The battery for our RV has cracked open and the fluid has run out. What caused this to happen?

Stony Mountain, MB

If batteries are left in a discharged state during a cold winter, the electrolyte, a solution of water and sulfuric acid, can freeze because the acid content has been absorbed by the negative plate. When this water freezes it expands and destroys the plastic case, which means it’s time for a a new battery. You also need to make sure that it’s fully charged before parking the RV for the winter.

When batteries have too much current drawn in a short period, such as cranking an engine and it does not start right away, the battery will produce a large quantity of hydrogen gas inside the case. Normally, small vents in the caps allow this gas to dissipate during normal use. If the gas builds up inside and a spark occurs near the battery, the battery could explode. If your engine does not catch right away, it’s best to leave it for a few minutes to allow any gas to escape and for the starting motor to cool down.

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