Have a dead car battery? Learn how to recondition a car battery at home to revive it without spending big bucks with this easy battery reconditioning guide!
A car battery is one of those car accessories that you don’t want to replace since its replacement is very expensive. As a car owner or driver, you want your car battery to run for the longest time. But what will you do when the car’s battery gets dead and you don’t want to replace it? Well, there is a solution for it, car battery reconditioning!
It’s no rocket science to recondition a car battery. You can easily recondition your dead car battery after reading this how-to recondition a car battery at home guide. So let’s start:
What Does It Mean To Recondition A Car Battery?
Reconditioning of a car battery refers to the process of reviving back the charging capacity and healthy life of your old battery whose cells are now been dead. It would be a total waste of money to just throw your old battery when you can do its recondition 3 to 4 times, to extend your car’s battery life to 4-5 years.
Does Reconditioning A Car Battery Work?
Yes, reconditioning a car battery 100% works, moreover, it’s not a difficult task to do it even if you are doing it for the first time. However, one thing you must know is that sulfation usually results in irreversible corrosion of the lead plates that’s why the reconditioning process will only work three to five times.
Can You Recondition A Car Battery At Home?
You can easily recondition a car battery at home if the battery of your car is not been able to hold a charge. You don’t need complex tools for the battery reconditioning process. All you need is a car battery reconditioning kit that includes safety gear, testing tools, battery solutions, etc.
Benefits of Car Battery Reconditioning:
When your car battery gets dead, you have two options, either replace it with a new one or get it reconditioned. If your car battery is not damaged then battery reconditioning would be a better option to go for. Here below, we have described a few of the top benefits that you can get from a reconditioned battery.
- On average, a regular car battery spans for about five years. After that, your battery started to worn out, and you need to get a new replacement. However, with reconditioning, you can extend the life of your old battery by about three to four years which is a superb trade-off for your initial investment.
- Another benefit you get with a reconditioned car battery is cost savings. Through reconditioning, you can easily save up to 50 percent of the cost of a brand new car battery.
- Reconditioned car batteries help in reducing the pollutants that are thrown to Mother Nature. Lead-acid car batteries carry an acidic electrolyte solution that causes a threat as it poisons the groundwater and soil.
- Last but not least, you can start your own car battery reconditioning business. If taken seriously, battery conditioning is a good business in the long run. You can list your reconditioned car battery for sale online and make good money out of it. A reconditioned car battery price is between $30 and $50.
What Do You Need To Recondition A Car Battery?
To recondition a car battery at home by yourself you need the following items and tools.
- Safety Goggles and Gloves
- Flathead Screwdriver
- A Gallon of Distilled Water
- Neoprene Chemical Resistant
- 1lb Baking Soda
- Battery Charger
- Plastic Funnel
- Plastic Bucket
- Battery Load Tester (Optional)
How Do You Recondition An Old Sealed Car Battery? Step-By-Step
If you don’t know how to recondition a dead car battery then here is the complete step-by-step guide for you about how to do it.
1- Clean Out The Car Battery:
Firstly, you have to remove the dirt on the car battery to make it clean. You can start with the posts to check if there are any signs of rust. Different car battery brands have cells of various sizes, so you must have an idea about every part of the unit. If there is corrosion on the posts then clean it by dipping the steel wool in the baking soda solution.
To prepare the mixture, you need to add baking soda into some distilled water. You have to mix the ingredients until a drippy paste is formed. Use a toothbrush to scrub out the battery posts, moreover, if there are tough stains then you can use steel wool.
It’s quite possible that during the cleaning you notice excess foam that is caused by some chemical reactions. If you experience this issue then you don’t need to be worried about that because it is completely harmless. Carefully apply the baking soda solution and must remember to clean out the moisture and let the battery dry.
2- Check The Voltage Of The Battery:
The next thing you do is to take a voltmeter to check the voltage reading that has been supplied by the battery of your car. Using a voltmeter is very easy, even if you are a beginner you can use it. Moreover, you can buy one at a reasonable price from any of the local hardware stores.
To check the battery voltage, you have to take the voltmeter and place it on the terminals. If you find reading less than 12.6v then consider reconditioning of battery. However, if the reading is 0 volts, replace the current battery with a new one!
3- Pour Out The Old Solution Of The Car Battery:
Now, for this step, you will need protective clothing that consists of googles and some extra clothing. Don’t forget to wear safety gloves that will hold out against potential spills from hazardous liquids. Once you are done with all the safety measures, place a screwdriver under the caps to make them open. Once you remove all the caps, keep them in a safe place.
