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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I changed the oil and rotated the tires on my car this weekend.
I also deleted the snorkel. That's in another thread.

In the process, I discovered that my battery was leaking, and had been for a while. There's lead sulfate splatters all over the inner fender, and there are rust bubbles on one of the cross members.

My car was built in May 2011 and has 44,500 miles on it.
Check your batteries. Better to find out now than get stranded.

 

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I changed the oil and rotated the tires on my car this weekend.
I also deleted the snorkel. That's in another thread.

In the process, I discovered that my battery was leaking, and had been for a while. There's lead sulfate splatters all over the inner fender, and there are rust bubbles on one of the cross members.

My car was built in May 2011 and has 44,500 miles on it.
Check your batteries. Better to find out now than get stranded.

Yes, you need a new battery quickly.
And checked charging System.
 

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I would pull out the battery, the battery box and what ever else there is below it checking for damages. I recently had a battery leaking a lot of acid which ate my transmission shift linkages as well as the hydraulic line between the master/slave clutch cylinders.
 

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The Ford Focus has a Smart Charge charging system. This is a special charging system.
You can not charge the battery with standard charger. These destroy the battery.

But you're right. Check the charging system and alternator.
You have Start/Stop system in your car ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Ford Focus has a Smart Charge charging system. This is a special charging system.
You can not charge the battery with standard charger. These destroy the battery.

But you're right. Check the charging system and alternator.
You have Start/Stop system in your car ???
No start/stop.
I have been checking the voltage using Test Mode while I've been driving.
My voltage consistently shows 13.5V or above while driving.

FWIW, test mode is incredibly distracting while driving. Especially when you go to Gauge Sweep, LED test, or the Test Pattern.
 

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No, but now I'm paranoid. I'll try to test the alternator this week.
Don't be paranoid.

The charging system is quite intelligent.

It is highly unlikely that you would have a problem without some kind of notification.
 

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Don't be paranoid.

The charging system is quite intelligent.

It is highly unlikely that you would have a problem without some kind of notification.

The leaking battery is your notification. It is very possible the battery is simply defective but I would want to rule out overcharge.

Ask yourself this. If this battery were in an aircraft, would you certify the charging system flightworthy based on autonomous diagnostics alone? I grant you a car won't fall out of the sky but sulfuric acid can do significant damage to the frame.
 

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The leaking battery is your notification. It is very possible the battery is simply defective but I would want to rule out overcharge.

Ask yourself this. If this battery were in an aircraft, would you certify the charging system flightworthy based on autonomous diagnostics alone? I grant you a car won't fall out of the sky but sulfuric acid can do significant damage to the frame.
In this case, you should take my statement at face value.

Considering that the charging system is "intelligent" and operates in a closed loop manner, it really is highly unlikely that the battery was being overcharged.
The charging control and the fault detection (two entirely separate things) would have to malfunction simultaneously.
I'd put my money on a defective battery being the culprit.
 

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The Ford Focus has a Smart Charge charging system. This is a special charging system.
You can not charge the battery with standard charger. These destroy the battery.

But you're right. Check the charging system and alternator.
You have Start/Stop system in your car ???
Uh oh. So I shouldn't use my Harbor Freight battery charger on the Focus battery?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In this case, you should take my statement at face value.

Considering that the charging system is "intelligent" and operates in a closed loop manner, it really is highly unlikely that the battery was being overcharged.
The charging control and the fault detection (two entirely separate things) would have to malfunction simultaneously.
I'd put my money on a defective battery being the culprit.
I'm betting on a faulty plastic weld at the front of the battery that caused the goop to spill out.

I will however keep a closer eye on my battery and try to address the rust bubbles next time the engine diaper is off.
 

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@lumpthar

The alternator always supplies a higher voltage than the battery itself has.

Do you have any installed something later? e.g. Daytime running lights, amplifier or other headlamp?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@lumpthar

The alternator always supplies a higher voltage than the battery itself has.
Yup. That's how charging works.

Do you have any installed something later? e.g. Daytime running lights, amplifier or other headlamp?
Nope. Nothing other than stock.

I have about a dozen computers and a radio and gauge/console backlights and a fan on nearly all the time.
But, so does everyone else.

I think it was just a bad battery.
 

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Yes. Do not.
The battery will still be loaded but not fully charged.

You need like this AC adapter / charger
Interesting. Quality not withstanding, and mine is a much different model,
http://www.harborfreight.com/10250-amp-12v-manual-charger-with-engine-start-60581.html but has the same functionality.

Has worked for years on all my vehicles' batteries. 10A automatic charge, or 2A manual charge. (Not sure how well the up-to 50A start booster works).

What is different from our Focus group 96R batteries than say my Escort's group 58 battery, or my F150's group whatever -- other than the fact the Focus may have a more sophisticated charging system, and > output alternator/generator?

Whenever I use the charger, the vehicles are off.
 

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You must use a charger for silver-calcium batteries. A standard charger can also work, but a Silver-calcium battery (in Ford Focus Germany (and not only here)) is not really fully charged.

Please look Wikipedia
 
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