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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have heard from friends and forum posts here batteries that are ok one day and die the next. I opened my hood yesterday and saw a bunch of Sulphate corrosion (blue white powder) on my positive battery terminal. On closer inspection, I can see the battery is leaking fluid on top which is reacting with the positive terminal it's closest to.

Question, is this normal to have a little leakage or is this a sign the battery is on the way out? Anyway to tell if this is the original battery that came with the vehicle? Looks to be Toyota.

If so mine is a 2012 so it's gotta be at least 5 years old at this point.







Used some baking soda solution to fizzle it off cleanly but now I'm wondering about it..
 

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I'm still amazed at the short life of batteries in hotter cities, countries. We get 7-10 yrs here routinely but it's not always 95 Fahrenheit. :)

Check the fluid level of your battery and add if necessary. The battery could have gotten hot and spilled out some fluid or maybe it's being overcharged. Having the battery load tested asap would be a good idea.
If you don't want to see anymore blue/white crust on your terminals , clean them well and tighten the clamps. Then spray them with a thick substance like the green cans of rust check or even vaseline. Mine never get like that anymore.
 
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Acid leaks at automotive storage battery terminals result from battery post seals at the upper terminals at the battery case top which allow acid to creep up past the seals by what is like capillary action. It generally is a sign of a battery aging but does not necessarily indicate that a battery is failing. As Dr. Dyno suggests it may be worthwhile to run a battery capacity test (aka cranking test) to assess the battery's overall condition. Some auto parts stores will do this for no cost.
 
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I'm still amazed at the short life of batteries in hotter cities, countries. We get 7-10 yrs here routinely but it's not always 95 Fahrenheit. :)

Check the fluid level of your battery and add if necessary. The battery could have gotten hot and spilled out some fluid or maybe it's being overcharged. Having the battery load tested asap would be a good idea.
If you don't want to see anymore blue/white crust on your terminals , clean them well and tighten the clamps. Then spray them with a thick substance like the green cans of rust check or even vaseline. Mine never get like that anymore.
I've used Vaseline for years. Works great
 

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Reading the label, yours is an OEM Toyota battery made by Johnson Controls, which is about the only battery maker in North America who brands most batteries. Have it checked, but plan on replacing it sooner rather than later. Most report around 4 years on original battery, so you're likely due. Now if you had the OEM Toyota made by Panasonic, they can last years longer. Unfortunately, Panasonic not sold in USA.
 
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I have a 2011 and my battery died without any warning. I cant complain! It lasted over 5 years.

If you have a advance auto parts in your area they have a 35% Off Regular Price Online Orders (up to $50 off) when you apply promotional code WDE357 at checkout.

Offer valid from 8/17/17 - 8/23/17 for online orders only
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone, I appreciate all your help.

Since it's looking like it's the original I'm going to start saving for a new battery. Maybe I can find something lighter weight and sealed this time around that's not terribly expensive.

I believe Panasonic is the corporate energy storage company that is partnered with Tesla to create their battery technologies and foundries. My past Miatas had their battery in the trunk and they were both sealed types which I believe were coincidentally Panasonic as well. It would be an interesting idea to purchase a sealed battery and install it in the stow compartment of the Rav4 to better balance the weight.

Other than getting it checked which I'll get around to soon, any suggestions?
 

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It looks like you already cleaned the terminal post and inner battery cable clamp with a wire brush and tightened. I had similar corrosion in winter, cleaned it up, had it tested and it checked good. Still going strong, rated over 550 CCA, with almost to 5 years on a middle-of-the-road priced Johnson Controls Les Schwab brand.

You might consider a plug-in digital volt meter to monitor the comings and goings of the battery. I think most auto parts stores have them. Here's a cheapo might be good for the short term:
https://www.amazon.com/Cigarette-Lighter-Voltage-Digital-Voltmeter/dp/B0092KVYGI/ref=sr_1_4?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1503271242&sr=1-4&keywords=digital+voltmeter+cigarette+lighter+plug

if you feel you must push it to the bitter end, you MIGHT get some warning before you are left stranded somewhere. My RAV gave me a hint: it normally fires up nearly instantly with a couple of cranks of the starter at most. Just before battery died, it was about double that and slightly slower. Next day--dead.
 

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BATTERY Maintenance:
a) Terminals protected with Corrosion Preventative products lead to increased starting power for batteries.
b) Oil-based compounds that never dries out or evaporates, leads to an impenetrable seal.
c) I only use American made AGM Batteries (Absorbed Glass Mat) technology.
http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/motomaster-eliminator-ultra-agm-automotive-batteries-0103420p.html

^^ Clean battery clamps & top posts, & just spray FLUID FILM (wax-oil) on areas, subject to former acid corrosion. I always have a used can of F-F, so I don't go out and buy anything specific.
- backing soda & water is a good earlier step, to neutralize acid after a wire brush treatment
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So.. I've been doing several hours of battery research today, narrowing down what this battery situation is going to cost. I've looked at Consumer Reports. I've done some web searching. I've read through the forum here on the sticky thread. Read other forums about their battery choices. I used to have an Optima Yellow Top and it was such a solid battery but that was over 10 years ago, I always thought I'd own another one if one of my vehicles ever needed a new battery. But now that I'm in that situation years later it seems these days competition has caught up and Optima quality is maybe not what they used to be since they moved their factories out of country (although to be fair there are many AGM misconceptions out there and I even came across a few while reading various forums that somewhat discount the whole "Optima quality is now bad" chorus).

These are kind of my conclusions:

-Optima Yellow Top or not I'm still going to go AGM just like you mentioned Beaumont, they're just superior batteries and most brand new vehicles now include them as OEM for multiple reasons.

