How to Check/Refill the Battery Electrolyte in a Ford F-Series

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The Ford F-series of full-sized trucks serve as all around good work trucks. Properly maintaining your Ford F series truck includes checking and refilling the battery electrolyte fluid, which you can do with just a screwdriver. This is an important routine check up for your truck.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

Checking a Maintenance-Free Battery

  • Find out whether your Ford F series truck has a Motorcraft maintenance-free battery. The Ford 150, 250 and 350 models should be equipped with this kind of battery. The maintenance-free battery is sealed and you don't have to remove any vent caps to check the electrolyte levels.

  • Park the truck and turn the engine off. Pull the hood release handle located inside the vehicle under the instrument panel. Push the hood latch located under the hood to open the hood.

  • Check the maintenance-free battery's hydrometer, which has a built in eye that changes color depending upon the electrolyte levels. The readings may vary with the manufacturer, but typically a green eye means that the battery is properly charged with plenty of fluid. A black eye means that the battery is low in charge and low in electrolyte fluid. A yellow eye means that the electrolyte and charge is low and you'll need to replace your maintenance-free battery.

  • Refer to the Motorcraft website if you need to replace the battery in your Ford F series truck.

Checking and Filling a Traditional Battery

  • Park the truck and turn the engine off.

  • Pull the hood release handle located inside the vehicle under the instrument panel. Push the hood latch located under the hood to open the hood.

  • Remove the vent caps and check to see that the battery electrolyte level is filled to the indicator line. There's an indicator line on the side of each cell. Be sure to check each cell; there are six.

  • Add distilled water if the fluid isn't up to the indicator line.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have to add distilled water often, have a mechanic check the battery charging system.
  • Batteries contain sulfuric acid, which can burn your skin. Use precaution while checking the battery electrolyte levels. If you spill sulfuric acid on your skin, wash it off immediately with cold water.
  • Don't add regular drinking water as it contains chemicals that can ruin your battery.

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