How to Recondition a Car Battery at Home

Save

If your car’s battery isn’t holding a charge or otherwise is not up to par, you may be able to fix it. The most common cause of degraded battery performance in lead-acid batteries is sulfation, which occurs when sulfur collects on the lead plates in the battery, blocking the electric current. It’s not difficult to recondition a car battery at home. However, sulfation causes irreversible corrosion of the lead plates, so this process will work only three to five times.

Things You'll Need

  • Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate)
  • Distilled water
  • Plastic funnel
  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Voltmeter
  • Battery charger
  • Drill (for sealed batteries)
  • Plastic plugs (for sealed batteries)
  • Test the battery to see if it is likely to respond to reconditioning; it needs to register 12 volts on a voltmeter. If it’s between 10 and 12 volts, you may be able to restore the battery to full function, but if it tests at less than 10 volts, you’re probably wasting your time.

  • Heat a half quart of distilled water to 150 degrees F, and dissolve 7 or 8 oz. of Epsom salts in the water.

  • Remove the battery cell caps. If you have a sealed battery, find the “shadow plugs” that cover openings to the battery cells--you’ll need to drill through these.

  • Drain any fluid out of the battery and use a plastic funnel to pour enough of the Epsom salt solution in to fill each cell of the battery properly.

  • Insert plastic plugs in the drill holes or replace the battery caps and shake the battery to make sure the Epsom salts solution is well distributed.

  • Recharge the battery on a slow charge for 24 hours and then re-install it in your car.

Tips & Warnings

  • Put the battery on the charger for three or four nights to restore it to maximum capacity.
  • To minimize loss of performance, put car batteries on a trickle charger if you won’t be using them for several weeks or longer. A stored battery gradually loses its charge, allowing sulfur to form on the lead plates.
  • Car batteries contain sulfuric acid, which is among the most powerful of acid compounds. Work only in a well-ventilated area and don’t have open flames nearby. Wear safety goggles and rubber gloves. If you get acid on your skin, irrigate it with water immediately.
  • Don't use tap water because it contains chemicals that will damage a battery.

Related Searches

  • Photo Credit yellow car, a honda japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

How To Travel For Free With Reward Points

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!