How to Revive 12 Volt Battery


A dead 12-volt battery is one that can no longer maintain its charge for any long period of time. More often than not, the battery has to be disposed of. But there are a few you tricks you can try to revive a 12-volt battery into maintaining its charge again. These steps will take days and may not work on all dead batteries.

  • Connect the battery to an automotive battery charger with a rating of six to 10 amps. Look for an old-fashioned charger to use if you know the battery's charge to be exceptionally low. Don't use a smart battery charger because it is less likely to come on for a battery that is very low.

  • Charge the battery at 10 amps if possible for about 10 hours. Use a voltmeter to measure the battery's voltage, then let it sit overnight.

  • Repeat the same charging process for another 10 hours the next day. Measure the voltage after charging and see if it is greater than the previous day's reading. If it's exceeded 13 volts, you should be in good shape. Repeat for another day to try for 14 volts.

  • Shake the battery in between a charge or two. This helps with wet cell batteries because it releases the bubbles trapped within the plates and mixes the electrolyte in the battery. Use caution when shaking it.

  • Use a "battery life saver" device with the charger if you can get one. Follow the instructions on how to connect the device to the battery with the charger, charge the battery with the "life saver" attached and then discharge it with it still attached. Repeat this cycle to dissolve the sulfate crystals that have built up in the battery.

  • Test the battery after charging it for a few days. Connect it to an electric device that will run at least a six-amp load on the battery. See if the battery has significantly improved in maintaining its voltage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves and safety glasses when handling batteries. Immediately wash away any battery acid you come in contact with.

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