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      03-15-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
Thik
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What happened to my battery? (Pics)

Hey guys, so my car wouldn't start a few weeks ago and it got towed to the dealer. The service advisor said that it was a bad battery. My 2010 E92M has approx. 35K miles on the odometer. They said the battery failed because I spilled some 'yellow' unknown liquid in the battery department. This cause the battery to short and fail. They would not cover it under warranty.

I have attached some pics. Please give me your thought about what really happened.






I know I did not spill anything in the battery compartment. Any idea what that yellow stuff is?
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      03-15-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
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I know piss is yellow under UV....crazy stuff right there. Interested to know what that turns out to be
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      03-15-2013, 09:51 PM   #3
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that does not look like something would've SPILLED on it at all. And y would the dealer say you spilled something on the battery? Who the hell would spill anything on the battery?

It looks like some sort of mud though, does it have that acidic smell?
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      03-15-2013, 10:09 PM   #4
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Salt water? maybe?
Isn't Sulphur yellow?
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      03-15-2013, 11:41 PM   #5
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Parts store will have some battery cleaner and acid detector. It turns red or some other color when it contacts acid. You might buy a can and spray in there to see if it is a acid spill. Won't hurt to clean it with this stuff anyway it will neutralize any acid that may be in there. If it is acid it could have been an overcharging alternator or maybe a bad battery.

Looks more like mud though. Was there any water ever in there? Are you the only owner? I am thinking could the car been in any kind of flood?
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      03-15-2013, 11:46 PM   #6
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Are you sure it wasn't the battery itself that exploded? Battery will do then when they get weak.

Also they use sulfuric acid and that looks like yellow like sulfur
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      03-16-2013, 01:30 AM   #7
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Self tapping screw on the second pic. Maybe aftermarket stuff done to car. Possible someone forgot to place the vent tube back on and batt was leaking inside instead of being vented out?
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      03-16-2013, 04:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White 13 View Post
Looks more like mud though. Was there any water ever in there? Are you the only owner? I am thinking could the car been in any kind of flood?
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      03-16-2013, 05:48 PM   #9
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Looks like a leak from the battery (or something else there).
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      03-16-2013, 10:14 PM   #10
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Put some water in your trunk where the battery sits see if leaks out from the bottom. It looks like maybe you missing a plug and or your car sat in some deep water.
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      03-16-2013, 10:31 PM   #11
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Mix some baking soda and water. Brush it around the affected area. This will let you know if its acidic. If it is, it will bubble up. This will also rid the area of acid.
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      03-18-2013, 12:26 AM   #12
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I don't think the car was flooded because otherwise more area of the car would be affected with water and dirt residue, not just the battery compartment.

I really think it's sulfur that the battery spewed out when it failed on its own! Damn dealership tried to deny me warranty by blaming it on me!

Is there a way to test if that yellow stuff is indeed sulfur from inside the battery and not dirt or rust?
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      03-18-2013, 08:53 AM   #13
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It def looks like it was submerged in something. You can see the fluid line go up in the front and back which is consistent with the fluid movement when stopping and accellerating.

Last edited by wooderson; 03-18-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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      03-18-2013, 08:58 AM   #14
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It looks like a corroded battery to me. Probably just a faulty battery.
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      03-18-2013, 09:10 AM   #15
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I love how dealer finds a faulty battery.. then blames OP that he spilled something in his own car to ruin his own battery.
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      03-18-2013, 09:15 AM   #16
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Are those seat covers in the one pic? Why are they off the car?
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      03-18-2013, 10:34 AM   #17
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The seat covers are from the car beside mine.
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      03-18-2013, 10:41 AM   #18
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Did you buy your car new? clean carfax? you can see the water line on the battery as it was sloshing around.. must have been in there for a while to be all dried up ltoo... does your car have any odors?
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      03-18-2013, 10:48 AM   #19
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What did you spill?
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      03-18-2013, 11:34 AM   #20
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It definitely looks like the battery was partly submerged in some liquid. Notice the "wave" pattern on the long side. That would seem consistent with a fluid moving back and forth as the car accelerates and decelerates (pointed out by others). But also look at how the residue becomes more concentrated as you move down the side. That seems consistent with a fluid evaporating over time and with the concentration of the residue becoming higher as there is less fluid. At the bottom of the battery compartment is where the material appears thickest.

How much liquid was in the battery when they pulled it out? If you know what volume of fluid the battery contains and the volume of the battery compartment, you can estimate the height at which the fluid would have been on the side of the battery had it had a leak.

What if you scrape some residue onto a wire and put a flame under it? Perhaps it would produce the blue flame associated with sulfur but I leave this to the chemists on the forums. You could also try to see if it dissolves in a small amount of water.
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      03-18-2013, 01:16 PM   #21
Thik
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There was no liquid inside the compartment when they pulled it out. Everything is bone dry. There is no odor whatsoever. If it was water or dirt, it would smell earthy. I took the car to another independent mechanic, he said it was the sulfuric acid that spewed out when the battery started leaking from the inside.

I'm guessing the yellow stuff is sulfur mixed a bit with rusted metal caused by the sulfuric acid? Since much is usually a darker brown that disintegrates with water?

I don't know. How can I test to see what that yellow stuff is for sure? Does the sulfuric acid inside car batteries look like that?
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      03-18-2013, 01:51 PM   #22
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You could collect some and send it out to a lab for analysis, or try some home chemistry. Either option is not great. Do you know anyone that works at a university/college and has access to a lab (perhaps equipped with a mass spectrometer)?
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