You can decide to buy a new car battery if the current one is not working as it should. However, this can be a pricy endeavor that may not be part of your budget. It will even set you back financially if you get a bad battery replacement. As you work on saving up to get a new one, you can consider reconditioning a car battery. This can also work if your car battery is not holding charge as well as it should. The best thing about this is you can do it safely at home. Reconditioning a car battery depends on factors such as:
- The type of battery
- How much it has been used.
- The age of the battery.
- Its current condition also matters.
Sulfation is the leading cause of a degraded car battery performance. It is a result of the collection of sulfur on the lead plates; it blocks the electric current. Sulfation causes irreversible damage meaning that you cannot keep reconditioning the battery.
How To Recondition A Car Battery
- Clean the corrosion on the battery terminals: You can purchase posts cleaner or make your solution by mixing two teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water. You can then clean with a soft brush or toothbrush. If the terminals are too corroded, you can use steel wool or grain sandpaper. You need to wear protective gloves.
- You need to test your battery to determine if it will respond well to reconditioning. On the voltmeter, it needs to register at least 10 volts. If it is below 10, you may need to look for a replacement.
- Taking out the acid: Once you check the voltage, you can now remove the old acid from the battery. You need to remove all the battery caps and pour out the acid carefully into a bucket or container. Ensure that you neutralize the acid if it pours out using baking soda. Again, ensure you are wearing protective wear when emptying the acid.
- Reconditioning: Now that you have removed the old acid, you can recondition the car battery by using electrolytes to refill the cells. This electrolyte is made of half a quart distilled water heated to 150 degrees F dissolved into 7 or 8 oz of Epsom salt. It allows your battery to charge well without sulfating.
- Once the liquid is poured into the battery, you can check if the battery has reconditioned. Do not replace the caps immediately after this. You need to first charge the battery slowly for about 36 hours, where you can put it in the car and test its efficiency.
With these few steps, you will be able to recondition a car battery. There are a few things to keep in mind when doing this, such as:
- You should not use tap water when reconditioning as it already has chemicals that can damage the battery.
- Sulfuric acid contained in the car batteries is harmful, so you need to wear safety goggles and rubber gloves. You should also avoid any flames. If you get the acid on your skin, pour running water on the area immediately.