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Thread: Of Flashlights and Batteries

  1. #1
    1986 Concours/1999 KLR650 mcrider1959's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Of Flashlights and Batteries

    Of Flashlights and Batteries

    Over this past weekend I was performing some of my “before winter sets in” vehicle maintenance. This annual task includes winterizing of all my motorcycles, cars, lawnmowers, weed eater, chain saw and pretty much anything else that has a motor and runs. The typical stuff is checking antifreeze levels, putting Seafoam in all the gas tanks, changing oil and filters and so on.

    One of the steps in winterizing was cleaning the battery cable clamps and battery posts, while going over my car. At that moment of removing the battery clamps, to clean the connection, something came to mind about batteries. This thought goes back to early spring when I was preparing for this years riding and camping.

    Each spring I check the batteries in my flashlights and headlamps so I will know they are in good working order when the need for light, arises. Well, last spring I had a couple of really nice headlamps and one flashlight ruined because of corrosion caused by leaking batteries. The damage from the corrosion was so bad I had to just throw away the lights. The leaking batteries in question are of the AA and AAA type. The culprit brand or brands were Duracell, Eveready and some no name el’cheapo brand from the discount rack.

    After finishing with the winterizing of the car, I went to each motorcycle and the cabinet containing my camping gear and gathered up all the flashlights and headlamps. Placing them on the work bench I proceeded to remove the batteries from each light. Lo and behold what did I find?? Out of more than a dozen batteries I found 4 leaking! All of these batteries were installed brand new in the spring of this year and they were either Duracell or Eveready.

    I don’t understand why after only about 8 months these batteries are leaking acid, but they were! Maybe these new batteries are not made as good as they use to be?? Dunno?? In the past, I know I have had batteries leak and ruin flashlights, but not this quick, it is always been from the batteries being in the flashlights for an extremely long time.

    Not wanting anymore ruined flashlights or headlamps I decided to store all of these lights without the batteries in them. When and if I need them between now and spring-time, I’ll just install the batteries on an “as need’ bases.

    So, if you are like me, and perform the “before winter sets in” maintenance type stuff, maybe add your flashlights and batteries to the list.

    Just some “Food for Thought”
    Roger

    1986 Concours/1999 KLR650/2006 KLX250S

  2. #2

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    Re: Of Flashlights and Batteries

    I am not very good at remembering to look at batteries,but the few years when I have winterized my RV,I have remembered to take the batteries out of the remote controls. I have leaking batteries in the spring that ruined the remote controls in the past

  3. #3
    Rick B's Avatar
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    Re: Of Flashlights and Batteries

    Very good reminder.
    Thanks
    Rick B
    NE Oregon
    Freedom Cruisers Riding Club
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  4. #4
    wa5vhu's Avatar
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    Re: Of Flashlights and Batteries

    In an effort to get more and more energy out of batteries I think they are making the packaging thinner and thinner. Something has to give.
    2014 Roll-A-Home
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    2013 Can-Am Spyder RS (His)
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  5. #5
    #%@*, it's raining again! Ironheadziggy76's Avatar
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    Re: Of Flashlights and Batteries

    Had the same thing happen with a tent fan that used D batteries. I thought battery design was getting better.
    Steve

    2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, 2002 Harley Road King Classic, 1976 Harley Sportster

  6. #6
    Site Supporter dkurfiss's Avatar
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    Re: Of Flashlights and Batteries

    Thanks for the reminder. I have also experienced the leaking battery syndrome.

    Today only carry 2 headlamps (one stays in the trike and one in the camping box). Those are both stored without batteries installed. I keep 2 sets for each headlamp stored in the Tupperware container with the head light but not installed. So far leaking has not been as issue.

    For general camp lighting I have moved completely to Luci lamps which are solar. Luci lamps are also in my hurricane prep kits. I find that if I take them out, place them in sunlight while I do the rest of my monthly maintenance the charge is good for 6 to 8 hours on low.
    Deb

    2003 Yamaha 1100 Classic, 2008 Honda Gold Wing Trike - Champion Kit, 2011 Lees-ure Lite Excel, Harbor Freight Tag-A-Long

  7. #7
    wrchael414's Avatar
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    Re: Of Flashlights and Batteries

    I pulled out my camping equipment bag today and pulled the batteries out of my flashlights. I have had batteries go bad in equipment so this was a good reminder. Most of these batteries have been in these flashlights for at least three years but not a one was bad. I'm sure the my radio had the batteries installed for less time than these batteries.

    I wonder if there are more problems with electronics as opposed to flashlights.
    Bill & Sharon - 2007 Triumph Tiger

  8. #8

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    Re: Of Flashlights and Batteries

    I'm old enough to remember batteries leaking, back in the '50's. Then in the 60's, it seemed that they got better, offering to replace any flashlight that was damaged by their batteries. It seems that everything was fine for several decades, but in the last 10 years, I've seen more and more leaking/swelled batteries. I don't know what changed, except maybe changing the construction to cheaper material. The worst case was when I had to use a hammer to drive some swollen AA batteries out of a aluminum Streamlight. I often see signs of leakage in most of my TV remotes, all using premium brand-name batteries. At least I haven't had a rechargeable lithium catch fire.

    John
    '08. GL1800
    '06. ST1300

  9. #9
    trikerdan's Avatar
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    Re: Of Flashlights and Batteries

    Just changed a flashlight and a pump to air up an air mattress today.. Both had batteries about a year old.. Both were corroded !!
    RIDE TO LIVE !


  10. #10
    wihardy's Avatar
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    Re: Of Flashlights and Batteries

    My old boss use to joke, the definition of flashlight is a container to keep dead batteries.
    ST1300, tent, coffee... check lets hit the road

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