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William Gau's "how to locate your battery"

Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

URL: http://www.seniorsix.org/witandwisdom.html

Every time I read this I laugh for hours. The rest of the SSR's posts are hillarious too:

>>From: tgt@*******

>>Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 05:41:08

>>Subject: Where is battery on '95 M3?


>>On the '95 M3, where is the battery and how does one get

>>to it to replace it? Mine has died. Thanks!

Good, old TGT,

First of all, batteries, just as cars, glasses of water, or nails, do not die. They have no life, and consequently, do not die. This is important to remember.

As for your battery, you would be _crazy_ to replace it. It probably just needs to be topped off, as it were.

My suggestion to you is to go to the local chemistry store and buy some hydrochloric acid, preferably the powdered kind. Take it home, and strain it through a spaghetti strainer. This will help to take the lumps out of it.

Next, go to the store and buy some distilled water. If you'd rather, you may distill your own. If you do not know how, there is a fascinating Water Distilling FAQ located at http://sunsite.unc.edu:80/nge/

Anyway, mix the acid and water, 2/3 to 7/8 respectively. If this does not make sense, you might have to use a slide ruler. If you do not have one, I have the address of some old MIT cronies who are trying to revive the use of them and consequently are giving them away free, with a SASE.

Next, you have to drain your old battery and refill it with your mixture, taking care not to fill the battery over 96.5% of maximum capacity. There is actually a few conspiracy nuts out there who are accusing the leading battery manufacturers of racketeering of sorts by only filling batteries 95% of the way, thus saving 1.5% of the battery acid they would normally use. If you can imagine the amount of acid which is saved (that, too, is easy to compute, incidentally, if you use your slide rule, though a pocket calculator will work just as well too, though it must have the capability to DIVIDE as well as MULTIPLY. Not all calculators have this ability and consequently you may be forced to seek a desktop calculator or perhaps refer back to your sliderule).

It is important to drain it completely, as you don't want the new mixture to be mingling with the old. It is the cause of your problems, after all.

Anyway, don't be fooled if your battery is marked "Maintenance Free" or some such nonsense. Obviously, if your battery is no longer functioning, it required some maintenance at some point which it consequently did not receive. Some manufacturers often thwart would-be maintainers by not installing the customary caps on the top of the batteries. This is just to thwart those who are easily defeated or have a feeble mind. A little known secret is that the entire top of your battery casing is like a giant cap, and if you use a screwdriver (a serrated bread knife works best, really) you can pop off the top like a Tupperware container. After all, how do you think the acid got there in the first place?

Incidentally, if you can't find any hydrochloric acid anywhere, you can make your own as well. The recipe is as follows:

1/2 gallon distilled water (again, sorry!)

2 oz. boric acid

2 oz. citric acid

(actually, these two sort of cancel each other out and I never really knew why the recipe called for both, and consequently when I make hydrochloric acid [which, admittedly, isn't very often, but I certainly prefer it to buying it] I never add these two ingredients.)

4 grams alkaline

1 oz. 104 octane boost (NEVER more than 1 oz. EVER)

5 tsp. finely ground sea salt

1 tsp. tumeric (for color)

Naturally, after you've mixed the above, you'll need to locate your battery. I seem to remember this was the original question of your post. BMW is a fascinating car company in that it has brilliant engineers working day and night, devising new ways to make their cars better, more efficient, yet just as trendy to own. A plus, in my opinion. After all, anyone can own a Ferarri, but have you ever tried to find the battery in one!? It could take weeks. And they're not that big!

Anyway, in an effort to conserve what little energy a battery often has after sitting for a long time without being charged (i.e., being drained by various alarm systems, etc.) the engineers at BMW have attempted to place the battery as close to the starter as possible, thus requiring shorter wires and consequently less lost amperage.

I bet you didn't know that, did you?

Anyway, the best place to start looking for your battery is somewhere near the starter. Although I don't specifically know where it is on your car (it could be anywhere, really) it is most assuredly within spitting distance of your starter. Naturally, your starter is located on the steering column (at least mine is, though I think Saabs have them someplace crazy, like on the console or in the ashtray or some place like that, if you can believe it).

Your best bet is to assume it is concealed within the dashboard somewhere, as they generally don't just leave them laying on the floor of your car. Begin by looking for an access panel on/under your dash somewhere, most likely a panel which you do not recognize or seems to serve no purpose. Often, these panels are not readily accessible, so it is best to use a screw driver to pry at all of the seams on your dash which seem to be concealing something. BMW is notorious for this.

Eventually, after a bit of disassembly, you shall find what you are looking for. It should have a big Roundel on it, and if you shake it, it will sound like a quart of Gilbey's Dry Gin.

Under no circumstances should you seek the dealer's advice/assistance, lest you reveal to those scoundrels that you in fact aren't the typical BMW owner and consequently are grovelling to them for something which BMW owners pride themselves in doing for themselves. Remember, WE MUST STICK TOGETHER!

If you have any problems, do not hesitate to write back.


Fra Lippo Lippi (and no, I'm not Italian!)

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