How To Recondition A Car Battery

Using rebuilding car battery method can extend your battery life and can save money

Every car owner regrets every time they are told that they have to buy a new battery; especially when they bought the current one just a couple of years ago.

This is because buying a new battery may be quite expensive and this goes along with the daily cost of paying for gas money as well as other maintenance practices for the car.

However, you do not have to replace your car battery every time it lags in terms of performance, provided you have a high quality type of car battery.

You can go for the option of reconditioning your car battery whenever you realize that it does not perform as it usually did.

This is a great idea especially if you realize your car battery loses charge easily and is becoming lesser and lesser efficient by the day.

This is How you can recondition your car battery through the following simple steps:

  1. Wear Protective Gear
  2. Remove The Corrosion In The Car Battery Terminals
  3. Use The Voltmeter To Measure The Voltage Reading
  4. Empty The Car Battery
  5. Cleaning The Cells Of The Car Battery
  6. Replace The Electrolyte In The Old Battery
  7. Take The Car Battery For Recharging
  8. Perform A Load Test For The Car Battery

The performance of the car battery is vital as it is the juice-box of the entire car. That is why the car battery needs to be in excellent condition-and one way to achieve this is by reconditioning it.

Why Should I Recondition My Dead Car Battery?

Well, this is obvious; many car owners will want a way to evade extra expenses. The one expense that can cause a painful pinch of the pocket is having to buy a new car battery.

The car “juice box” can be quite costly especially if you are seeking for an excellent brand.

You can also not drive the car comfortably as you will be risking; old car batteries can leave you stranded by the roadside on your way to an important meeting.

The second reason why reconditioning your car battery would be a good condition is that it is a convenient action. This will help you budget and even save before you are able to buy new juice box for your vehicle.

You will also realize that a conditioned car battery can last up to two years which is just enough for you to save for a new one.

You will also be sparing the environment of a pollutant. We tend to dispose our old car batteries to the environment knowing little of what it means to the environment.

The components of the car battery are pollutive and hence an enemy of the environment.

Lastly, you get to enjoy your experience with your battery, which of course costed you a significant amount of money.

Reconditioning gives car batteries one more chance and they will be able to work as they used to back in the days. Such batteries are able to hold chrage and will also be more efficient than before.

Tools Needed For Reconditioning A Car Battery

Like every other activity that involves getting under the trunk of your car, you will need to assemble the appropriate tools for the task.

These include:

  • A good set of rubber gloves
  • A face mask
  • Goggles
  • A screwdriver(flathead)
  • A good battery charger
  • Funnel
  • 1 gallon of distilled water
  • baking soda
  • bucket
  • battery terminal cleaner
  • apron
  • old brush
  • voltmeter

8 Steps To Recondition A Car Battery At Home (DIY Guide)

As seen above reconditioning your car battery is a good idea if you do not want to spend on buying a new car battery but you need a good juice box for your vehicle.

Reconditioning your car battery will get it back to normal working ways and you will be dealing with an efficient car battery for your car’s power demands.

The following steps ensure you recondition your car battery successfully:

1. Wear Protective Gear

This is the first and most important step although most people take it for granted. As you will be dealing with a car battery that comprises different components you can never be too careful when handling it.

Acid spills turn out to be quite ugly if not well sustained and have a bad reaction when they come into contact with the skin.

Having on a set of gloves or goggles prevents this from happening and thus ensure your general safety. It is also advisable that you have a solution of baking soda close by in case of a spill, this will help by neutralizing acid spills or splashes.

2. Remove The Corrosion In The Car Battery Terminals

The corrosion that builds up as a reaction of the acid and the metallic terminals has to be cleaned. A solution of baking soda will do the trick quite effectively.

You can then use the brush to rub the solution or paste on to the terminals. This will remove the corrosion. Steel wool would help in the case you are dealing with corrosion build up that is stubborn and just won’t come out easily.

To learn more about cleaning car battery terminals, then click here.

3. Use The Voltmeter To Measure The Voltage Reading

You will need to know the voltage of your car battery before deciding if it needs to be undertaken through reconditioning.

You should properly connect the voltmeter; where the red cables go to the positive terminal and the black ones to negative terminal.

A battery in good condition will give a reading not less than 12.5v. if you notice that your car battery is well below this figure in terms of voltage, then it is in dire need of reconditioning.

This will help it get back to its original efficient state.

If you like to know more about this topic, read this article on how to test a car battery.

4. Empty The Car Battery

Using your screw driver, preferably a flat one, take of the caps from the battery. You should then place them well to avoid losing them when you need to place them back to the battery.

You can then pour out the electrolyte solution in the bucket you had. This should then be neutralized with enough baking soda.

5. Cleaning The Cells Of The Car Battery

Prepare a solution of baking soda with water, placing twice as much of baking soda than water. Mix the solution well and fill all of the cells of the car battery.

