Smoking battery

I got into my car this morning, to go work. Nice day, I reeled my sunroof open, and got ready to leave my street. All the electric things in my car stopped working. It’s a relatively new car (to me)- '94 golf vw called an Europe model here in, well, Europe.

Anyway, I smelled a very electric-y smell, and when I got the hood open, the battery was smoking. I shut the hood, and rolled it back to the parking place. The Battery is extremely hot to the touch, and was blowing out steam for about 1/2 hour. The dealer told me to jump the thing, but I said there was too much of a danger of it exploding to do that.

Currently, it’s hood is up, and we’re letting it cool down.

I’m freaked out, and wondering if I should call ADAC. It is a 12v 44AH 360 A “Artic” battery.

Yea, let it cool down. It likely will need to be replaced, even if it was not at fault, it is likely cooked now.

My guess is you have a bad short somewhere. You should try and find that before you consider replacing the battery. It is possible it was just the battery. They can develop an internal short, but I suspect it was not.

So find the cause, fix it and replace the battery. That may do it for a 1994. However it could have done some other damage. It will just need to be checked out.

Good Luck

Stay away from the battery! It may explode. DO NOT try to jump start the car. Wait until everything has cooled off, then have the car towed to a mechanic.

The battery is most likely shot, and will need to be replaced, but let someone else do it. You don’t want to mess around with this.

There should only be a couple of wires coming off the battery. If they are pulling enough current to destroy the battery, I’d expect the wires to be very warm – probably enough to burn or singe or bubble the insulation. Because starting loads are so high, the battery, starter wire, and ground wire are designed to handle very large currents so I’m a bit skeptical that a defect outside the battery could cause your problem. But I’m not always right.

If the wires are OK, I think it is more likely that the battery self destructed and the car is fine.

I don’t think that jump starting would be a good idea unless of course there is someone you have a grudge against and you can sucker them into hooking up the jumpers from their car to yours. Hint: Use their jumpers if possible as you may very well melt the jumpers. And try to keep the jumpers off plastic parts on your car as they may get melted when the fireworks start.

Might want to check the fuses. I would expect them to be intact. If they aren’t, I’d think twice about just slapping a new battery in the vehicle and turning the key.

The battery suffered an internal short, a positive plate touched a negative plate and that was that…Anything external to the battery would have blown a fuse or fusible link if that kind of current was being drawn. Replace the battery and drive on…If your battery was going to explode, it would have done it by now…

I would check for a bad voltage regulator. Replace the battery, then start the engine and immediately check the voltage. It should be about 14 volts. If it is near 15 or more turn off the engine.

Guys, the OP has already stated that the problem was a critter chewing through the wiring. Unfortunately, he started a new topic instead of replying to this post.

A hot pepper spray may work. Best is to keep the car away from the critter. You may be able to wrap the wires with some sort of armor, but you could end up doing all the wires.

Good Luck.

Hello, everybody. Yes, I did post another reply on another thread. the facts so far. It was a marder (weasel) what chewed nearly threw the wires, the man from ADAC got the car running. I’m really skeptical over the dealer, and his battery. and I need to get the car checked out to make sure the thing didn’t eat other parts. Everyone here rocks, thanks so much!

BTW- is this the right size battery for this car? It’s a ‘Europe’ VW manual, has a sunroof, a radio bay (no radio yet), no power windows. Electric locks. 4 door. Being powered by that 12v 44AH 360 A “Artik” battery. Forgot to use the ‘k’ as it’s European. A number of you said that the battery is fried. It had denatured water put back in, if that helps make the picture for anyone. I’m leaning towards buying a new battery. Again, Thanks!

I’m so sorry! I had just got the go ahead to go off to work, and I thought I should at least post the note from the ADAC guy. I think I got the hang of this now…