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C6 Battery and Charging System Maintenance


Old 05-15-2018, 07:39 PM
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Default C6 Battery and Charging System Maintenance

Since it was that time of the year to check the water in the batteries in my vehicles, figured I would do a write on on the C6 since I took a few photo's along the way when checking it.

To start off with, C6 idling, lights turned off (turn the light stalk dial past auto clockwise and it will shut the lights off), and the A/C turned off (third button from the left on the HVAC controller and you will get a ac icon with a slash line through it on the screen).

So a multi-meter set to 20V DC, and check charging system voltages, again with the car first idling for about a min, so the radiator fan does not kick on from engine heat yet.

Body of the alternator as the negative point for the multi meter probe as negative contact point, and on the back of the alternator under the rubber boot terminal as the positive contact point, you should have 14.7 DC volts. If you jump the gun and don't want about a min after starting the motor, the alternator may be reading higher, but should come back to settle into 14.7 once it charges the battery back up from starting the car.

If your voltage is lower at the alternator than 14.7V, pretty good read.

On the positive and negative battery terminals connectors as your probe points, should have 14.5 volts.

From the fuse box main postie terminal as your positive source, to both the body of the alternator, and to the negative battery connector, should have 14.5 volts as well.

In the car, DIC to voltage, and it should be reading 14.1~14.3 volts.

With these checks out the way as base lines, lets get down to the topic at hand. Somewhat brought up that hot desert heat is brutal on batteries, and there is a reason for such. Even on a maintenance free lead/acid cell battery, there are vents in the battery, to release the pressure of the battery as the water evaporates off. So over time, even a maintenance free batter may need to have "Distilled" water added back to it to bring water/acid line back up the correct mark.
Note, do not use tap water to fill a battery back up to the full marks, use only distilled water instead. Distilled water is just water that is 99.9% H20, with the minimal and such of tap water removed.

On car batteries, once you pull the fill cap you will see the lower plastic section tube, and its 1/8" the bottom of the inner tube section that is the full line.

The problem is once the water gets below the full fine, starts flirting with the below the low line, you start to run into problems with the lead electrode plates trying to warp instead.

So case and point since I run a Deka battery made by Johnson controls, it's not hard to pull the sticker, pull the fill caps and check the level of the battery water/acid.

Hair drier on high makes clean work of pulling one piece so the sticker so it can be reapplied, and the fill caps pulled out with just a small pick tool to work then up and out.

So since I had not checked the battery in a few years, got around to checking it, to find that the battery cells were about a quart low on distilled water between them, filled the battery back up 1/8" blew the top of tubes with distilled water, clean the tops, put the fill caps back in, wipe the top of battery off of any water, and reapplied the sticker.

Note on some other maintenance free lead water/acid batteries, the fill ports are not as easy to get to, so keep that in mind when you are buying a maintenance free battery. Hence feel the sticker section of the battery, and if the fill ports are like the Johnson batteries, you will fill the fill ports under the sticker.

Now before we put the battery back in the car and it reconnected, we need to clean not only the battery terminals, the battery cable terminal, but pull the engine fuse box cable from it terminal, as well as the alternator cable terminal to clean and dielectric grease them as well.

So alternator terminal nut is removed, it parts clean, dielectric grease used on all the parts, and it bolted back in place,

Next we pull the main engine fuse block terminal nut to do the same cleaning and dielectric grease before bolting it back together.

Ok, since we have had the battery out of the car long enough, lets get back to installing it back in the car. So out of the gate, clean the battery tray and cable terminals to start with.

Now when placing the battery in the holder plate, center the battery from left to right in the holder plate (Not just shoved to one side, with a huge gap on side side), move the battery back in the plate as far back as it will go, then reinstall the battery hold down clip bracket to secure the battery in place.

Before you install the battery cables terminals back on the battery, apply Dielectric grease to both the battery cables connectors, and on the battery terminals, remembering to flood the bottom sections of the terminals with plenty of dielectric grease. Hence the cable terminals will grabs onto the side posts of the batter terminals, but we are getting plenty of dielectric grease on the bottom exposed flat sections of the terminals to prevent a build of of corrosion under instead the cable terminals isntead.

One you have installed positive cable terminal connector first, then the negative terminal connector last, take a little time to add some more grease to the top of cable connector tops to battery posts to fill any edge gaps, then use the excess grease to give the top of terminal and connector a touch more grease before putting pooping the connector covers back over.

At this point, you have done all that you can do from the top of car, but will bring up two more connectors on the charging system that may still need to be pulled, cleaned, dielectric greased and reconnected. Hence in the first voltage tests, if the alternator voltage is 14.7, but at the battery you getting less than 14.5 volts, the other connectors listed above have been cleaned, then it will be on these two connector points the problem still.

From the bottom of the car to get to them, is the connector point of the alternator cable to battery cable point, as well as the battery main ground point to the engine block. On the bottom starter solenoid terminal lug is where the positive cable for the alternator and the battery connects, as well as the main negative cable from the battery to the engine block just above the starter.

These charging system connection points don't need to be pulled yearly like the rest above for a cleaning and dielectric greasing, but about every 2-3 years isntead.
Note, if you points have never been pulled, cleaned/dielectric greases and reinstalled since the car left the factory, that it been at least 6 years ago or longer since they have been touched, and long over due for such isntead.

Lastly, any time you disconnect the battery, you will need to re-index the widows, and reset the time on the radio .

On the windows, roll the windows all the way up, release the button, hold the button again for about 5 seconds in the window up position and release the window button, Do this one window at a time and if you listen real close, you hear a slight click each doors as the window motor regulator re indexes for the window rolled all the way up point about 4 seconds into the second button hold down point to keep roll the window all the way up.
Note, if you have a convertible, the convertible top will not come down until you have re-indexed the windows.

On the radio, the fast way to reset the time is to just hold the min and hour buttons in until you see the radio wanting to RDS time reset, release the buttons, and then push them both back in at the same time again until the radio beeps and has set the time to RDS.

Last edited by Dano523; 05-15-2018 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:34 PM
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Thanks Dano. Since I have done parts of this procedure but not all, I will being following your write up and maintaining all connections this weekend.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:28 PM
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No problems here (yet) but subbing for future reference.
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