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Dangers of Defective Car Batteries
A news story out of Osceola, Florida from June brought up some concerns about the dangers of defective car batteries. According to the article, Latifa Lincoln and her young daughter died when they were involved in a single-car fender-bender along Florida’s Turnpike. What had the authorities baffled, was that there was no evidence in the vehicle to suggest they had sustained any injuries. When the officers arrived on the scene, a strong odor that was permeating from the vehicle and drew them back. Months of investigating determined that they died from Hydrogen Sulfide Intoxication, that was likely a defect from the car’s battery.
Most batteries are found under the hood of the car, but in this case the victim’s battery for her car was located under the drivers seat. Most people are probably unaware of the dangers of Hydrogen Sulfide Intoxication. Most people are also probably unaware that they have come into contact with this compound gas until it is too late. Some interesting facts on the gas are listed below, as well as other dangers of defective car batteries. What you should know and advice on when your car battery may be needing replacement.
Hydrogen Sulfide – What is it?
Hydrogen Sulfide is a compound that gives off a foul odor that is reminiscent of rotten eggs; it is heavier than air, very poisonous, corrosive, flammable, and explosive. This compound has actually been seen fuel oil. Though a small percentage of this gas compound is found in the human gut, when you are exposed to high concentrations, it can be lethal.
Dangers of Defective Car Batteries
I have a little bit of experience with defective car batteries. Earlier this summer, my 2003 Mazda Protege needed to be taken into the shop to be serviced. What I thought was just a routine service, turned into something else. It looked like my battery, which was replaced about three-years-ago, was leaking acid into the hood of the car and onto the rest of the engine. In this case, I was lucky that it was caught before anything happened before it was too late.
There have been some cases in which car batteries have caused a fire. This is because battery acid leaked onto the engine, sparking a flame and starting a fire. Which is not only hazardous, but can also be deadly. According to a report on car battery safety, “during the charging cycle of a battery, hydrogen gas is generated and accumulates in the head space above the electrolyte level, prior to venting.”
Hydrogen gas has a wide range of explosive limits. Furthermore, if the hydrogen is ignited inside the battery, then it typically blows off the top of the battery case, showering sulfuric acid in the immediate vicinity along with fragments of the battery case. The explosive energy generation is so rapid that the vents cannot relieve the pressure in time to prevent an explosion. A loose connection inside a battery can result in an electrical arc jumping across the gap, igniting the hydrogen. In this case, the loose connection was determined to be a result of a manufacturing defect.”
Car Battery Problems? When to Replace Your Battery
- When your “Check Engine” Light comes on
- this usually happens when your battery life is weak.
- Slow Engine Crank
- When you attempt to start the vehicle, the cranking of the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal to start.
- Sweating and Bloating of the Battery Case
- If your battery casing looks like this you can blame excessive heat for causing your battery case to swell, decreasing your battery life.
- Low Battery Fluid Level
- If the fluid level is below the lead plates inside, it’s time to have the battery and charging system tested.
- Battery Leak
- Leaking also causes the corrosion, the gunk from the leak may need to be removed; otherwise, your car may not start.
- Old Age
- Your battery can last well beyond three years but, at the very least, have its current condition inspected on a yearly basis when it reaches the three year mark.
Remember to always keep an eye out on the condition of your car. If you notice any leaks around your car, make note of it if the color seems different than normal. Also be take note if there is a different smell coming from you vehicle, as that can mean that something may be wrong and may indicate a leak – whether it is the battery or coming from another part of the engine.
In Need of a Car Crash Attorney? Contact us Today!
If you have lost a loved one due to a faulty car battery, or you yourself have suffered from health issues because of a defective and faulty car battery, contact us to discuss your case today. Consultations are free!
How Long Car Batteries Last
Making sure you take care of your car by scheduling normal maintenance is very important. Routine maintenance will not only help keep your car running smoothly, but it will also help prevent accidents. It is important to know the car battery life for the make and model of your car. I have learned the hard way that if you are not vigilant when it comes to taking care of your car, there can be some repercussions. Today’s blog post is about the typical life of a car battery and how to check and change your car battery on your own. If you are suffering from injuries due to an accident caused by a defective car battery, do not hesitate to contact an accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys. Consultations are free!