Place back the caps in order to lock them and then shake your car battery slightly. The gentle shaking should not last less than one minute.

You can then open the caps and pour out the solution to the same bucket you used earlier.

6. Replace The Electrolyte In The Old Battery

Replace the solution that was in your car battery with Epsom salt and one molar concentration with water. This solution can be achieved by mixing 120g with a liter of distilled water and then mixing gently.

You should ensure that the entire Epsom salt is dissolved and that there is no solid residue seen. You should then refill all the cells and cover with the caps.

7. Take The Car Battery For Recharging

The battery is now reconditioned and you will need to recharge it at 12V/2amps, which is a slow charging rate. This will take around a whole day which is 24 hours or even 12 hours more.

When the recharging is done, connect the voltmeter and if the reading is above 12.5V, then your car battery has been fully reconditioned.

8. Perform A Load Test For The Car Battery

This is the last step; subjecting the car battery to a load test. A battery load tester is highly recommended here as it is highly accurate in the results it gives.

A battery in good shape can be seen on its ability to maintain the level of 9.6V for not less than 15 seconds.

If you do not get this result, the battery has to be drained and taken through the recharge process and you can then perform the load test at this point.

What Things To Look Out For When Reconditioning A Car Battery

You might be wondering whether there are any dangers you should worry about when you are reconditioning your car battery. The answer is yes, there are potential dangers involved.

For starters, the battery can be highly dangerous if not properly handled especially now that it is damaged. You should watch out for batteries that have bulges or cracks or even those that are leaking, these need to be replaced altogether.

In such a case, reconditioning it will be rather useless as the physical damage sustained will not enable it function well.

It is advisable that you have safety gear like goggles and gloves on before taking part in the task. This is because of the nature of what you want to deal with, the battery acid spilling on your skin can be rather irritating and even cause chemical burns.

In severe cases, the battery reacts by exploding and this will be unfortunate if you do not have the proper gear on.

Lastly, as a safety advice, you should not recondition the car battery for more than four times. Surely, the car battery is not meant to last forever and reconditioning it simply gives it chances and prolongs its life.

Reconditioning the car battery more than four times will eventually damage it and make it rather worthless. After the fourth time, you will just have to dispose it when it does not work well.

Q&A

Now you understood how to recondition a car battery through the information I have provided above. I will also walk you through several questions people often ask when it comes to rebuilding a car battery that can further help you!

How Can Epsom Salt Help To Recondition A Battery?

Epsom salt is a type of additive salt that works by reducing the internal resistance in the car battery.

This then prolongs the efficiency of the sulphated car battery and gives your old car battery something like four to six years of existence.

Epsom salt is magnesium sulphate and together with other salts like caustic soda and EDTA can be used to prolong the life of an old car battery.

How Can Using Vinegar Help To Restore Car Batteries?

Vinegar is a type of product that just works miracles for your car battery. This is both for the interior parts or for the external parts.

For instance, you can use vinegar to clean corrosion that builds up on the terminals of your car battery.

You could also open the caps of your car battery, for those that are not “free maintenance”, and fill the turkey baster with vinegar.

This will surely prolong your battery just as cleaning the corrosion on the terminals of your car batteries.

What Happens When I Put Vinegar In A Battery?

Vinegar is lowly acidic and when put in a car battery it helps the car battery to charge adequately and turn over.

Once you put the vinegar in the car battery, there will be balance in the Ph. level and there will be a chemical reaction that will ensure the car battery is in better position that it was before.

What’s The Benefit Of Using A Battery Reconditioning Charger?

Ordinary car battery chargers are good to have, but they put our car batteries at risk of being overcharged and eventually being damaged.

Battery reconditioning charger does more than just charge the car battery; it is fitted with features that regulate the battery charging process.

Needless to say it is designed with modern technology features.

For instance, it has features that are regulated by microprocessors which check on the amount of current and voltage that the car battery is receiving.

This is great for old type of car batteries that are at high risk of being damaged due to their delicate nature.

What Features Does A Battery Reconditioning Charger Come With?

It is important to know the features of a battery reconditioning charger that makes it an excellent choice to go for if you own an old type of car battery.

The features include:

  • A built-in regulator: This works as a microprocessor that checks and delivers the right and just adequate current and voltage that your battery needs. This is what presents situations of overcharging the car battery.
  • Designed to dissolve sulphate crystals: This can be accomplished by sending frequencies which then dissolve sulphate crystals that appear as deposits on the plates of the car batteries.
  • Provide correct readings: These type of car battery chargers can offer you with the most accurate readings when it comes to the voltage and current of the car battery. They are more sensitive than even the voltmeters and this is due to their design. You then know your exact status of your car battery and hence its genuine condition.

How Does A Battery Reconditioning Charger Work?

