
Click for full size
Shows the positive terminal
Click for full size
Shows the negative lead...
Fresh pics..


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

This is the only place where I could find any drop and it was in the crimp on the fastener that is bolted on and the cable. There was resistance in the crimp.




Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18

That positive cable has too much corrosion on it still. Below that crimp, it looks like the red insulation has melted to the cable right after the black shrink wrapped part. Is that correct or is that normal?

All the corrosion needs to be removed completely after taking all the individual parts apart (remove negative first, then positive, to reinstall put positive on first then negative).
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?



marathonmike
Beer. You can only rent it

join:2001-12-12
Princeton, NJ
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to batsona

Looks like the connection from the crimp is though the flange to the lug on the post grabber.
You need to remove the nut and sand off the top and bottom of the flange. Then sand the post grabber on top so you get a good connection. This is where you are getting the resistance. It's not a good design.
--
McSame; that's not the smell of jet fuel from your engine. It's the smell of your butt in flames!


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage

1 edit
reply to Doctor Olds

OP here.. Everything dis-assembled. There were also three small wires screwed to the frame, near where the negative line dissapears into conduit. I removed these, and will clean them too. The negative lug was tightened much more than the positive; it didn't take much force with the wrench to loosen the hold-down nut.

I'll be doing the baking-soda & wire-brush treatment in the morning, and buying one of those terminal cleaners with the cone-shaped brush.

When I did the testing below, I started with a cold engine. Testing took ~7 mins. When I shut the engine off, the back part of the positive clamp was again TOO hot to touch! --I had high-beams, wipers, fan blower on hi-speed, and dome light on.

Marathonmike: Another bad design is having the 6AWG battery ground-to-frame right under the windowwasher fluid filler. Any spillage makes for a really interesting scene under that area; right where that line attaches.

______________________________________
STATS:

Idle voltage, alt not spinning: 12.6V

Voltage during crank (sparkplug wires disconnected): 11.1V

Alt case to neg battery post: zero V

Alt positive lead, to pos battery post: zero V

Neg battery post to good engine ground: zero V



SmokChsr
Who let the magic smoke out?
Premium
join:2006-03-17
Saint Augustine, FL

Most of the test you listed are only checking the ground to negative terminal. From the pictures it looks like you've got a bad connection between the terminal and the positive wires (right where you say the brown is dripping). Most likely the copper in the wires has gotten hot enough that it's oxidized, and will be difficult to repair. You'll probably have to cut a few inches of wire back and bring new wire up to the terminal.



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit
reply to batsona

batsona See Profile here is the positive terminal on the 2000 ZTS. The fastener is different (different shape) but I think it's purpose is the same. Where the arrow is pointing is the cable with the fastener crimped to it and then bolted to the battery clamp. The drop I see is from the center of this cable to the battery post. So, in my case the drop is in the crimp.




.
Question for the group, the white deposits on the post are after 2-3 years in operation. If I understood correctly, the OP is seeing it after the battery was replaced 2 weeks ago. ??
.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley


batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage

The white fluffy corrosion must be like a cancer - unless you clean all of it off, it comes back. With my original Motorcraft battery, I never had any corrosion. Then I super-sized and put in an 800CCA battery (Exide), then the terminals turned into fluffy white balls. The recent servicing I had done 2 weeks ago didn't fully clean all the corrosion off, and it ended up creeping back. This is why I'm doing a super extra-good job of cleaning the battery clamps, to ensure I don't have any recurrance. I've got the felt washers and the spray-on pink stuff.

I've cleaned the hardware (screws) and battery terminals (have battery inside) and will clean the battery clamps today & re-assemble. (or I don't go to work tommorow....)

I'll send post-assembly pics too.



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to SparkChaser

said by SparkChaser:

Question for the group, the white deposits on the post are after 2-3 years in operation. If I understood correctly, the OP is seeing it after the battery was replaced 2 weeks ago. ??
It looks like when the battery was put that only a quick change was performed and the terminals plus surrounding underhood area were not fully cleaned. That's why you see so much white speckling under the hood around the battery area, IMHO.

The terminals need mechanical cleaning along with needing to be chemically cleaned using Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) to neutralize the battery acid residues. Then the area around the battery needs to be cleaned with Baking Soda then flushed with water to remove the loose particles of corrosion.

Regards,

Doctor Olds
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?