CAUTION If it becomes necessary to remove the battery breather tube when performing any of the following procedures, make sure to route the tube correctly during installation to prevent acid from spilling on parts.

Checking Electrolyte Level

The battery is the heart of the electrical system. It should be checked and serviced as indicated. Most electrical system troubles can be attributed to neglect of this vital component.

In order to service the electrolyte level correctly, it is necessary to remove the battery from the frame. On batteries with transparent cases, the electrolyte level should be maintained between the two marks on the battery case. See Figure 5 and Figure 6. On other batteries, remove the battery caps and observe the level in the individual battery cells. If the electrolyte level is low, it's a good idea to remove the battery completely so that it can be thoroughly cleaned, serviced and checked. Refer to Figure 7 (typical), for this procedure.

1. Remove all necessary components to gain access to the battery terminals.

2. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery.

3. Disconnect the battery positive cable from the battery.

4. Slide the battery out of the box.

CAUTION Be careful not to spill battery electrolyte on painted or polished surfaces. The liquid is highly corrosive and will damage the finish. If it is spilled, wash it off immediately with soapy water and thoroughly rinse with clean water.

5. Remove the caps from the battery cells and add distilled water to correct the level. Never add electrolyte (acid) or tap water to correct the level.

6. After the level has been corrected and the battery allowed to stand for a few minutes, check the specific gravity of the electrolyte in each cell with a hydrometer (Figure 8). Follow the manufacturer's instructions for reading the instrument. See Battery Testing in this chapter.

7. After the battery has been refilled, recharged or replaced, install it by reversing these removal steps.


After the battery has been removed from the bike, check it for corrosion or excessive dirt. The top of the battery in particular should be kept clean. Acid film and dirt will permit current to flow between the terminals, causing the battery to discharge slowly.

For best results when cleaning, first rinse off the top of the battery with plenty of clean water (avoid letting water enter the cells). Then carefully wash the case, both terminals and the battery box with a solution of baking soda and tap water (about 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a 1-lb. coffee can of water is a good ratio). Keep the cells sealed tight with the filler plugs so that none of the cleaning solution enters a cell as this would neutralize the cell's electrolyte and seriously damage the battery. Brush the solution on liberally with a stiff bristle parts cleaning brush. Using a strong spray from a garden hose, clean all the residue from the solution off the battery and all painted surfaces.


Hydrometer testing is the best way to check battery condition. Use a hydrometer with numbered graduations from 1.100 to 1.300 rather than one with just color-coded bands. To use the hydrometer, squeeze the rubber ball, insert the tip into the cell and release the ball. Draw enough electrolyte to float the weighted float inside the hydrometer. Note the number in line with the electrolyte surface; this is the specific gravity for this cell. Return the electrolyte to the cell from which it came. The specific gravity of the electrolyte in each battery cell is an excellent indication of that cell's condition. A fully charged cell will read 1.260-1.280 while a cell in good condition reads from 1.225-1.250 and anything below 1.125 is practically dead.

DIY Battery Repair

DIY Battery Repair

You can now recondition your old batteries at home and bring them back to 100 percent of their working condition. This guide will enable you to revive All NiCd batteries regardless of brand and battery volt. It will give you the required information on how to re-energize and revive your NiCd batteries through the RVD process, charging method and charging guidelines.

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