An ideal battery reconditioning charger works through the following steps:

  • The desulphation stage: This is the stage where sulphate deposits on the plates of the car battery are gotten rid of. The reconditioning charger uses frequencies which it sends through its system and into the car battery.
  • Slow start amperage feed: After the desulphation stage the charger sends 50% of the current into the car battery so that it does not harm it by overcharging.
  • Max amperage flow: Full amperage is supplied to the car battery to the extent that it gets to approximately 80%.
  • Low and steady amperage flow: On reaching the capacity of 80%, the reconditioning charger goes back to a rate that is slow but steady. This is maintained until the car battery attains full charge.
  • Battery test: Using its microprocessor, the reconditioning charger is able to check the voltage level of the car battery to assure if it has reached its full capacity.
  • Reconditioning of the car battery using a steady flow: This is meant for those type of car batteries that have been heavily drained. The reconditioning chargers are designed with smart technology that enables it detect such batteries and treat them special. It is then able to send current steadily until a time when both the battery plates and the electrolyte will have attained equal charge.
  • Maintenance function: Once sure the battery has attained full charge; it switches to its maintenance mode. This is usually referred to as float charging. The charger then sustains the 100% charge of the car battery without overcharging it, which will be overcharging and thus damaging it.

How Long Does It Take To Recondition A Car Battery Using A Reconditioning Charger?

The whole process would not take that much of your time. However, it depends with the state of your car battery, one that is highly discharged will take a long time to bring back to good condition off course.

The good thing here is the cutting-edge microprocessor makes the whole process efficient and worth taking your car battery through.

Top 3 Best Battery Reconditioning Chargers I Can Buy Today

1. BLACK+DECKER BBC25BD Fully Automatic 25 Amp 12V Bench Battery Charger

This is a good type of recondition car battery charger to have because of its ability to work quite fast. This will work for you when you are rushing to a meeting or appointment.

It is designed to be high performer and it does this while making sure not to harm your car battery in any way.

Has three stage charging that are fully automatic and is designed this way to work for the state in which your car battery is in. It is also fitted with a device that checks if the alternator is performing its function well.

You should not worry about consequences of reversed polarity as it is designed to protect the car battery against that.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Highly effective
  • Has a device to check on the alternator
  • Safe for both you and your car battery

Cons

  • Quite costly
I earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
09/02/2021 07:48 pm GMT
2. CTEK (56-864) MUS4.3 12 Volt Fully Automatic 8 steps Battery Charger

This is a one of a kind reconditioning car battery charger that you will surely enjoy working with. It is designed with the best technology that makes it highly effective for its functions.

This is great for your car battery as it gets to work with a reconditioning charger that is highly effective.

Its features are highly automatic so you don’t have to be present or pay too much attention. The car battery charger is able to operate with the least supervision.

It is also highly resistant to harsh conditions making it one of the best to use when you are outdoors.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Has numerous accessories that you can finds useful
  • Highly reliable
  • Can work for any type of car battery

Cons

  • Not the fastest of chargers
I earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
3. CTEK 40-206 MXS 5.0-12Volt Battery Charger

This is a reconditioning car battery charger that is designed with a modern look and it also has the capability of offering top-notch performance.

Its sleek design ensures you work with a highly efficient device that will ensure your car battery is in good hands.

This is the type of reconditioning car battery chargers that is ideal for any type of car battery. It is able to work with all of them similarly well.

Pros

  • Simplicity in usage
  • Highly efficient
  • Works well with whatever type of car battery
  • No worry of sparks, short circuiting neither reverse polarity

Cons

  • Can only be gotten from amazon or Hoer racing products as they are the only resellers
I earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Is There A Reconditioned Battery Course?

Yes, there is! This reconditioned course helps you know the best way or method to undertake your car battery through a reconditioned process without putting the car battery at risk.

This will also ensure you get successful results quite easily without putting yourself at risk of sparks or any other effect that arises when cases such as reverse polarity, overcharging and others ensue.

Conclusion

As seen above the reconditioning battery methods, help bring back to the performance of their old self and this is great for the car.

This is especially common for car batteries that are of great value and you would not want to end working with them just soon.

When a car battery is reconditioned it regains its efficiency and also has an improved capability to hold charge than before.

The main benefit of reconditioning a car battery is that you get to extend its lifetime for about two years. This will help you save before you are actually able to buy a new car battery for your vehicle.

You also get to avoid polluting the environment as you do not dispose it off in a way that might harm the immediate environment.

Sources:

1. WrightGrid – https://www.wrightgrid.com/battery-reconditioning/car/
2. It Still Runs – https://itstillruns.com/recondition-car-battery-home-4855050.html

Written by Yusuke Kohara

Hi there! My name is Yusuke. I write about automotive topics for Car Proper. I love cars and have a passion for writing helpful articles on tools, car accessories, and how-to to help my readers solve their problems. In my spare time, I'm either working out, reading the book, or spending time with my family. I also work for a digital consulting agency.

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