Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Take a ride on the battery acid trail!


Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
Northern NJ
Change your delco battery in your 97 to 2000 C5..the batteries can cause this kind of damage and end up being a big fat mess..

I didn't listen but I would implore you to act proactively..

In the end I got somewhat lucky but why should you even take the chance..

hindsights 20/20..

Be smart..buy your corvette a Christmas present and save yourself a big headache...(and heartache! )
the pictures don't do the mess justice.
Think about how much you enjoy your car!
Is a hundred or so dollars in preventative maintaince worth this kind of mess?
Maybe to some..but I bet its not worth ruining your car over.
If your really lucky..you can get to the underside of the wheel well before the acid eats through the plastic coverings and the seals of both the pcm and the wiring harnesses..Like I did..but..

Do you really want to have to open each connection..open each harness..each specially wrapped grouping of wires to spray down with battery cleaner..

Do you want to see the paint on your frame rails come bare with the effects of the sulfuraic acid..having each wire cleaned seprately inside..You can't imagine how much can get screwed up in there and then you would most probably have phantom electrical problems before your pcm finally just shut down completely..

no..I know you don't want this... so enjoy the holidays and buy yourself and your car some peace of mind..

Get a gel pack type battery..like the Optima Red top or the yellow top if you do storage..

Enjoy the car knowing that this won't happen to you!

I got lucky..and had the car all cleaned up before the acid actually ate through the critical areas of the electrical system..but from up top..I got to tell you..I barely noticed this problem..

I really just got lucky..thats how slight the appearances of this leakage first appeared..Had I not been looking at my coolant level from the front of the car..with a flashlight..the lava flow of battery acid would not of caught my eye..

I almost didn't open the wheel well area..I was thinking maybe I'll do it whenever.. a few good friends convinced me otherwise..Thank goodness for friends who care enough to push a little..I hope I have done something similiar for you guys..

And the final tally of damage would have been much worse..

As it sits now..after a lot of aggravation..and forethought..the car is cleaned up completely and as good as new..

I hope I can just help one person avoid this unnecessary occurance..

The 100 or so dollars for a new battery seems truly trivial to me right now..I hope I have successfully conveyed the seriousness of this..

Change the battery before something like this happens to you and your beloved corvette.

Save the wave and enjoy the holidays..

HI Keith,
Battery is located passenger side, up top, but the TAC module, and the PCM is located below this.
As I was the one who served JB, bless him driving an hour.
It was a mess, and I recommend that you check your battery everytime you open your hood.
Besttoall, c4c5:hb
I feel lucky as hell we caught it before worse damage was done..The rubber coatings saved my butt. I'm glad we were able to neautralize all the acid before major damage occured..

As it was..I got to meet C4C5 specialist and watch a true professional in action..

Way to go!

Swap out to an optima and don't take the chance..I don't blame GM for the design..although..I'm not in love with delco at the moment..its history..water under the bridge..the past..time to move on....but..

It was quite a mess..definitely not what I had even thought possible..

I've never seen or could have anticipated such a scenerio..

Man..the fact that C4C5 opened up each harness so that we could counteract the battery acid before it ate through each of the wires insulation..each connector..treated all the metal in the surrounding struction..Very cool..

We are lucky...or I guess I should say..I'm one lucky sob..glad I was proactive before the total meltdown, I could have just as easily changed the battery and hoped for the best..and forgotten about it.. and then the actual individual wire insulation would have gotten destroyed..The pcm would have eventually gotten wacked....I got really lucky I even looked...Who ever checks for coolant levels in the garage with a flashlight from the front portion of the hood..on bended knee..? LOL ..man was I ever lucky..I spotted this..

My advice...dump that pos Delco..

C4C5 it was a pleasure to meet you! Thanks for being so through. Your dedication in person is even more impressive than on the net. ..hard to believe but true and a pleasure to see someone so enjoy their profession..Excellent!

Sorry to see that happen to your Corvette. My roommate owned a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am GT1. He and a co-worker went to lunch one day. When they got back in the car, turned the ignition, he heard a loud whine and a pop and the car was dead. Smoke started to billow out from under the hood.

When he lifted the hood, battery acid was draining out of the positive terminal. He tried replacing the battery. When he went to loosen the cable, the entire terminal came right out of the battery with the cable. The cable actually fused and melted on to the terminal and the terminal was just sitting loose inside the battery.

