We all desire our car batteries to have a long lifespan. However, batteries have been designed to have specific cycles. Eventually, the car battery weakens after a long period of constant usage.
Apart from getting old, a car battery encounters corrosion and short circuits periodically. The car battery loses its ability to retain charge for an extended period. It reaches a point where no matter how much power the battery receives from the alternator, the battery cannot hold enough power to start a car. The car battery is dimmed dead.
Some signs show your car battery is dead.
*You will see your dashboard warning light indicating that your car battery is not in good condition.
*The internal combustion engine cranks slowly or does not start at all.
*An odd smell comes out of the battery. Your car battery is venting gas.
*The car battery swells. Your car battery is likely to be damaged.
Besides, a dead car battery can impact the performance of your car negatively. The car engine will experience severe problems if you continue using a dead battery. Once your engine fails, you will encounter extra costs during maintenance.
Most people throw a dead car battery and replace it. Sometimes this is costly to some people. Well, it is interesting to know that you can still use a dead car battery by merely reviving and reconditioning it. This will save you the cost of replacement or maintenance.
Can a dead battery be revived?
A dead car battery can be revived temporarily. Instead of throwing away your battery, reviving it is a better option. A healthy car bar battery will read 12.4 to 12.7 volts when measured with a voltmeter. If your car battery reads below 12 volts or worse below 5 volts, then it has problems.
There are steps that you can follow and see your dead car battery revived temporarily.
*Use of distilled water- you can deal with a low electrolyte level issue by adding distilled water. This submerges the plates, thus enabling more reactions to propel the engine for some time.
*Use aspirin: Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, which is used with warm water. The aim is to alter the chemical reaction sequence in the cells of the dead car battery. Take a dozen aspirin tablets (500 - mg), crush, and dissolve. Mix with 6 Oz of warm water and add an equal amount to each cell.
*Jumpstart: This is a standard reviving method where a second car is used. Connect both car batteries using a jumper cable to jumpstart the dead car battery.
*Use Epsom salt: This is magnesium sulfate, which is a strong acid. An electrolyte with Epsom salt will help in chemical balance, ensuring that enough charge is delivered to start the engine.
Making a distilled water and Epsom salt solution is a simple procedure.
- One part of Epsom salt is added to 3 parts of warm distilled water. Add to each cell of the battery to a point where all plates are covered.
- Use an 18 - volt drill battery: This method is similar to jumpstarting a dead car battery. You will need jump cables and a fully charged 18 - volt battery for this method. The jump cables ensure that the dead car battery is connected to the drill battery like a jumpstart method.
*Hot ash method: This procedure entails placing a dead car battery in hot ash. The hot ash warms the battery up. You should carry this procedure with extreme caution as the battery might catch fire.
How do you recondition a dead car battery?
Reconditioning a dead car battery means restoring the battery's full charging capacity and achieving a standard electrolyte level. The leading cause of the car battery's dead is sulfation. Sulfur accumulates on the lead plates of lead-acid battery impeding current flow.
Some batteries that can be reconditioned include NiCad, Lithium-ion, Lead-acid car batteries, AGM, Gel batteries, and NiMH rechargeable batteries.
A car owner can do the reconditioning procedure with knowledge of the same. Before doing the procedure, ensure you wear protective clothing like goggles, apron, and rubber gloves.
The steps are outlined below:
- Remove the dead battery from the car.
- Clean the car battery making sure the terminals are clean and free from corrosion. Use baking soda and water solution for cleaning.
- Using a voltmeter, check the voltage level of the dead battery. If the battery's voltage is below 12.4 volts, proceed with reconditioning.
- The old electrolyte solution is then removed. Wash the battery plates. Use a solution of baking powder and clean water to clean the plates. Fill each cell with the solution and close the caps. Shake for 1 minute, then empty the battery.
*Replenish the electrolyte solution in the battery. Use Epsom salt and distilled water to make a new electrolyte. The concentration of the Epsom salt solution is to be one molar.
*Fill each battery cell to the full level and close the battery.
*Charge the refilled battery with a 2 Amp charger and let it charge to full capacity. After the battery fully charges, measure the voltage. A battery's voltage of between 12.4 and 12.6 indicates that the battery is in good condition.
A dead car battery is not to be thrown away as it is harmful to the environment. Store the dead car battery in a cool, dry place away from children.
Follow the steps below:
*Disconnect the battery cables.
*Do an inspection to check for any damage or leakage.
*Check electrolyte levels in each cell, ensuring they are full.
*Remove any corrosion using a baking soda solution.
*Place the dead battery in a secure location, which is clean and dry. The place should also be cool.
It is advisable not to throw away dead car batteries. Reviving and reconditioning of the dead battery is possible. It will save you a lot of money that could have been used in purchasing a new battery and maintenance costs.
Every car owner needs to familiarize themselves with reviving and reconditioning procedures. One day your car might fail in the middle of a road, and you have to perform the methods yourself.
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