The next thing is to get a plastic bucket and place it close to the cell. Gently dump the liquid solution of the battery into the bucket. Make sure to keep the car battery away from your body and don’t rush during the process as acid spills may damage your skin. Once the battery gets empty, return it to its original position. Now, take a reasonable quantity of baking soda and put it into the same bucket in which you dump all the battery acid. You only need half a pound of water to neutralize the liquid.
4- Remove The Grime & Dirt From The Cells:
Now, when you pour out all the old battery content, prepare another solution of baking soda and distilled water. However, this time, take about half a gallon of water to mix with the baking soda. Transfer the solution to the cells using a plastic funnel and then replace the battery caps. Then, for a few minutes, clean the car battery by shaking it around. Once done, take off the caps and dump the used solution into the plastic bucket.
5- Charge The Reconditioned Battery:
Pry out the caps of the battery. Don’t forget to miss this step, otherwise, the battery liquid will heat up and will eventually spill out of the battery that can lead to severe accidents.
The next thing is to do is to place the car battery reconditioning charger at a distance that must be reasonably far from the car battery. Connect the negative battery terminal with the negative lead of the charger and positive battery terminal with the positive lead of the charger.
Charge the battery for 24-36 hours and do not rush the charging process. Once the charging is completed, go for the battery testing phase.
6- Test The Reconditioned Battery:
To test the reconditioned battery you need to measure the voltage of your car’s battery with a voltmeter. If the voltmeter is detecting a reading of 12.43v at least, then it means that your reconditioned battery has passed the test. But if it’s detecting a lesser value then continue charging the battery. Furthermore, if the battery has spilled, do add some additional electrolyte and provide it with an extra 12 hours charge.
You can also check the status of your reconditioned battery with a battery load tester. Just screw in the caps of the battery and attach it to the vehicle. Now, turn on the fog lamps without starting the car. For a few minutes, leave the lights on then use a voltmeter to take the reading. A battery that is well-reconditioned measures at least 9.6v. If you are getting a lesser reading then it means that you have to do more work on your battery.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Can I Bring A Dead Battery Back To Life?
It is possible to bring a dead battery back to life! You can recondition your dead car battery with a battery reconditioning solution to revive it. The reconditioning process is simple and you can easily do it at your home.
– Can You Really Recondition Old Batteries?
Yes, you can recondition old batteries. Replacing lead-acid batteries is very expensive, therefore, reconditioning them is a better choice than buying a new one. You can recondition a battery to extend your battery life for several more years.
– How Long Does It Take To Recondition A Car Battery?
The reconditioning process usually takes around four hours and after that, your battery will be recovered. You need to conduct a battery test using a charger to check if the attempt was successful.
– How Long Will A Reconditioned Car Battery Last?
After reconditioning for the first time, your car battery can last up to a year. However, you can recondition the battery 3 more times to increase the total life of your battery to 4 years.
– How Do You Regenerate A Car Battery?
To regenerate a car battery you need to mix Epsom salt with distilled, warm water in 1/3 ratio to create a magnesium sulfate solution. Insert your non-metallic funnel into one of the now-open battery cells and carefully pour some of your magnesium sulfate solutions into the battery.
– Can A Completely Dead Battery Be Recharged?
Yes, you can recharge even a completely dead battery. If it’s partially dead then you can revive it back by recharging it. However, in case of completely dead, you need to first recondition the battery!
How Often Should I Recondition My Car Battery?
Once dead, you can recondition your car battery a maximum of four to five times. After that, a battery usually becomes worn out and you have to replace it with a new one.
Does Epsom Salt Revive A Battery?
Epsom salt is very effective in disulfate a battery. Fill the battery cells of your dead battery with Epsom Salt and shake it well so that the salt gets well-distributed. Once done, charge the battery to revive it back.
How Do You Revive A Car Battery That Won’t Hold A Charge?
If your car battery is not holding a charge then you can use a trickle charger to revive it. Making your battery slow-charged for 24 hours will help it in holding a charge.
How Long Does A Dead Battery Take To Charge?
Recharging a car battery that is dead will take at least 4 hours, however, it can even take up to 24 hours, depending on the size of the battery and how powerful the charger is. Generally, battery chargers put out around 4 amps, but there are some more powerful chargers out there.
Is It Completely Safe To Recondition A Car Battery At Home?
It is very much safe to recondition a car battery at home. However, you need safety equipment such as gloves and goggles to keep your body safe from the dangerous acid solution.
Can You Put Vinegar In A Car Battery?
If the battery is not sealed then you can put vinegar in your car battery, however, using it can be bad for the battery. Not only it reduces the life expectancy and decreases the endurance and performance but it also voids any warranties applicable.