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How To Recondition A Car Battery In 5 Easy Steps

Car battery is one of the most expensive equipment that you would wish to be in the best condition for a long time. A bad battery replacement might cost a lot but not when you have an effective DIY on how to recondition a car battery solution. Yes, you read it right! You can recondition the car battery easily with our fail-proof method. So firstly, let’s find out what is refurbishing car battery!

What Are Reconditioned Car Batteries?

Reconditioned car batteries refers to the process of bringing back the healthy life and charging capacity of your old and dead cells. It will be a total waste to just readily throw your old batteries when you can still recondition it for one to three times.

how to recondition a car battery
Reconditioned car batteries refer to the process of bringing back the healthy life and charging capacity of your old and dead cells. (Source: jaythomasauto)

So, instead of throwing away the batteries. Let’s learn how to recondition a car battery at home. You will be able to learn it in the following section of our article.

Why Should You Recondition Batteries?

What we always see is people throwing away their car batteries. It is understandable since no one wants the hassle and inconvenience of using batteries that are no longer efficient. Likewise, drivers have no idea about how to recondition batteries. The batteries are also incredibly expensive to replace and might not even go down in price as the device ages.

refurbishing car battery
Replacing a car battery is expensive so reconditioning it is a good choice. (Source: atena)

Reconditioning batteries allows you to preserve and refresh the function of your batteries so that they can work as they used to: providing you ample charge and saving you a lot of money. It’s also better for the environment since batteries themselves are very hard to recycle and usually end up in trash bins, leaking chemicals to the environment and causing a huge impact to the well-being of the planet.

So, let’s explore the entire procedure of how to refurbish a car battery right now!

Use A Nifty Way To Recondition A Car Battery

No rocket science is involved to recondition your car’s battery. Just follow a complete procedure and do it yourself every time.

What Equipment Do You Need?

Please prepare these tools in advance in order to do reconditioning car battery!

  • Battery Charger
  • Neoprene Chemical Resistant
  • Safety Goggles and gloves
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Plastic Funnel
  • 1 Gallon of distilled water
  • Plastic Bucket
  • Voltmeter
  • 1lb Baking Soda
  • Optional Battery Post Cleaner

How To Recondition A Car Battery

Step 1. Reconditioning Groundwork

At the initial stage, cleaning the corrosion is vital. You can use readymade posts cleaner or make your own solution to clean the terminals of the battery. You can also pick any available posts cleaning product in the market. To make your own solution, mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 spoon of water until you see it transforming into a fine paste. Now, take a toothbrush and rub it on the posts. For heavy corrosion, you can even use a steel wool. This is the first step towards how to recondition a car battery in the right way.

 Sub keyword: refurbishing car battery,
Use readymade posts cleaner or make your own solution to clean the terminals of the battery. (Source: thewordden)

If your battery has a heavy corrosion, either using 300 grain sandpaper or steel wool is the great choice.

Note: Don’t forget to wear safety equipment like gloves and goggles.

Step 2. Verify The Battery Voltage

The next step of how to restore car battery is verifying the battery voltage.The voltage tester voltmeter is the best choice with the help of which one can get the correct parameters of power. There’s no rocket science to check the voltage, just connect the voltmeter with the battery terminals and you are good to go.

reconditioning car battery
Use the voltage tester voltmeter to verify the battery voltage. (Source: pegasoroma)

The condition for reconditioning car battery is the voltage of the battery is higher than 10 volts. If the readings are 12.6 Volts, the battery is in good condition, and if it’s more than this, reconditioning is surely needed. If it’s between 10 and 12 volts, you can restore the battery to full function. On the other hand, there are less than 10 volts, you’re probably wasting your time. There might be chances that you see zero readings. This indicates that the battery has gone through a short circuit. This is the time when you should use your maintenance tips or just contact the mechanic to handle the situation in a right way.

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Step 3. Take Out The Acid

After successfully checking the voltage, it’s time to take out the old acid from the battery. With the help of a flat-head screw, reach to the battery caps. The caps may vary from two to six. Remove all the caps but make sure that you have a container or bucket near you. 

how to recondition a car battery at home
After successfully checking the voltage, it’s time to take out the old acid from the batter. (Source: cyberspaceandtime)

At this stage, before emptying each cell you should take the chance to test each battery cell individually. Doing this could help you discover if your car battery has a dead cell or not. When the battery cells are all empty, place your battery to one side and take ½ lb of your baking soda and add it to your bucket of old battery acid. This will neutralize the battery acid so you can safely dispose of it later.

Note: The liquid (Electrolyte) in lead acid battery cells is very dangerous. It’s a mix of sulphuric acid and water. You don’t want to get it on your skin, in your eyes or even on your clothes. So make sure that you are wearing all the security equipment.

Step 4. Put Back The Battery Into Working Order

Now that you have cleansed acid from the battery, it’s time to recondition it. For that, you have to refill the cell with electrolytes. The electrolyte is normally made of Epsom salt and distilled water. This will let your battery charge pretty well and avoid sulfates. Now, pour it into the battery.

Step 5. Finally, Charge The Battery

The last step of  recondition a car battery guideline is to check whether the entire reconditioning process is working or not. It’s not recommended to put the caps back on the battery as the electrolyte may overflow during charging. So, grab the battery charger, connect black (negative) lead to the negative terminal and red (positive) lead to the positive terminal. Keep the charging speed somewhere around twelve v/ two amp. Keep on charging at least for a day or 36 hours. Take the charger away and take readings through the voltmeter. Normal readings will be 12.42V. You can also go for the battery load test if you want. Otherwise, you are all set for the efficient car battery.

rejuvenate car battery with vinegar
Lastly, check whether the entire reconditioning process is working or not. ( Source: pxhere)

So, here you have successfully completed the task of reconditioning a car battery. Don’t forget to wear safety goggles, gloves, and other important things.

Tips And Warnings When Reconditioning Car Battery

Tips

Unless you use car batteries for a few weeks or longer, put them on a trickle charger to restrict loss of performance. A stored battery gradually loses its charge, allowing sulfur to form on the lead plates.

To restore the battery to maximum capacity, put it on the charger for three or four nights.

Do not put the caps that cover your battery cells back on whilst charging it, it’s likely that the electrolyte liquid may heat up and overflow. You don’t want pressure building inside the cells.

Warnings

Do not use tap water because it contains chemicals that will harm for a battery

Car batteries contain sulfuric acid that is very dangerous. You should work only in a well-ventilated area and don’t have open flames nearby. Wearing safety goggles and rubber gloves is also recommended. In an unfortunate case, you get acid on your skin, irrigate it with water immediately.

Alternatives To Epsom Salt Battery Reconditioning

Normally, Epsom salt is used because it gives the best results. However, there are few alternatives to Epsom salt you can try to battery reconditioning.

Aluminium Sulphate

You can mix 1 lb of Aluminium sulphate with 1 gallon of boiling distilled water. Stir this mixture until it’s as clear as possible. Then, you fill the cells with the solution and charge the battery. As a result, the battery charges faster thanks to the electrolyte produced from Aluminium sulphate.

how to restore car battery
Aluminium Sulphate to epsom salt battery reconditioning.  (Source: hackaday)

Copper Sulphate

Copper Sulphate is another battery reconditioning substitute. From our experience, it isn’t effective as Epsom salt which is always the safe choice.

To know more about how to recondition a car battery, check the video below:

Conclusion

Hopefully this article may be useful for you, if you have any question, feel free to leave our auto experts a comment in the box below, we will answer it for you. Do not forget to read other maintenance tips for better understanding your car problems and knowing how to fix them when needed.