Battery ReconditioningDon’t know how to recondition the battery at home? Read this car battery reconditioning guide to get all the details about how to make your dead battery work!
Best Battery Reconditioning Guide For You 2020
People often believe that a dead battery is of no use and it should be discarded, moreover, they have to pay big bucks to purchase a brand new one. It can be one of the options to retrieve a fully functional battery but it is not the only one. You may not know this fact but you can do reconditioning of your car battery to restore it back to its initial condition to save tons of money. With a little bit of effort, you can convert your dead battery into a 100% working battery. In this, car battery reconditioning guide, we will step-by-step tell you how to recondition a battery at home without putting any rocket science.
Reconditioning old batteries with battery reconditioning chemicals is super easy and anyone can learn to do it. All you need is some devices and a little amount of time to recover a fully functional battery. Not only it will save your money, but it will also save the mother planet from pollution. With DIY battery reconditioning, you can make your old battery look just as new as a newly bought one. You can also make off some money if you want to by selling the reconditioned batteries!
What Is Battery Reconditioning?
Battery reconditioning is a method through which you can bring a battery back to its healthy life, that is, standard electrolyte level and full charging capacity. This is important, no matter if you have a standard car or a luxury type, acid stratification and low charge are the general concerns among car owners.
Whenever a car battery discharges, it causes lead sulfate crystals to form around its plates. The huge buildup of these crystals affects the charging capacity along with the discharging capacity of your battery. Some of the batteries that you can do reconditioning of include lead-acid car batteries, AGM batteries, golf cart batteries, lithium-ion batteries, gel batteries, NiCad, and NiMH rechargeable batteries.
You need to have some practical knowledge of reconditioning batteries and a battery reconditioning kit so that you would be able to keep your car’s battery at optimal performance.
Does Reconditioning Batteries Really Work?
Yes, battery reconditioning really works and it can save you big money. The reconditioning process has been both a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to disposing of a hybrid battery once it reaches the end of its life.
Why Should You Recondition Batteries?
There are several valid reasons to why you should recondition your batteries, some of them are:
- Replacing batteries can be very expensive, therefore, reconditioning them is an affordable option for you.
- Car batteries, laptop batteries, mobile batteries, or even non-replaceable batteries that modern phones use nowadays are difficult or impossible to replace so you can easily do reconditioning of them to get them back in a working condition.
- You may find some of the old devices that don’t have replacement batteries available in the market any longer. You can opt to recondition your old battery to make such device work.
- Reconditioning of battery enables you to preserve the function of your battery and even refresh it so that it can work just the same as it used to. Providing you ample charge while making you save a lot of money.
- Battery reconditioning is also better for the environment because it’s very hard to recycle batteries and they usually end up in trash bins which is dangerous as they leak chemicals to the environment, causing a negative impact on the planet.
- Battery reconditioning is not only easy but it’s also very convenient. Imagine that you never have to buy a battery again for a device because you can recondition it at home without spending much.
What Are The Dangers When Reconditioning Batteries?
If handled inappropriately, batteries can be extremely dangerous especially when you don’t have the professional safety equipment. So you need to have gloves and glasses to make sure that the acid of the battery won’t leak out and burn your skin or any other thing that comes in contact with it.
Moreover, under certain conditions, batteries can also explode especially in conditions where they are not properly handled and treated poorly. When reconditioning a battery if you notice that it is cracked, damaged, or leaking, it’s a must for you to dispose of the battery as soon as possible. A damaged battery is an unsafe one and it’s better to dispose of because you can no longer fix it in a damaged state.
Another thing you must know is that don’t try to recondition a battery more than three or four times. Reconditioning a battery may be the best way to prolong its life, however, as time goes on the battery will eventually get worn out and you will face diminishing returns every time you recondition it. A reconditioned battery can last for several years if you keep working on it. Nevertheless, it will get worse eventually, and reconditioning it will end up impairing the battery more than helping it.
What Batteries Can Be Reconditioned At Home?
When it comes to reconditioning batteries at home, there are a couple of batteries that you can recondition easily at your home. These are:
Lead Acid Car Batteries:
You can easily recondition lead-acid car batteries as they are wet cell batteries that don’t require much effort to recondition. For reconditioning, you need to insert distilled water into all of the cells. Then, applying a slow charge to the battery.
Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable batteries and they are more popular, despite being more expensive than the conventional type batteries. There are multiple methods and ways through which you can recondition a lithium-ion battery that includes placing a discharged battery in the freezer for a day and then recharging it or fully discharging it and then placing it on the charger.
