A lot of car owners have been changing their car batteries from time to time because they are scared of a car battery explosion. Yes, it happens. And no one would want that specifically I because of that will undoubtedly affect the other parts of the car engine under the hood. Who would want that?
No one would want that. But no one can escape from that if no one knows how to avoid car battery from exploding and what are the causes of this specific event. How can someone prevent things like this from happening?
First, we need to know what the reason why it is happening is. There are three leading causes of the car battery explosion.
First, it is the hydrogen gas that is one central component of lead-acid batteries. Hydrogen gas builds up inside can cause a sudden spark on the car batteries and can result in an explosion.
Second, short-circuiting. And lastly, the age of your car battery.
However, another question is, how can you prevent it from happening?
We need to make sure that these car batteries are free from short circuit and we advise that you avoid draining the battery or overcharging it. A regular check-up from the nearest mechanic in town can also help you to prevent car battery explosion.
Primary Causes of Car Battery Explosion
– Hydrogen Gas on Lead-Acid Car Batteries. I have mentioned above that one of the primary cause of a car battery explosion is the hydrogen gas that has been produced inside the battery case.
Most of the car batteries nowadays are lead-acid battery types, and these types produce hydrogen when they are being overcharged. Most of these batteries have ventilators on each cell to release the gas but not all hydrogen gas may be adequately released merely because of overcharging.
Hydrogen gas is an explosive substance with a density of above 4%. That is why there’s a need for proper ventilation on lead-acid batteries.
Car batteries usually have two types of ventilation. The first one is called the tight battery box, and the other one is a vast room.
If your car battery is inside a tight battery box, you have an option to use an explosion-proof blower that will eventually suck the hydrogen gas through that close battery box.
What Is An Explosion Proof Blower?
A car battery is where the energy for your vehicle is stored. Without it, you won’t be able to start your car or go anywhere else except your garage. Lead-acid batteries when charging emit hydrogen gas and that is the reason why a car battery needs to have ventilation.
But what if the car battery is inside a tight battery box? That is where the explosion-proof blower comes in as it sucks the air that is inside the battery case to prevent hydrogen and oxygen from combining (because this will result in an explosion). There are different types of an explosion-proof blower that you need to check before purchasing one.
– Battery Short-Circuiting. Another cause of car battery explosion is the battery short-circuiting. It happens when the water vapor from the boiling electrolyte builds-up and causes the battery terminals to heat up.
It also happens when your battery is kept in a not-so-secure place. A car battery should not be put along with other metal conductors like paper clips or spare change.
The contact with these metal conductors can spark a flame between both the positive and negative terminals of the car battery that will cause the short-circuit to happen.
– Car Battery Age. Car batteries have only a maximum of 2 to 4 years of age, and they will be put into the grave. Car batteries don’t last forever even if the car battery manufacturers labeled them “long-lasting” or “last a lifetime.” They will soon deteriorate and malfunction due to their age.
Lead acid batteries will eventually age, lose water, and their lead plates will soon bend on their own. We cannot do something about it even if we take good care of them for 3 or 4 years. They will eventually give up on us. These things will happen on the early stage as well (even less than a year) if we don’t know how to take good care of our car batteries.
Ways To Prevent A Car Battery From Exploding
Since there are so many reasons why a car battery explodes, we take time to research for steps that we can follow on how to prevent this from happening. For example, a car battery explodes once there is a hydrogen gas build up. But what happens next when hydrogen gas build up?
Hydrogen gas build up often happens when a car battery has been overcharged. So, to stop this from happening, we need to make sure that our car battery is not overcharging.
See the simple steps that are needed to follow in charging to avoid overcharging on lead-acid car batteries:
1. Disconnect the cables accordingly.
Make sure that you disconnect the negative cable first before unplugging all the other wires. Once you are done detaching the negative cable, you need to disconnect the red cable which represents the positive terminal of the car battery.
2. Review the status of your car battery.
You always need to take note of the water level of your lead-acid batteries. To verify this step, you need to visit a local workshop near you.
For other maintenance-free batteries (those that are not lead-acid), you need to make sure that the vent pipes are free from dirt.
Even if you are only charging the car battery for a short trip to a neighboring town, you need to make sure that it is functioning well. Make time to visit a workshop that is nearest to your place to make sure that there are no underlying issues on your car batteries.
3. Start charging the car battery with extreme caution.
If you decided to remove the car battery from the vehicle, you need to make sure that the battery is taken upright while carrying it to the location where you will charge it. If you decide to load it inside the vehicle, then all electrical devices should be turned off before connecting it to the charger.
The charger that you will be using should be connected to your car battery, regardless of the type of cell, before attaching it to the main outlet. You need first to join the red cable of the battery then the negative cable.
The next step depends on the type of battery: if it is lead-acid or a maintenance-free battery. You’ll surely have your user manual for the battery, and you will see the instructions on how to charge the car battery there.
4. Ending the charging process.
Before disconnecting the battery from the charger cable, you need to detach the charger first from the main outlet. If you separated the cell from the vehicle, the cable that needs to be connected first is the red cable. Then, once connected to the positive terminal, you can join the black wire to the negative one. (Check the right instruction).
If you have followed these steps above, you will surely get the battery charged not long after overnight. A maximum charging time is 24 hours only especially for trickle chargers. It is not advisable to leave the car battery charging for more than 24 hours.
It is also advisable to visit the nearest available workshop for a mechanic checkup on your lead-acid and maintenance free batteries (any types of battery needs a maintenance checkup).
Don’t be fooled by the “maintenance-free” labeled on those batteries. They still need a regular checkup from the mechanic as they are also bound to die after several years. It is essential to know when and where to go if you need your car batteries to get checked.
List down the nearest auto shop or workshops in your town and check for feedback from fellow car owners because all mechanics differ in expertise and experience.
You must be mindful on picking up yours to avoid unnecessary expense due to misdiagnosis of the main problem. Aside from this, a regular checkup can distinguish an underlying problem in the car battery especially if you are using it for more than a year.
What Happen When My Car Battery Explodes?
The ‘explosion’ word implies a serious indication whether it is on a car battery or the car itself. When a car battery explodes, you will notice it right away before it turns you into ashes.
Like laptop batteries and phone batteries, your car will not start, or there will be a problem on your car engine before you can even start it. To prevent this, you can check all the steps above to ensure the excellent status of your battery.
We found out the leading causes of car battery explosion and the steps that we can perform on how to avoid this from happening. First, we need to find out what could be the possible cause.
There are three leading causes of car battery explosion.
First, it is the hydrogen gas build up inside the battery case.
Second, the short-circuiting.
Third, the age of your battery.
To prevent these cases from happening, we need to make sure that the car battery is not being overcharged and we have a regular checkup with the nearest workshop in town.
Always remember that prevention is better than cure. If you know the problem beforehand, you will never let it happen to your car battery.