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Jeep uses new type of battery, in new location

by David Zatz on

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

WK2Jeeps.com posted that the 2011 Grand Cherokee use a new Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) technology battery.

These batteries use a fiberglass-like separator to hold the electrolyte in place, rather than a gel; the cells do not leak even if the case is cracked, and the battery can withstand severe shock and vibration. It is a sealed unit, with relief valves to vent vapors as needed; because it is now under the passenger seat, a breather tub runs to the outside of the vehicle. The negative terminal can be removed for repairs on electrical systems (e.g. airbag replacement) by moving the seat forward and taking off the cover. There are remote jump-start posts under the hood.

Storing the electrolyte in sponge-like separators of matted glass fibers increases efficiency, and slashes the self-discharge rate to a third of conventional lead-acid batteries, down to 1% per month. It is however sensitive to undercharging and overcharging.

Standard battery chargers cannot be used due to the special needs of the battery, in particular the maximum charging voltage. The open circuit voltage is 12.65 volts or more. As with any lead-acid battery, it contains corrosive materials and hydrogen gas forms in and around the battery. There are numerous warnings and instructions regarding manually charging the battery.

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