AGM & Gel Type Batteries:
AGM & gel batteries are safer than the lead-acid ones because nothing will spill out of them if the battery casing cracks. The ideal way to recondition a gel battery is to discharge it completely and then recharging it slowly.
NiCad Rechargeable Batteries:
Nickel-based batteries usually suffer from performance issues when recharged before they get completely dead. To restore the performance of your NiCad rechargeable batteries, reconditioning is required, which needs putting high voltage on the battery terminals.
NiMH Rechargeable Batteries:
The Nickel Metal Hydride also commonly known as NiMH battery is another form of rechargeable battery that is comparatively better than the NiCad batteries. To recondition NiMH rechargeable batteries, you need to run deep charge cycles to retrieve the performance.
Things You Need To Recondition A Battery At Home:
- Protective clothing or apron
- Goggles, chemical-resistant gloves, and other safety equipment
- Battery charger
- A basic tool kit that also includes a screwdriver
- Two larger plastic buckets
- Plastic funnel
- Distilled water
- 1 pound baking soda
- 1 pound Epsom salt
- Steel wool
- Battery load tester
Safety Tips for Battery Reconditioning:
When reconditioning batteries, you must keep safety measures in mind to avoid any accidents along the way. Don’t ever forget that the electrolyte found inside a lead-acid battery is corrosive and injurious when in contact with eyes, skin, and garments. Below, we have mentioned a few instructions and tips for you that you can follow to carry on safety during battery reconditioning:
- Wear goggles to ensure the protection of your eyes from any splattering
- Wear rubber gloves to ensure the protection of your hands against the acidic electrolyte solution
- Wear an apron for protecting your clothes from the corrosive liquid
- Prepare a weak basic solution from baking soda and water to neutralize any acidic electrolyte solution spills.
- Work in an area that is well-ventilated so that the heat and harmful fumes from the electrolyte solution can be readily dissipated. Moreover, there a lesser chance that you inhale much of the vapor. However, you can use a disposable face mask to filter the air you breathe while performing the whole process.
How Do You Recondition A Battery?
The procedure to recondition a battery isn’t a difficult one. Since the battery is large and the equipment and tools are easy to acquire, therefore, you won’t need a plethora of time to complete the battery reconditioning process. The entire process of battery reconditioning is step by step mentioned below:
1. Clean Off The Battery Terminals:
Before you start, make sure that you must wear gloves and then clean off the battery terminals. You might have to deal with tons of corrosion that have built up on the battery terminals, which you must have to clean before reconditioning the battery. Each battery type may have a different size and terminal configuration, so you need to make yourself familiar with the different components of the battery before getting started.
Take some distilled water and mix some baking soda in it, do it until it turns into a thick paste. Now apply that paste on the battery terminals with the help of a toothbrush to clean the area. Meanwhile, for tough corrosion on the terminals, it is recommended to use steel wool, steel brush, or a fine sandpaper grit. Their extra abrasive texture will offer better scraping performance in getting rid of corrosion. Wash the terminals with a little more water and baking soda and then wipe it off, allowing it to dry completely.
2. Check Voltage Level of Your Battery:
The next step you need to do is to check the voltage of the battery using a voltmeter. You can buy a voltmeter and it won’t be very expensive, moreover, it is super simple to use. Just connect your voltmeter to the terminals, if the reading is less than 12.6V it means that reconditioning has improved the life and performance of your car battery. However, if the voltmeter reads 0 it means that the battery might have suffered a critical short circuit and it needs replacement.
3. Remove the Old Electrolyte Solution:
Before going for this step, make sure to have a bucket ready for pouring the old electrolyte solution along with some weak baking soda solution to neutralize the spills while emptying the battery.
For removing the battery caps, take out your flat head screwdriver! Once you remove the caps, put them in a container, and lift the battery slowly to pour out the old electrolyte solution into your bucket. For any spills, pour a small amount of the baking soda solution over the affected area to neutralize it.
4. Wash Battery Plates:
To make the battery plates clean from inside, prepare a mixed solution of baking soda and water with a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1. Once you prepare the baking soda solution, pour the solution in each of the battery cells to the full level then close it back using the battery caps. Now, lift the battery and shake it for like 30 seconds to 1 minute then let the solution inside the cells to settle for another 60 seconds to allow some reactions to happen. Once the solution settles down, open the caps and empty the battery, pouring the baking soda solution into the bucket. Check the PH level of the bucket and make sure that it must be between 6.8 and 7.2 before disposal.
