How to recondition a car battery

Whether they have internal combustion engines, hybrid powertrains, or electric motors, all cars require batteries. Yet the battery is also one of the many components in our car that we often take for granted until the vehicle won’t starts. No matter how many times you turn the key or press the ignition button, a dead battery will always be a dead battery.  But, the question is how do you recondition a car battery? Well, read on to know.

How to recondition a car battery

Without routine reconditioning, a battery module’s capacity reading degrades with time or if it has been repeatedly depleted. Furthermore, the system calibrates the battery capacity reading during battery reconditioning by fully discharging and then fully charging the battery. What if we told you that it was possible to revive a dead battery? You might get your automobile battery reconditioned rather than buying a new one every time it died. Battery reconditioning is a standard method to increase the lifespan of a battery, even though this might not be practical for damaged or very old batteries.

Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles rely on the well-known 12-volt black boxes known as conventional flooded lead-acid batteries. In hybrids, a bigger nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) or lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is added to power a tiny electric motor that helps an internal combustion engine (ICE) achieve better fuel efficiency. Then there are the electric and plug-in hybrid cars, which typically contain large Li-ion battery packs to provide a pure electric driving range.

Well, today you’ll get to know the answers to the following questions:

  • What is battery reconditioning?
  • How do you recondition a car battery?
  • Is battery reconditioning advantageous?
  • How long does it take to recondition a car battery?

Read more: Lists of best battery maintainers

Alright then, let’s dive in.


What is battery reconditioning?

The process of restoring dead battery cells to full health and charging capability is known as battery reconditioning. But why is it even necessary to recondition in the first place? The electrolyte fluid in a lead acid battery, which is made up of sulfuric acid and water, reacts chemically with the lead plates to produce electrical energy. Crystals of lead sulfate accumulate on a battery’s plates after every discharge. Lead sulfate disperses during the recharge of the lead acid battery. Yet not all of it disappears.

Additionally, lead sulfate crystals accumulate over time, reducing the battery’s capacity for charging and discharging. Sulfation is the name of this condition. Sulfation makes the battery less efficient, requires longer charging periods, and has a lower charge capacity until it can no longer hold a charge. This is when battery conditioning comes into play. Each battery cell is cleaned of extra lead sulfate crystals during the battery reconditioning process, and the electrolyte solution is replenished, restoring the battery to a nearly new condition.

Read more: Best battery testers

How do you recondition a car battery?

battery reconditioning

The following information only applies to lead-acid batteries. Although you don’t have to wait until a battery is completely empty to condition it, safety should always come first. The battery’s viability for reconditioning will be determined after a fast-visual examination. Look for any type of broken parts, bulges, or cracks. Additionally, It is recommended to buy a new battery if the old one is not in good physical condition. Although patience is required, battery reconditioning does not necessitate an engineering degree. You probably already have the majority of the things you’ll need at home. The necessary supply list is presented in tabular form below:

Equipment: Ingredients: Specialty items:
Protective wear (e.g., safety goggles, chemical-resistant gloves, apron) 1 gallon of distilled water (no tap water due to chemicals added) Voltmeter
Flathead screwdriver 1 pound of Epsom salt Battery charger
Toothbrush 1 pound of baking soda  
Two large buckets    
Steel wool or battery terminal cleaner    


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to recondition a car battery both at home or any other secured location:

Suit up and space out

Even if it’s not really complex, this is nonetheless science. It could become chaotic. Make sure the place where you’re working is well-ventilated as well.

Create a cleaning solution

To make a runny paste, mix baking soda and water 2 to 1. This concoction can be used to clean batteries and cover-up acid spills.

Clean the battery

If the battery terminals are corroded, scrub the build-up off with a toothbrush after applying the cleaning paste (or a solution designed specifically for cleaning batteries) to the posts. The solution is functioning if there is a foaming reaction. For batteries with significant corrosion, use steel wool. Completely clean, wipe down and dry the terminals.

Connect the voltmeter to check the voltage

The red wire is connected to the positive terminal, and the black cable is connected to the negative terminal, much like when you jumpstart a car. Six cells make up a typical automotive battery, and each one generates roughly 2.1 volts. A healthy battery will therefore show 12.6V. If the voltage is between 10V and 12.6V, the battery can be recharged. Replace the battery if the voltage falls below 10V.

Empty the battery cells

You haven’t had to take the car’s battery out before. But at this point, you ought to. Keep a bucket nearby, along with a pound of baking soda. Use the flathead screwdriver to pry the cell caps out from behind the battery cover. Slowly pour each cell’s contents into a bucket one at a time. Baking soda can be added as you go or after all the cells have been emptied. In either case, it will neutralize the battery acid for secure disposal at any location, such as a recycling facility.

Clean the battery cells

Pour the cleaning solution into each cell using the funnel. Replace the battery cover and cell caps securely. The battery should now be shaken for at least a minute. Open the container and dump the mixture into the old-acid waste pail already there.

Replace battery cell solution

Mix 4 ounces of Epsom salt with 4 cups of water. Stir the water until it becomes clear. in addition, the process is quicker using boiling water, although it is not required. Fill the cells with the fresh electrolyte solution using the funnel. To spread the salt evenly, cover and shake once more.

