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I am assuming you could squeeze your head under there to take a peek at what’s up when you remove the desiccant? (I’m afraid I don’t have an ED to do so...)

Sorry to read that the plastic has started to crack! Super glue?

I noticed that there is a slight discrepancy with the proper tool Allen vs. T90. I’d be OC and search for a T90. But I’m hoping the Allen tool does not damage the fitting.....
 

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Interesting thread and interesting procedure. For me I would never do this while the battery is still under warranty. For a cost of $25/year, it's worth it to me to have the correct complete part in place just in case a warranty issue comes up. After the warranty is up, I'm not sure what I'll do, but I'll likely just continue to replace the part with a new one.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 15,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 5,000 miles
 

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I'd like to see some more input on this subject matter.
Is there really much difference between Desiccant beads?
If not, I would imagine as long as you are creating of log of their replacement that that would be sufficient.
With a price of ~$14 for a 1.5lb bag that has more than enough to provide quite a few changes, I will be inclined to exchange the beads with new each year instead of waiting until 2 years.
I won't even bother to microwave dry them for an extra use. There's plenty in the bag for an exchange on a shorter schedule.

That seems like a real plus and going above and beyond at a fraction of the cost; as long as there isn't a large variation or an unknown special blend of bead that is the original.
 

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For those who would rather not give Amazon their money, I bought the EU-approved orange indicating type (blue cobalt chloride is a listed toxic substance in the many places outside the USA) straight from the distributor here:

https://dryndry.com/collections/best-sellers/products/1-quart2-lbs-dry-dry-premium-orange-indicating-silica-gel-desiccant-bead

And as they clearly explain on the site, Silica gel can be reused by placing in a 250F oven until the color reverses - and you can feel safe using the non-toxic orange indicating (or white beads) in your kitchen oven.
 

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I wonder how important that desiccant cartridge really is. I think some electrics don't even have such a thing. I'll continue to use the factory part and change it every two years as suggested at least during the warranty period. That means one more change for me and I'll wait to hear a good report from you. :)

Len
2014 EV Coupe 16,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 7,000 miles
 

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It seems to be a reasonable design measure. The battery case is a unventilated sealed "can" and large temperature changes in humid temperate climates (and it's been "humid" with a vengeance up my way this year) can cause condensation - which is would not be good as the battery case contains a lot of PC boards and relays - the battery-management/cell balancing syatem, the high voltage contactor relays and probably other stuff.

The alternative design measure would be to design the battery case as a airtight sealed unit that is purged of air and filled with a dry moisture free gas (typically dried nitrogen), then never opened and/or re-purged with dry nitrogen if it is.

Using a desiccant seems to be the simpler solution.
 

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I finally had a nice dry day to replace the desiccant before winter set in.

1. I can verify that, in place of an expensive T-90 Torx bit, or large hex key, a plain old 14mm or 9/16 inch bolt head works perfectly for loosening and tightening the desiccant cartridge.

2. The cap on the cartridge came off easily with a small screwdriver pushing the locking tabs in one at a time while pulling it out. The old beads were dumped out and new ones were put in and the cap replaced. The cartridge was reinstalled with a little silicone plumbing grease on the threads and the gasket mating surface to assure airtghtness and prevent seizing.

3. Total cost of procedure - maybe $1.00 at most and a half hour of my time. Enough orange-indicating type silica gel beads for at least 15-20 changes cost $16. Available from "Dry and Dry" at the link on my previous post. These beads are a bit smaller than the original ones - but this is probably better (more silica-gel mass and surface area).

The beads can be dried in an oven or microwave on low and reused for a totally cost-free job, but when I tried this with the old beads, a strong organic-solvent odor was produced so I aborted the procedure. Are they absorbing something else in the battery pack besides moisture? I'll try again with the new beads in a year.
 

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I can verify that, in place of an expensive T-90 Torx bit, or large hex key, a plain old 14mm or 9/16 inch bolt head works perfectly for loosening and tightening the desiccant cartridge.

The cartridge was reinstalled with a little silicone plumbing grease on the threads and the gasket mating surface to assure airtghtness and prevent seizing.


The beads can be dried in an oven or microwave on low and reused for a totally cost-free job, but when I tried this with the old beads, a strong organic-solvent odor was produced so I aborted the procedure. Are they absorbing something else in the battery pack besides moisture? I'll try again with the new beads in a year.

Thanks Yinzer,

I replaced mine with an OEM but kept the cartridge, but I'm definitely interested in next year's report! Do please let us know how the silicone grease works in the long haul.

For the T-90 I bought an after market one on aliexpress. OK price and a perfect fit. Prefer the correct tool, but whatever works well is good.
 

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I finally had a nice dry day to replace the desiccant before winter set in.

1. I can verify that, in place of an expensive T-90 Torx bit, or large hex key, a plain old 14mm or 9/16 inch bolt head works perfectly for loosening and tightening the desiccant cartridge.

