Do you have several car batteries sitting somewhere in your garage? The answer is probably yes as car batteries have a limited lifespan. While car batteries can last for years, their lifespan is usually determined by how they are used and maintained. If you drive daily, charge the batteries properly and never deep cycle, the batteries can last in the upward of seven years.
However, the same batteries can last for less than 3-4 years due to excessive deep cycling, lack of use, damage, corrosion, electrolyte evaporation and charging problems.
How does a car battery die?
If you have ever used a jump-start booster pack or battery charger to revive your car battery, then that is where the problem starts. When damage to the battery accumulates, the battery eventually dies and cannot hold a charge.
For clarity, we will be discussing the inability of the battery to hold a charge and not death because it has not been charged. This is what is called sulfation where lead sulfate crystals form and reduce the capacity of the battery to charge. As the sulfation spreads, the battery eventually dies and cannot hold charge rendering it uses.
For most people, the next thing is to order a new car battery and have the spoiled ones replaced. However, replacing a car battery can be quite expensive. However, if you want to save some money, there are a few things you can do to revive the battery and give yourself a few more years on the road.
What you will require restoring your dead car batteries:
- Dead battery itself
- Taper charger or Adjustable PSU
- Distilled water
- Rubber gloves
There are few items you might need that are not basic like a flashlight, super glue, paper towel, and syringe.
Measure the Voltage
The next step after gathering all the required material is to measure the voltage using the multimeter noting down the reading. Your battery should give you readings not less than 11.8V which is around 30% in an open circuit. This is what determines if the battery is dead and needs reviving. If the reading is above 11.8V, then you can charge the battery, and it will work.
Inspect the cells
We move on to the next step of inspecting the cells to see if there are damaged ones. Here, you will need to place the paper towel in the working area to avoid any damage to the surface due to acid leaks. The lid for the battery is first removed using a screwdriver. Make sure you have your gloves on and remove the battery caps. This process should be done in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling the acid.
Take a look inside the cell, and you will see a white fabric that is dry. This is where a flashlight comes to your aid, but it is not a must if you’re working outside. Brown fabric with white lumps is a sign of sulfation reducing the chances of reviving your batteries.
Add distilled water
Water is then added to each cell with the help of a syringe. The fabric should be able to absorb the water slowly. You can buy the distilled water or use rainwater.
Shake the battery slowly and let it rest for ten minutes.
Turn on the PSU
Once again, connect your multimeter and see how much battery is drawing. The multimeter should be set at 10A and connected in a series to a charger and the battery. If it withdrawers between 100-200mA, then it is dead. Increase the PSU to 14A and let the charger to sit for two days. It then should be able to withdrawer 500-1000mA.
Test the battery with your car
You can now place the battery in the car and have the headlights on. The battery should be able to function properly without the voltage falling below 12V.
While revived old car batteries cannot deliver the same amount of power as new batteries, they can effectively serve you for a few more years which is better than buying new ones. The steps above are just simple ways on how you can revive a lead-acid car battery. There are several ways one can revive most forms of batteries including, laptop battery, smartphone batteries and much more.
If you want to know how to recondition batteries at home, there are several materials online and guides that can help you revive almost any battery.
Best Reconditioning Guides:
>>> EZ Battery Reconditioning Program Review
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info. I do get a small referral if you buy via my links – that´s why all informations are free for you on my website.