How to Fix a Car Battery?

How to Fix a Car Battery

Replacing a car battery is probably one of the simplest things you’ll ever do, and it shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg either. You don’t even need technical skills to change a battery but it’s better if you try to fix it first. All you need to do is follow the instruction provided in the article below and you’ll be well on your way to fixing your first battery. The best part is that we offer you a simple and straightforward process to follow with no complicated jargon. Read on for a free guide on how to fix a car battery.

How Can Your Car Battery Die?

By the end of this article, you’ll have acquired a new skill - that of fixing a car battery. Now, there are many scenarios that would necessitate this skill and many of them are avoidable. It’s important to note here that we’re not referring to a dead battery, which usually happens as a result of careless behavior like leaving your dim light on for the whole night. A car battery in this condition can always be fixed by using a battery charger, a booster pack or a jump start.

But, over time your car batter goes through damage that eventually kills it. Once the battery’s dead, your car won’t start or even move an inch. So, when we refer to a dead battery on this article, just know that we’re talking about a condition known as “sulfation” which happens when a car battery is no longer able to hold a charge.

To understand how a car battery works, you need to know what it’s made of. It’s mainly built of contradictory metals like water-based sulfuric acid (H2SO4, as well as lead and lead oxide that’s placed in an electrolyte bath. This soup of metals is known as “battery acid” and its job is to enable the flow of electrons that go from the PbO2 plate to the Pb plate. This creates an electric current that powers different parts of the car, such as the headlights. This chemical reaction leads to chemical symmetry between these chemicals which the battery plates adapt to by becoming lead sulfate. This is usually when the problems start.

On the other hand, you have “soft” battery sulfation which happens whenever you discharge your car’s battery. This doesn’t pose a problem because the car battery can recharge itself in most cases to create dissimilar PbO2 and Pb plates once again. Once discharged, a car’s battery experiences “hard” sulfation and this causes lead sulfate crystals to form. These PbSO4 crystals take up so much space that there isn’t enough left to facilitate a natural chemical reaction. As a result, you’ll find that it’s harder to charge and discharge the battery. Over time, the formation of PbSO4 crystals proliferates throughout the battery, causing it to short circuit and crack toward its doom.

Is It Possible to Use a Car Battery Charger?

Yes, at first you may but over time this will be ineffective. Most battery chargers simply won’t work once your unit has experienced hard sulfation. That’s because the active material within the battery is no longer able to hold a sufficient charge. Some people recommend using pulse charging techniques to fix this problem but these methods might damage your battery even more, especially if it’s already dead.

Fixing the Battery with Acid

Experts say that pouring distilled water and acid into your car’s battery can be the safest and most effective way to revive a lead-acid battery. Still, you must be very careful in how you handle this process because battery acid is extremely toxic. Otherwise, it’s possible to revive a wet cell battery that’s unable to generate an adequate charge by filling it up with a sufficient amount of water. Now, unless the battery is leaking acid, it’s advisable to avoid putting any more acid into it. In most cases, all you have to do is fill it with distilled water and mix the acid with a charger. Furthermore, modern sealed-cell batteries cannot be fixed using this method because it’s impossible to top up their electrolyte levels.

Using Acid and Water

The first step to fixing your battery is to measure it. You’ll know it’s completely gone if it gives off a minimal voltage. Next, fill it up with some distilled water. This’ll help with acid activation and it might increase the voltage a bit.

Also, don’t hesitate to juice it up with a bit of sulfuric acid if you notice spilled acid. However, topping it up with sulfuric acid should be enough to start the charging process all over again. It’s enough to start up the chemical reaction needed in the form of mixing the water with dried acid.

What About Sulfation?

Most car batteries have a lifespan of 4 years. But, with regular repairs, it’s possible to increase that lifespan even more. For those with a good quality lead-acid battery, it’s enough to just repeat the water and acid method a few times. However, keep in mind that over time this will kickstart sulfation which reduces the battery’s ability to react. That’s because when you renew electrolyte acidity you actually accelerate the sulfation process. 

But, learning how to fix a car battery is still a valuable skill that you could benefit from as a car owner. It can help you to extend your car battery’s lifespan just long enough for you to find the right replacement. Keep in mind that once a battery reaches the point that it needs you to take such measure, it will eventually die out which means you need to start looking for a replacement immediately.

How to Prevent Your Car Battery from Dying?

As they say, ‘prevention is better than cure’ and the same goes for battery maintenance. Instead of repairing the damage, try to avoid it altogether. The best way to prevent sulfation in your battery is to charge it regularly, especially after using it. Check your car’s charging system to make sure it’s working properly. Get a float charger where you can place an unused car charger in order to maintain a full charge. 

If you ever find yourself in need of assistance with your car battery, don’t hesitate to contact us.