My 1997 Ford TB 4.6 battery just took a dump. No complaints as it was original equipment. The battery was maintenance free, which means to me water cannot be added.
Just called the local Ford dealer for a replacement. I told the parts guy I wanted exactly the same battery (maintenance free), sure, come on in we have it.
Parts guy says Ford hasn't made a non maintenance battery since 1994. Shame on me, I haven't bought a battery since that time. Place was closing so I purchased the battery and took it home. Upon further inspection, sure enough you can open the vent caps, water can be added.
OK guys, I have the flame suit on, what gives?
The definition of a"Maintenance Free Battery .." is one that can be mounted
in any position. That make most battery maker claim to a "Maintenance Free
.." invalid, as those batteries have free acid and can only be
mounted in an upright position. The only true "Maintenance Free Battery"
available for general purchase are the Optima brand, and Optima types, those
do not have free
acid. Those other so called "Maintenance Free Battery" are really "Low
You are better off with a Battery that allows you to pop the vent caps and
check the electrolyte levels after the first year, especially if you live in
a hot place or drive over rough roads. Otherwise, once the electrolyte runs
low and exposes the plates, you will never get that battery to hold a full
original equipment. The battery was maintenance >free, which means to me
water cannot be added.
I wanted exactly the same battery (maintenance >free), sure, come on in we
Shame on me, I haven't bought a battery since that >time. Place was closing
so I purchased the battery and took it home. Upon further inspection, sure
enough you can open >the vent caps, water can be added.
Incorrect A maintenance free battery is a battery that cannot have
electroloyte topped up. There are MANY batteries that fall into this
category, and most are junk. Most manufacturers have gone back to "low
maintenance" batteries, which are also generally considered
maintenance free, as they "generally" do not require addition of water
during their normal life span. On many of them removing the access
covers is difficult.
These batteries CAN outlast the sealed batteries if conditions cause
loss of water from the battery.
AGM batteries, and Gell Cells are all position batteries and can NOT
be serviced. They are generally more robust than standard wet
batteries - and the spiral cell AGMs like the optima are particularly
good in that respect.
Wow, my 97 bird battery died one week after the warranty expired. 3
Years if I recall. Ford wanted way to much for the replacement. I've
had very good luck with Wal Mart batteries. Lifetime warranty, pro
rated and cheaper.
You need to time it better, or just be lucky like me. Mine went poof on the
last day of the 1-year "free replacement" period, before the 7-year "pro-rated"
warrantee kicked in. The store I originally bought it from was only 6 blocks
away, they closed in 20 minutes, and it was Friday the 13th. A quick jump
start to get there, and a new battery installed (no charge).
It's nice to get a break every decade or so. :)
Thanks to all that answered my question. I just wanted to replace my
battery with the exact same one that came originally with the car. No such
luck, guess Motorcraft doesn't make this type.
Being "brand loyal" the battery that I purchased will be satisfactory. So I
have to pop the caps from time to time. Living in South Florida, weather
dictates that. Ended up with the Motorcraft Max Battery, guaranteed 3
years, pro rated for 100 months. Original price 107.93, but with service
With car 7 years old in May, first battery. No complaints........
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