Recharge the battery

Do this step low and slow? Set up in a secure location. Removing the battery lids once again is a good idea as the electrolyte solution may heat up and possibly overflow during charging. Connect the charger at a speed of 12V/ 2 amps and place it as far away from the battery as possible. Spend 36 hours letting the battery recharge.

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Test the battery

Check the battery’s condition with the voltmeter after disconnecting the charger. The average reading is 12.42V. Charge it once more for an additional 12 hours if yours is lower. When everything is in working order, run a load test by reinstalling the battery, turning the key to the “On” position, and turning on the high beams. Test the battery once more while it is under load after a few minutes. Congratulations if the voltmeter readout hits 9.6V. Your vehicle’s battery has been successfully reconditioned.

Read more: Lists of best car battery charger

Is battery reconditioning advantageous?

The reconditioning of vehicle batteries has a number of advantages. Most importantly, it can lengthen the battery’s lifespan. You might assume that since automotive batteries typically last five years, replacing the battery when it becomes stale and ineffective would be the standard procedure. You try reconditioning it rather than replacing it. This could increase the battery’s lifespan by one or two years, allowing you to utilize it for seven years instead. You will get the most use out of the battery with this additional time.

Unsurprisingly, this brings us right to the second advantage of a reconditioned battery: cost reduction. When you consider that a replacement battery typically costs $75, you can save a considerable sum of money. Waste reduction is an additional advantage. You use a method of recycling the battery to avoid disposing of it as well as the chemicals inside. You can also become proficient enough in this process to start your own business and earn some extra cash.

Read more: Lists of best car battery

How long does it take to recondition a car battery?

It’s actually not that simple to respond to this question. How long it will take to successfully recondition a car battery depends on a variety of factors. This explains why a lot of individuals are able to quickly recharge their car batteries. However, a lot of people take several days or close to a month to fully recharge their automobile batteries.

Given the process for reconditioning a car battery, we can estimate that the time required is about four hours. Nevertheless, it excludes the battery’s charging time. A battery needs to be charged for between 24 and 36 hours after reconditioning. A car battery’s reconditioning process may require up to one and a half days or two days, taking into account the battery’s charging duration.

Moreover, reconditioning automotive batteries come at a low cost. Other than your protective gear, purified water, and Epsom salts, you don’t need a lot of things. You should spend less than $20 on these materials, which is a lot less than you would pay to have the automobile battery replaced. The batteries would be a fantastic investment if you could get an extra year or two out of them.

Read more: How to properly recycle or dispose a battery


Does car battery recondition really work?

You might get your automobile battery reconditioned rather than buying a new one every time it died. Nevertheless, battery reconditioning is a standard method to increase the lifespan of a battery, even though this might not be practical for damaged or severely old batteries.

How long does it take to recondition a car battery?

It may require up to 24 hours to complete the reconditioning process. Around 4 hours of battery redundancy are lost during this time.

Read more: Understanding the working of Battery ignition system

Can you recondition a car battery at home?

It is possible to recondition automobile batteries at home using a smart lead-acid battery charger, regardless of the battery’s type (wet/flooded, AGM, Gel-Cell), charge/discharge level (even if the battery is entirely depleted, down to the cell reversal), etc. That’s how easy it is.

How can I make my dead battery good again?

A dead battery can be revived by adding baking soda, which is another common hack. Because baking soda neutralizes sulfuric acid and other results of acidic corrosion, it is frequently used to clean the tops of batteries and battery terminals.

Read more: Understanding battery used in automobiles

Can a dead battery revive itself?

Simply explained, neither a healthy auto battery nor a dead one can charge themselves. To be charged, it always needs an outside power source. Can you charge a dead battery? A dead automobile battery prevents the alternator from fully recharging it.

Can you refill car battery acid?

Battery users should be aware that sulfuric acid should never be added to a battery. Batteries will only use water and not sulfuric acid when they are functioning normally. However, filling your battery with water when its electrolyte is found to be low can keep it healthy and safe to use.

Can you pour Coke on battery acid?

Coke’s mild acidity does not react with battery acid, so you can pour it over the battery and let it wash away the corrosion. Coke can be used to clean automobile battery terminals.

Can you put bottled water in a car battery?

Bottled water is available as a single or a pack and is sold in supermarkets and gas stations. The label on them typically reads “spring water” or “purified water.” Although they might be a better alternative to tap water for drinking, they still contain the same contaminants as tap water, like chloride, which might harm your battery.

Can I use distilled water instead of battery acid?

Using distilled water to recharge your batteries is among the simplest choices you can make. A solution of acid and water serves as the electrolyte in flooded deep-cycle batteries. It is advised to use distilled or deionized water because it lacks any extra minerals that typical tap water can have.

How do I know if my battery is reconditioning?

Reinstall the battery, turn the key to the “On” position, then turn on the high beams of your car to perform a load test once you’re prepared to go. Test the battery once more while it is under load after a few minutes. Congratulations if the 9.6V reading on the voltmeter appears. You were able to successfully recondition your automobile battery.

What happens when you recondition a battery?

A rechargeable battery can be made better and have its memory effect reset by undergoing multiple cycles of reconditioning.

That is all for this article, where we discussed the answers to the following questions:

  • What is battery reconditioning?
  • How do you recondition a car battery?
  • Is battery reconditioning advantageous?
  • How long does it take to recondition a car battery?

I hope this content was helpful. If so, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!