I have heard that C5 owners are experiencing the same thing. I'm actually thinking of contacting AC-Delco to get an official response to this. It seems to be happening across several GM platforms including the Corvette and if there's a design defect in the Delco batteries, it's a damn shame because the situation can cause a lot damage and possible bodily harm.
Thanks for the information guys. I will check my battery and probably replace it. What does anyone recommend. c4c5specialist, what battery do you recommend. Thanks you everyone, and Happy Holidays.:grinsanta
I have to say...I got lucky...as we checked each wire insulator..it was not damaged..

The short time the sulfurac acid was leaking is my one saving grace. The acid just pulled the paint off the frame where it hit and the insulatiors and tape used around the harness wires took the hit..

Once cut open, cleaned throughly by an expert such as c4c5 specialist ..the harnesses and wires were rewrapped..The frame was repainted.

I'm lucky as hell in this scenerio..

The one thing I truly suggest to my fellow corvette owners so they don't have to deal with something similiar..

Get the optima Red top battery...its a gel pack with no chance of leakage..

It costs 110 dollars delievered ..

Spend the money and forget this nightmare for your beautiful rides...

It isn't something that you can check and catch..I checked two weeks ago..and the car was clean..

I just happened to be checking the coolant from the front of the car in the garage with a flashlight ...and the lava flow out of the positive terminal caught my eye..

Trust me guys..you don't want to open up the front wheel well on a lift and see what I saw..

Its just not worth 110 dollars..to put in an Optima Red top..or if you store your car throughout the winter..the Optima Yellow top..

Big stereos and such I believe get the yellow top as well..

otherwise..just get the Optima red top..

Im sure its sold at this site..

Good luck!

Go for it!
Hi Dan,
I would say that JBs choice of Red top or Yellow tops are just fine, as the design is very sound, and will serve you well.
Personally, I evaluate each case individually.
Some, I suggest a AGM, or absorbant glass mat, battery. From GM, it is not quite the same of design as the red or yellow, but still along the same idea.
Besttoyou, c4c5:hb
My wife's 97 Grand prix had the leaking
battery terminal. GM Replaced the battery
(the car was two years old at the time.

Luckly I caught it in time - but it did
screw up my garage floor!


Although my 99 C5 is my oldest car I drive it at least every other day.

I don't store the car but use it as often as possible.

Dump the delco...thats what I would tell all the forum friends..

Its not worth the headache.
I'm a little late into this subject but exactly what happened to the battery to cause it to drain battery acid? I've had a lot of Delco "Freedom" batteries (and Sears Diehard batteries) and never had one leak or even heard of one leaking. Any chance it was being overcharged? This could happen from either the Alternator having a problem or by charging with a conventional unregulated charger (one that does not switch to trickle charge mode). This could possibly cause gassing and the pressure relief popping open.
Was this a problem with a specific year battery? I saw one post recommending 2000 C5 battery - what is different? I assume they are both Delco Batteries.
I keep our C5 on a regulated trickle charger during the winter. The type that switches off and on to maintain battery.
This problem with the delco battery leaking has been spoken about for years on the various forums. Hundreds I believe have been bitten on this issue. I didn't listen to the warnings..LOL but my friend you should.

Trust me ...spend the 110 dollars now to get an optima battery.

I didn't and ended up paying thre as much as just buying a battery before it occured, to properly clean and fix everything up so that the car is perfect. the right way. i"m glad I had the situation corrected the right way. Thank goodness I was able to find someone who actually knew how to correct this. Did I have to? No..but I just don't want even a speck of acid floating around. Every potiential drop was neutralized and removed..even in places it might have gone but we suspected it might be at. (even remotely)

My car is as good today as the day I bought it..except I spent a lot of money and more importantly time to have it properly corrected.

Don't make the same mistake I did. There is no reason that this should occur.

Please spend the 110 or whatever it takes to rid yourself of that piece of sh-t delco.

Sometime in 2001 GM realized what was happening and they changed to a similiar type of gel battery..

Trust me..get rid of that battery you have and put in a gel type.

I checked my just two weeks earlier.

Like I said....the repairs can be made if it happens ...but why would you want to take a chance!

I hope I've helped you decide to dump that delco..

good luck

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors


MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Our Partners

Top Bottom