VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone advise how to check whether the electrolyte level is correct in a Varta battery. Handbook talks about a magic eye but the Varta battery does not seem to have one . It has removable screw caps over each cell and on one of the caps is what I suppose is some sort of dip stick. It is like a small plastic spade and in the spade end there is a tiny green ball inside an inclined groove. The ball though never seems to move from the bottom of the incline unless skaken vigorously. Tried fully immersing dipstick in a cup of water but still the green ball did not move unless shaken. Have never come across this type of battery level indicator before. Can anyone explain how it is supposed to indicate the electrolyte level and how to tell when the level is correct.

If it rmakes any difference and for those who might understand there is a whole host of numbers on the battery viz VARTA DE V40
1J0 915 105 AG 12V 380A 80Ah 640A EN/SAE. Vehicle is a 2500cc TDI 88 BHP camper van conversion. It is the original battery sopplied with the vehicle from new in 2002 and always starts the engine OK so no complaints on that score. In the past have very very occasionally put a little distilled water in each cell and just hoped for the best but if anyone can explain the correct procedure I would be obliged.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,602 Posts
Can anyone advise how to check whether the electrolyte level is correct in a Varta battery. Handbook talks about a magic eye but the Varta battery does not seem to have one . It has removable screw caps over each cell and on one of the caps is what I suppose is some sort of dip stick. It is like a small plastic spade and in the spade end there is a tiny green ball inside an inclined groove. The ball though never seems to move from the bottom of the incline unless skaken vigorously. Tried fully immersing dipstick in a cup of water but still the green ball did not move unless shaken. Have never come across this type of battery level indicator before. Can anyone explain how it is supposed to indicate the electrolyte level and how to tell when the level is correct.

If it rmakes any difference and for those who might understand there is a whole host of numbers on the battery viz VARTA DE V40
1J0 915 105 AG 12V 380A 80Ah 640A EN/SAE. Vehicle is a 2500cc TDI 88 BHP camper van conversion. It is the original battery sopplied with the vehicle from new in 2002 and always starts the engine OK so no complaints on that score. In the past have very very occasionally put a little distilled water in each cell and just hoped for the best but if anyone can explain the correct procedure I would be obliged.
As a general rule the electrolyte should cover the plates by about 5 to 10 mm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. That is what I used to do with batteries of yesteryear. I even had a special distilled water bottle which had a valve in the nozzle which when pressed on to the top of the plates allowed in water to a depth of 1/4 inch above the plates and then stopped the flow. Not sure what happened to it so have tried to buy a replacement only to receive blank stares in accessary shops - never heard of them mate - modern batteries sealed for life and do not need topping up etc etc. They still sell bottles of deionised/distilled water though.Would anyone know whether such bottles are still obtainable. Think the firms name on the bottle was 'Tudor'

In more modern batteries though tops of plates cannot always be seen either because of the design of the battery or where the vehicle manufacturer decides to locate it or a combination of both. This is the problem I have with the Varta battery hence my thought that the dip stick was some sort of level indicater but with no instructions how it is supposed to work or be used. I can see a liquid surface in each cell (using a torch & mirror) but whether this is 1mm 5mm 10mm or even 15 or 20mm above the plates have no idea. Anyone any idea how the dipstick thing is supposed to work?

There is a similar problem with the liesure battery although a different make - a Hifase Marine battery 110 Ah. Again I can see a liquid surface but depth unknown. Can also see a small bar across in each cell (about 2mm wide) presumably across the top of the plates. Whether the liquid should be up to the top of this bar , 5mm above or whatever no idea and no instructions.

If anyone familiar with batteries can offer any further advice this would be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,602 Posts
If there is a bar across the top of the plates then that will be the level. I think the ball type thing you have is probably a vent.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top