Accident Lawyer | Car Battery Life
When it comes to your car battery life, it will greatly depend on how long it can hold a charge and if it is capable of being recharged. Once the battery cannot be recharged, it is dead and needs replacement.
There are a few things that can affect the life of your battery. From humidity, to temperature, and other environmental factors. Or even just good old wear-and-tear. Under perfect conditions, you can expect that your car battery life will last for about six years. The average being two to five years. Living in warmer climate will increase damage to a battery due to sulfation and water loss.
Extending Battery Life
The best way to ensure an extended battery life is to take good care of it. This means that you want to keep it fully charged. Meaning, do not leave lights on or accessories plugged in when you are not in the car or when it is not necessary to do so. When you go in for routine maintenance, make sure they check your battery life.
It is recommended in Southern California to change your battery every three to four years. This has a lot to do with how warm it gets throughout the year. As well as the fact that batteries can also age if they are simply sitting in your garage. Most, if not all batteries will have a stamp on them that tells you the month and year the battery was made. This is so you will have an idea of when it needs to be replaced. When in doubt, always check the owners manual.
Determining When to Change the Battery
Not all car batteries will fail like mine did in my last car. It simply died. Ignition wouldn’t turn over, etc. Here are some helpful tips on determining when to change the battery:
- If you notice acid leaking or corrosion building up on the terminals;
- Corrosion was a major sign for me on my last car. The battery hadn’t been changed in nearly seven years and corrosion kept building up – even when remove;
- The warranty the battery comes with can also affect longevity;
- Batteries usually come with 1-3 year warranties. A battery with a longer warranty usually means that it is build to last longer and has more power;
- The best way to make sure your battery is in good shape is to test it regularly;
- You also want to clean the outside terminals and connected wires on the battery;
Some mechanics recommend that you use a toothbrush with water and baking soda to clean around the terminals of your battery. Turn the car off and remove the negative and positive clamps. After you scrub the terminals, reconnect the clamps; starting with the positive terminal.
Checking Your Car Battery
There are ways that you can check your car battery life on your own. Here are some helpful tips:
Using a Voltmeter
- Turn off the ignition;
- Open the hood of your care;
- Remove the battery’s positive terminal cover;
- Check and clean if necessary;
- Connect a voltmeter’s positive lead to the positive terminal on your battery;
- The positive lead on the voltmeter will usually be red;
- Attach the negative voltmeter lead to the negative battery terminal;
- Check the voltmeter;
- if the battery is in good condition, the voltage should be between 12.4 and 12.7 volts;
- a reading lower than 12.4 bolts means that your battery needs to be charged;
- if you come up with a reading of lower than 12.2 volts “trickle charge”” the battery. This us a slow charge – recheck afterwards;
- if the reading is over 12.9 volts, there is excessive voltage. To fix this, you can turn on your high beams to remove any excessive voltage surface charge. Over voltage can be an indication that the alternator is overcharging the battery.
Using a Power Probe
You will follow the same steps as you would when using a voltmeter, just with a power probe. However, after you remove the battery terminals and connect the probe’s leads, you will then:
- connect the tip of the probe to the positive battery terminal;
- check the probe for voltage reading;
- check the power probe reading;
- if your battery is in good condition, the voltage will be between 12.4 and 12.7 volts;
The most important thing to remember is, that like humans, our cars need to be maintained and taken care of. Making sure you are vigilant about routine maintenance will ensure that you will be safer on the road.
Suffering from Injuries? Contact an Accident Lawyer Today!
You should never have to fight alone if you are suffering from injuries due to an accident that was caused by another. At Silverthorne Attorneys, we have years of experience going up against insurance companies. We have secured multiple seven-figure settlements for our clients. If you are suffering from injuries, you are not alone. Contact us today to speak with an accident attorney in our office. Consultations are free!