-There are only a couple battery manufacturers and they make nearly all the batteries and just change the sticker for each retailer. Optima for example is owned by Johnson Controls, the same company that made our Toyota OEM batteries (though Optima designs and manufactures theirs), they also own Interstate.

-Duralast, Die Hard are rebranded Deka batteries made by East Penn which is #2. Very highly rated by forums and by Consumer Reports, also not overly expensive. This is the route I will probably take.

-It appears most group 34R batteries will fit/replace our group 24F in terms of width and length but not height, a spacer is required in most cases to increase the height of 34R batteries to that of stock 24F brackets. Nearly all the battery finders (which probably use most of the same purchased auto information) say a group 34 is a replacement for our Ravs which is interesting. Seems a 24F is sort of an oddity unless you're going the inexpensive cheaper Napa/Walmart/Advanced Auto etc 'whichever battery' route.

-A group 35 can also fit although it is smaller in each dimension, this is what Optima suggests for our vehicles.
 

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IEDesign ^^ your absolutely correct, OPTIMA is now Mexican made junk.
- back when they were made in GA, NC, or SC (?)...I had 2 that lasted 9 years each
- their quality immediately suffered, while the warranty was watered down
- I refused to buy an Optima Yellow Top, for a decade now / not worth the high $$
- some are failing before 2 years are up
- if I need a decent battery cheap, for a vehicle I'm selling...I use USA made Walmart ones

BTW - I also had to put a smaller group battery in our RAV4, since the Canadian Tire Corporation, doesn't make enough case choices.
- to over come a 1" shorter battery case height
- I cut off a 5/4x6" cedar deck board, for the new battery to sit on
- elevate the shorter battery, so the cables could reach the top posts

My install pictures here:
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/99-4-3-mechanical/256810-quick-battery-change.html
 

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I usually get my batteries at Walmart but don't specifically look for a long warranty. The free replacement period of the warranty is all that really counts. 36 months is common. At 37 months on a 60-month battery it goes prorated which started back when new so a $100 battery goes from free replacement to worth 23/60 X 100 = $38 toward an new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
IEDesign ^^ your absolutely correct, OPTIMA is now Mexican made junk.
- back when they were made in GA, NC, or SC (?)...I had 2 that lasted 9 years each
- their quality immediately suffered, while the warranty was watered down
- I refused to buy an Optima Yellow Top, for a decade now / not worth the high $$
- some are failing before 2 years are up
- if I need a decent battery cheap, for a vehicle I'm selling...I use USA made Walmart ones

BTW - I also had to put a smaller group battery in our RAV4, since the Canadian Tire Corporation, doesn't make enough case choices.
- to over come a 1" shorter battery case height
- I cut off a 5/4x6" cedar deck board, for the new battery to sit on
- elevate the shorter battery, so the cables could reach the top posts

My install pictures here:
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/99-4-3-mechanical/256810-quick-battery-change.html
Like the link, couldn't read what group your new smaller battery is. Is the board holding up?

I might try and find some sort of auto battery stand but we'll see. Will probably have to wait until I have a battery in hand and right now I'm an adult who's gone back to university so my funds are finite. Hoping the battery doesn't just crap out on me randomly in the next couple weeks.
 

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I replace my battery every 4 years. They do not cost that much and it's cheap insurance against it dying at the most inopportune time (Murphy's Law).
 

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The last battery I replaced on my seldom driven car went 11 years. Other than the little use I attribute its long life to the mild temps we have. I have heard many accounts of RAV batteries dying at the 4-5 year mark. Falling flat on their faces with NO warning. Being a cheap ******* and one who does not like to waste resources I do not replace batteries till they are DEAD. To insure that the wife and family are not stranded due to a dead battery, I keep a LiFePO4 type jump starter in the car.

Our Rav is still on its factory battery. 5 years and 70K miles and still going strong.
 

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The OEM Johnson Controls battery in my '11 RAV is still going strong in '17, despite my servicing dealer claiming that it was about to fail 2 years ago. Wanted $100 to replace it. My load test then showed that it was OK but of course not at new spec. Still tests about the same. When replacing it will be with a private-labeled premium Exide with a 3-year free replacement warranty, often on sale locally for $69.
 

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The last battery I replaced on my seldom driven car went 11 years. Other than the little use I attribute its long life to the mild temps we have. I have heard many accounts of RAV batteries dying at the 4-5 year mark.
If you ever move to TX or Arizona you'll be fortunate to have it make the 3 year mark. I'm on my 4th battery for my '08 Limited and it's replacement time is coming up rapidly.

If so mine is a 2012 so it's gotta be at least 5 years old at this point.
Replace it NOW, you're on borrowed time already.
 

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Like the link, couldn't read what group your new smaller battery is. Is the board holding up?

I might try and find some sort of auto battery stand but we'll see. Will probably have to wait until I have a battery in hand and right now I'm an adult who's gone back to university so my funds are finite. Hoping the battery doesn't just crap out on me randomly in the next couple weeks.
I had to change my original battery out, in the driveway / with winter weather, 10 degrees below freezing.
- I'd work under the hood a little & back in the house, to warm up...sipping hot coffee
- just wanted to get it done ASAP, my fingers were cold out there / changing to longer battery cables, wasn't an option
- cedar board was a cutoff, from a 5/4 x 6" deck plank / 1" finish planed thickness, all that was needed
- mine was a Group 35, closest I could find...in limited AGM selection (Canadian supplier)

^^ Non-OEM Battery was short 1" on height (and needed a booster board) plus it was also 1" shorter in length...no big deal.
- cedar booster board, see in photo / after 1.5 years, still looks like new...and a Free mod.
 

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