2. The cap on the cartridge came off easily with a small screwdriver. The old beads were dumped out and new ones were put in and the cap replaced. The cartridge was reinstalled with a little silicone plumbing grease on the threads and the gasket mating surface to assure airtghtness and prevent seizing.

3. Total cost of procedure - maybe $1.00 at most and a half hour of my time. Enough orange-indicating type silica gel beads for at least 15-20 changes cost $16. Available from "Dry and Dry" at the link on my previous post. These beads are a bit smaller than the original ones - but this is probably better (more silica-gel mass and surface area).

The beads can be dried in an oven or microwave on low and reused for a totally cost-free job, but when I tried this with the old beads, a strong organic-solvent odor was produced so I aborted the procedure. Are they absorbing something else in the battery pack besides moisture? I'll try again with the new beads in a year.
Could they possibly be using zeolite instead of silica? Zeolite traps more than just moisture and would also absorb some of the degassing of the batteries.
 

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The beads are definitely silica gel. Zeolites are opaque with a clay-like appearance.

There is no degassing in a lithium battery unless it's case is broken and the volatile organic solvent electrolyte is leaking out.

I'm not at all sure that the smell was not from the container I had the beads in. The container was previously used to mix styrene-based plastic mender stuff.
 

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The used 2013 451 ED I bought was over due for service by 100+ days. Last week I checked the fluids, replaced the desiccant filter($55), and reset the service reminder. For the filter removal tool, I ended up looking up the Torx specification, draw and 3d printed(PLA) the required Torx T90 bit.

The desiccant in the old filter still look orange (active) and not brown (saturated). The replaced filter does have a VOC smell to it, and I forgot to check the new one for VOC smell. The smell reminded me of my old surefire flashlights with CR123A lithium batteries.
 

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I finally had a nice dry day to replace the desiccant before winter set in.

1. I can verify that, in place of an expensive T-90 Torx bit, or large hex key, a plain old 14mm or 9/16 inch bolt head works perfectly for loosening and tightening the desiccant cartridge.

2. The cap on the cartridge came off easily with a small screwdriver pushing the locking tabs in one at a time while pulling it out. The old beads were dumped out and new ones were put in and the cap replaced. The cartridge was reinstalled with a little silicone plumbing grease on the threads and the gasket mating surface to assure airtghtness and prevent seizing.

3. Total cost of procedure - maybe $1.00 at most and a half hour of my time. Enough orange-indicating type silica gel beads for at least 15-20 changes cost $16. Available from "Dry and Dry" at the link on my previous post. These beads are a bit smaller than the original ones - but this is probably better (more silica-gel mass and surface area).

The beads can be dried in an oven or microwave on low and reused for a totally cost-free job, but when I tried this with the old beads, a strong organic-solvent odor was produced so I aborted the procedure. Are they absorbing something else in the battery pack besides moisture? I'll try again with the new beads in a year.
That's a real good idea to use the silicone grease on it to prevent seizing and promote air tightness. I'll have to do that on my next change. I did my first change after only 6 months. Everything looked real good. I will do it again in 6 just because I want to use the grease on it.

Thanks for the tips.
 

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That's a real good idea to use the silicone grease on it to prevent seizing and promote air tightness. I'll have to do that on my next change. I did my first change after only 6 months. Everything looked real good. I will do it again in 6 just because I want to use the grease on it.

Thanks for the tips.
So you are talking about changing the beads after six months and not the entire cartridge right? A new cartridge every six months would be total overkill, but I'll be following this thread closely for your long term results. Since mine are both under warranty yet, I'm not going to go your route just yet. I'm sticking with the two year interval with a new unit - probably just have one more to go.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 17,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 10,000 miles
 

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Yep, been changing the beads every 6 months. I got the color changing kind. So far I've had 2 changes and soon one more since I've owned the vehicle. It's definitely overkill, the beads are hardly tinted at all.
After this change I will prolly scale back. Just been making sure all is well since in another post we talk about changing beads vs cartridges and there was some concern about voiding the warranty.
Pretty confident that just changing the beads is well and fine. Adding the grease to the cartridge threads makes the change effortless.
One bag of beads for $15 will last me prolly half the life of the car easily. Prolly the life of the car if I only change them each or every other year. That's a big savings over the long haul while being extra cautious to boot.
 

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I think in a few weeks before winter sets in I will just cook mine to recharge, can never be too dry.
Obviously Benz and Tesla and prob others seem to have problems making sealed containers with batteries in them
 

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Just ordered my silica from Dry & Dry $15.99 with FREE SHIPPING. Thanks Yinzer!

I was wondering if anyone has 3D printed the cartridge, could just buy a new one if the condition deteriorated to bad, but was noticing that many sellers online list the part as "out of stock" or "discontinued".
 

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I'm in the process of drawing up a 3d-printable cartridge to replace the original, if one should ever break. I bought one extra to have as a standby for my two 2015 EV Cabriolets. Just refill them with new beads every six months or so. Once I get the model finished and tested, I'll upload a link to the STL file if anyone would like it.
 
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