What To Do With Old Car Batteries? There is replacement and then there is reconditioning. The latter is a means of salvaging a car battery (within reason, of course) and rendering it functional and ready for use.
- You start by checking the battery’s voltage; you can make use of a voltmeter to achieve this. As long as the battery exceeds 10 volts, you have a good chance at reconditioning it.
- Pop the terminal caps off the battery; in case of a sealed battery, you will need to pull the plugs.
- Next, check the acid levels and ensure that they are full. If it is indeed full and the battery has proven not to hold a charge, your next step will be to remove the acid.
- Since you are working with a potent and dangerous chemical, wear dispensable clothes and needless to say don safety gloves and protective eyewear.
- Baking soda is an effective acid neutralizer, and you need to keep a bag at hand; it will be used presently.
- Have three cups’ worth of distilled water in a jar, ready to pour. It should be heated to 150 degrees. Add a cup of epsom salt into the jar to create a saline solution or brine; stir well. Leave the solution for a bit so the salts have time to dissolve and the water to cool.
- Meanwhile, find a secure plastic bucket, lift the battery and hold the top acid vents facing away from you. Tilt the battery to empty it of the acid. Take extreme caution and care during this step. Take the baking soda bag and dump the lot of it into the acid water. Now, you can dispose of the acid water and not worry about it damaging the plumbing.
- Mix the salt solution some more. The jug will now be at room temperature. Fill each cell in the battery that is now empty of acid.
- Reattach the lid, use a dishrag to wipe off any excess fluids on the battery, put the caps back on the nodes, secure them ideally, and give the battery the once-over.
- Lift and shake the battery to get the brine solution going. You follow this step with a link-up to a 12-volt 2-amp triple charge. You want the solution inside the battery to charge slowly at a reduced rate, so the low ampere value is ideal. This should take 24-36 hours to conclude.
- Now that the shaking is done, set the battery back down, remove the node seals, and let it air out. Gases are generated in this process and it is safe to let the battery charge gradually with the selas loose.
Test the battery once it is ready and see if it is holding a charge. 99% of the time this technique will work. Also, you can repeat this process up to four times before the reconditioned battery is no longer viable.