5. Recondition the Battery:
Once you complete all the above steps, refill the battery cells with an electrolyte. With distilled water and Epsom salt, you can create your own electrolyte for battery reconditioning. The simplest and easiest way to prepare an electrolyte is to add the distilled boiling water into a clean plastic bucket and then add the Epsom salts gently while you stir. The electrolyte will help in raising the voltage and increasing the amperage given to your vehicle. Moreover, it stops the plate sulfating that kills the effectiveness of the battery.
Once the water gets clear it means that the electrolyte is completely ready to fill the cells. You can use a clean funnel to pour your mixture into cells. You need to fill every cell until they all get 100% full. Even If some electrolyte lefts, you can save it for some other time use. Don’t forget to put the caps on the battery and then shake it again for a few minutes. Once done, you are ready to go for charging the battery.
6. Charge the Refilled Battery:
Now, grab your battery charger and then connect the black wire to the negative terminal of your battery and the red wire to the positive terminal. Put the charging in slow mode, 2 Amps for 12V, and charge it for 24 to 36 hours. Once the charging time of 24 to 36 hours completes, detach the battery from the charger and then measure the battery voltage. If the reading measures between 12.4V and 12.6V, then it means that your reconditioned battery is in excellent condition already.
7. Test The Battery Through Load Testing:
You can test your battery using a load tester that you can buy from any of the hardware shops. Remember that to pass the load test, your reconditioned battery must have to sustain 9.6-volts for 15 seconds, tested at half the CCA rating.
CCA rating is a rating that refers to the cold cranking Amps that can be delivered by a 12V car battery at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and a minimal of 7.2V for 30 seconds. The better will be the performance of the CAA rating of the battery is higher.
So your battery needs to have a higher CCA rating to cope during cold seasons and due to the fact that it will degrade through time. It is quite easier for your car engine to start in warmer temperatures but having a higher CCA rating gives your engine more advantage even during the low-temperature conditions.
If your reconditioned battery failed to pass the first load test then you have to discharge it and recharge it back. Do it once and then perform the load test again to check the CCA rating.
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Is EZ Battery Reconditioning A Con?
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
– How Do I Know If A Car Battery Is Dead?
There are a few signs that indicate that a battery is dead. These signs include: vehicle’s engine not starting, lights not turning on, no cranking sound when starting the car, and backfiring.
– What Causes My Car Battery To Die Quickly?
Some of the most common reasons for a car battery to die quickly include corroded or loose battery connections, charging problems, persistent electrical drains, extreme weather, overcharging, and constant power demand that is more than the alternator can provide.
– Can An Old Battery Be Reconditioned?
Definitely, an old battery can get reconditioned! You can have a power level up to 70% of a brand new battery after you recondition your old battery.
– Can You Recondition A Dead Battery?
Yes, you can recondition a battery if it’s dead and you can recondition a dead battery only 3-4 times maximum.
– How to Recondition A Car Battery That Isn’t Holding Charge?
To recondition a car battery, you need to first need to remove the cell covers then you need to perform a hydrometer test. After that, test the cells and pour the treatment chemicals into the cells. At last, charge the battery for 24 hours at least.
– How Often Should You Recondition A Car Battery?
You should only recondition your battery when it’s totally dead, moreover, you shouldn’t recondition a battery more than 3 to 4 times.
– How Long Does It Take To Recondition A Battery?
The time required to recondition a battery may vary depending on the size of the battery. However, the process may take 4-48 hours or even weeks to complete.
– How Long Does A Reconditioned Battery Last?
That depends upon the type & condition of a battery. However, many of the batteries last up to 1 additional year after being reconditioned and you can recondition a battery another 3 times to increase the total life of a reconditioned battery up to 4 years.
– How Can I Safely Dispose Of A Car Battery?
The best way you can safely dispose of your car battery is either by trading it in for a new battery or by dropping it off at a hazardous waste recycling center.
– What Happens When You Overcharge A Battery?
Overcharging a battery puts excessive load on its component and it leads to premature failure, ultimately, causing the battery to die from being overcharged.
– At What Voltage Is A Car Battery Dead?
When it reads less than 12V after being charged, it means that the battery is dead. If the reading is 12.2V it means that your battery still has about 50% energy. The voltage between 12.7 and 13.2 means that your battery is fully charged.
– What Will Happens If I Charge An AGM Battery With Normal Charger?
An AGM battery is designed in a way to be charged low and slow so overcharging it may kill the battery itself. That’s why you can’t use a normal battery charger to charge an AGM battery.