A car battery is one of the most costly items in your vehicle, and you want it to last as long as possible. A bad battery replacement can be costly, but not when you have a DIY solution for reconditioning a car battery.
Yes, you read that correctly. With a fail-safe system, you can easily recondition the car battery. So, first and foremost, let’s figure out what car battery reconditioning entails!
The method of restoring the healthy life and charging power of your old and dead car batteries is known as reconditioning. It is not a good decision to throw away your defective batteries when you can still recondition them several times. As a result, rather than discarding the batteries, let us take a look at how to reconditioning a car battery at home. You’ll be able to learn it in the sections that follow.
We sometimes see people discarding their car batteries. It’s understandable, given that no one wants to deal with the hassle and inconvenience of using ineffective batteries. Similarly, drivers have no idea how to recharge batteries. The batteries are also very costly to repair, and they do not even get cheaper when the system gets older.
Reconditioning batteries help you to retain and renew the operation of your batteries so that they can continue to function as they did before, providing you with enough charge and saving you money. It’s also safer for the environment since batteries are difficult to recycle and often end up in garbage bins, releasing chemicals into the environment and having a significant effect on human health.
So, let’s take a look at the whole process for reconditioning a car battery right now!
What Kind of Equipment Do You Require?
Please schedule these tools ahead of time to perform car battery reconditioning!
A battery charger to boost your battery.
- Plastic bucket.
- A battery post cleaner.
- A plastic funnel.
- A reliable voltmeter.
- Distilled water.
- Plastic bucket.
How to recondition a car battery at home
Step 1: Cleaning the battery
It’s important to clean up the corrosion right away. You may use a ready-made post cleaner or make your own solution to clean the battery terminals. You can also use any commercially available post-cleaning product. To make your own solution, add two teaspoons baking soda and one teaspoon water in a small mixing bowl and swirl until a fine paste develops.
Take a toothbrush and gently scrub the posts. Steel wool may also be used to remove extreme corrosion. This is the first step in learning how to properly recondition a car battery. If your battery is heavily corroded, grain sandpaper is an excellent option that will not dissapoint you. Don’t forget to put on your protective gear, such as gloves and goggles.
Step 2: Verifying the Battery Voltage
The next step in recharging a car battery is to check the voltage. The voltage tester, also known as a voltmeter, is the best tool for determining the right power parameters. Checking the voltage is straightforward; simply connect the voltmeter to the battery terminals, and you’re good to go.
The voltage of the battery must be greater than 10 volts in order to be reconditioned. If the readings are less than 12.6 Volts, the battery is in good condition; if they are greater, reconditioning is needed. If the voltage is between 10 and 12, the battery can be completely charged. On the other side, if the voltage is less than 10, you’re not doing the right thing.
It’s possible that you’ll see zero readings. This means that there has been a short circuit in the battery. Now is the time to use your repair tips or simply call a mechanic to manage the situation appropriately.
Step 3: Remove the acid
After successfully measuring the voltage, it’s time to remove the old acid from the battery. With the aid of a flat-head screw, locate the battery caps. The number of caps can be anywhere between two and six. Remove all of the caps and place them in a bucket or tub nearby.
You can use this time to test each battery cell individually until you empty them. This could help you figure out whether you have a dead cell in your car battery. Place your battery to the side until all of the battery cells are drained, then add 12 pounds of baking soda to the old battery acid in your bucket. The battery acid would be neutralized, allowing you to safely dispose of it.
Lead acid battery cells’ electrolyte (liquid) is highly dangerous. It’s a mixture of sulphuric acid and water. It’s not something you want on your forehead, in your eyes, or on your clothes. As a result, double-check that you’re wearing all of your safety gear.
Step 4: Put your battery in the working order
It’s time to recondition the battery now that the acid has been removed. To do so, you must replenish the cell with electrolytes. Epsom salt and distilled water are commonly used to make the electrolyte. This will allow your battery to charge effectively while avoiding sulfates. Pour it into the battery at this stage.
Step 5: The last step is charging the battery
The final step in reconditioning a car battery is to ensure that the whole process is functioning properly. Since the electrolyte will overflow during charging, the caps on the battery should not be removed. So, take out your battery charger and attach the black (negative) and red (positive) leads to the negative and positive terminals, respectively.
Maintain a charging speed of twelve volts/two amps.
Continue billing for at least a day or 36 hours. Remove the battery and use the voltmeter to take readings. The average reading will be 12.42V. If you like, you can also do a battery load test. Otherwise, you’re good to go with the effective car battery.
So, you’ve accomplished the mission of reconditioning a car battery successfully. Remember to put on your safety goggles, gloves, and other necessary items.
What if the Reconditioning Process fails the first time?
It’s possible that the reconditioning would fail the first time you try it. You have a few options open to you. The first choice is to let the battery charge for another 12 hours or so. Clean up any spilt electrolyte solution and re-charge the battery cell. After another 12 hours of charging, repeat the load test.
The second choice is to fully discharge the battery and then recharge it. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. The manual method involves turning the car on, turning on the high beams, and allowing the car electronics to drain the battery, similar to a load test. Another option is to use a special deep-cycle charger, which will drain and recharge your battery.
Repeat the load test after the battery has been drained and recharged. According to my study, you can need to recycle the battery several times to get an appropriate voltage reading. You can, however, have a freshly reconditioned car battery ready to go when you do.
How long does it take to recondition a battery?
The short response is that it’s difficult to tell. The time it takes to recondition a battery is determined by how long it takes you to complete the steps above as well as the battery’s condition. This also assumes you have all of the required materials. One thing is certain: it will take at least 24 to 36 hours to completely recharge the battery.
The only thing you can count on is the time limit. The actual method of completing the steps outlined above is a different story. If you have all of the necessary supplies, the reconditioning should only take about an hour.
Of course, reconditioning the battery for the first time would take longer. You’ll move more slowly as you try to be more cautious; after all, you don’t want to spill battery acid. It takes time to figure out the electrolyte solution and become familiar with the process.
How long do reconditioned batteries last?
This is, after all, the million-dollar question. At the very least, there’s the $150 problem. What is the expected lifespan of your reconditioned battery? A battery that has been reconditioned will last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of years. Some also say that it can double the life of a standard car battery.
However, certain factors influence the lifespan of a reconditioned battery. What was the battery’s state before you reconditioned it? What was the severity of the sulfation? How successful was the reconditioning process? Another factor that determines how long a reconditioned battery lasts is its age. Were you able to get the electrolyte mixture just right?
Some claim to have refurbished batteries that were still under their five-year warranty period. They reconditioned them when they were around 30% to 40% of their original condition. In theory, this will prolong the battery’s life by extracting sulfates from the battery plates until they accumulated too much.
Tips for reconditioning your battery at home
Put car batteries on a trickle charger unless you intend to use them for a few weeks or longer to avoid output loss. Sulfur forms on the lead plates when a battery loses its charge. Place the battery on the charger for three days to recover its full power.
While charging your battery, do not replace the caps on top of the cells; the electrolyte can heat up. You don’t want to build up pressure within the cells.
Use bottled water instead of tap water because tap water contains contaminants that can damage a battery. Sulfuric acid, which is used in car batteries, is extremely hazardous. Working in a properly ventilated environment with no open flames is recommended. It’s also a good idea to wear safety goggles and latex gloves. If the acid spill on your skin by accident, quickly wash it with water.
After reading the above article, you can now recondition your battery with great ease. Hopefully, you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a message for our team. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Till next time. Thanks!