# Ran out of water, died, and now won't charge

I let my 2003 GEM run out of water in the batteries, and now it shows -15 and won’t charge. It said 43% charged but now it says 28% is there anything I can do or do I need new Batteries

Did all your batteries run out of water? What is the voltage on each battery?

I just tested 2 batteries and got 11 to 12 volts reading

each battery says 11 to 12 volts, but yesterday when I looked at the charging clock it said 43% now it says 16% so instead of going up it is going down, and yes they all needed a lot of water
---- Jay64 electricforum@discoursemail.com wrote:

Just checking, but when you put water in, you put distilled, right? Do you have a 12v car charger?

Also, can you measure the voltage more precisely? 11.xx preferably. 11.6 should be your battery Low Voltage Cutoff. Also, I’m just assuming your total pack voltage is 48, but can you confirm? And how many were 11 volts and how many were 12? More than likely the batteries were badly damaged. If they were, it will be very hard, if not impossible, to bring them back to their original performance. But there are a few things you could probably do to recover them a bit and might be interesting to experiment around with them. Might be able to at least get them to start charging again and get a few miles per charge. Not ideal, but better than not running at all. If you want to try to do some recovery, I would suggest you go get a relatively cheap “dumb” charger from an auto store. Should be able to get one for about \$25-30. Try to charge each battery individually up to full charge. If they are too low the charger might not kick on. If some are charging and some are not, a little trick is to disconnect the serial connections between the batteries and hook the low one to a high one in parallel That will balance the voltage between the 2 batteries, hopefully bringing the lower one up high enough to then take a charge from the charger. If the 2 voltages are really far from each other you might get a bit of a spark when you first touch the cable to them. When you can get all of them to take a charge, try to charge them all individually to full charge so that they are balanced, then hook them back up in series. Once you get them to take a charge but they don’t have as much range as before, you can try a desufurizing charger. Sometimes that can help to zap the plates clean. I’ve heard mixed results with those.

no i used reg water, and the charger is built in to the car. Now the regulater says 40% and it is flashing red
---- Jay64 electricforum@discoursemail.com wrote:

Whenever you refill a lead acid battery in the future use distilled. Other water will have minerals in it that will bugger up your plates in the battery. I know that you have a built in charger, but that is a whole pack charger. Which will look at the total voltage of the whole pack and the High Voltage Cutoff and the Low Voltage Cutoff will be based on that. But you can have a decent total pack voltage and still have a bad battery that loses it’s capacity very quickly and once that goes down, then the whole pack will reach lvc eventhough many of the batteries still have a good amount of charge in them. Also if one battery starts lower, the hvc won’t cut off the charger until the whole pack reaches the set voltage, but if one battery is really low, then the high batteries will over charge while waiting for the low battery to catch up. So you want to individually charge each battery up to full charge, which is why I recommended getting a cheap 12v charger.

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the 6 batteries have a 72-volt full charge, right now my meter reads 50 % but the light is red which I think means it stoped charging so i will get a 12-volt charger and charge each one to full capacity
---- Jay64 electricforum@discoursemail.com wrote:

Try to avoid any chargers that say "smart charger"on them. Those are the ones that are more likely to not charge if the voltage too low. Remember 12v is nominal, they charge up to 14v+. Good luck.

I can get 6 new batteries for 120. each, the make is Duracell Ultra BCI Group 31M deep cycle SL131MDC would these be ok to replace the Trojans that are in my car now?
---- Jay64 electricforum@discoursemail.com wrote:

In general Duracel isn’t going to be as good of quality as the Trojan, so a new Trojan is going to be better than a new Duracel. However, a new Duracel is going to be way better than a dead Trojan. So replacing all of them would be a way to go and it should solve your problem, unless there is also something else wrong with your charger. Personally, I would try to revive all the batteries and see what they do. If they charge up individually, I would cycle them a few times and see how they work, measuring top and bottom voltage numbers. I’m sure that at least a few probably won’t behave that well. At that point I would replace the ones that aren’t performing well. Maybe not have to replace the whole pack right away. OR maybe you will find that you still need to replace the whole pack, but you have a better understanding of your batteries. But them again, I like to tinker. If you just want it done and don’t need to fuss with it, replacing them would be a good solution.

In checking the batteries I found a rusted out wire terminal completely disconnected from the last battery, put on a new terminal and the meter is charging up to 86% in 1 hour, thanks for your help maybe get more time on these batteries.

---- Jay64 electricforum@discoursemail.com wrote:

Cool. That’s cool to hear, glad you caught that. Might want to still make sure your batteries balance voltage since they are currently unbalanced.

Drove the car last night, ran good, when i got home the meter said 37%, pluged in the charger and this morning it says CC and is flashing, is this normal, and what does the CC code mean?

---- Jay64 electricforum@discoursemail.com wrote: