How to Restore a Car Battery

Written by sue stepp
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How to Restore a Car Battery
Restore old, worn out batteries yourself and save money. (automobile engine image by palms from Fotolia.com)

Restoring car batteries saves money while helping our environment. A car battery has several components. The components are the casing, metal plates, sulphuric acid and water. The combination of metal and chemicals create an electrical charge, but when the plates become corroded from use or contaminants, the electrical current output diminishes or quits working. To restore it, the battery needs to be in good physical shape. For example, if the plastic casing is not cracked or leaking, and the overall outside and inside appearance of the car battery is sound, the battery can be restored.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 12-volt car battery
  • 12-volt car battery charger
  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective eyeglasses
  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Distilled Water
  • Paper towels
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Socket wrench and socket (size may vary)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put on safety glasses and gloves before touching the battery. Remove the car battery from the automobile by loosening the battery's clamps with a fitted socket wrench. Place the battery on a flat wooden or metal surface. Wash the battery's outer casing with water. Put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda on the battery's surface, and use a toothbrush to scrub the battery casing. Rinse thoroughly with water.

  2. 2

    Pry the battery caps off the top with the flat head screwdriver, and use paper towels to wipe off any dirt that is under the caps. Do not let this dirt fall into the battery holes.

  3. 3

    Pour distilled water into each of the holes one at a time, and fill each hole 1/4-inch below the top. Replace the caps.

  4. 4

    Hook the charger's red clamp to the positive post on the battery; there usually is a small plus sign on the top of the battery beside the positive post. Hook the charger's black clamp to the negative post; there usually is a small minus sign on the top of the battery beside the negative post.

    Charge the battery according to the charger's instruction manual. It usually takes eight to 10 hours depending on the charger and how fast the battery builds up a charge.

  5. 5

    Replace the battery in the automobile. Make sure the red positive cable coming from the car is connected to the positive post on the battery and the black negative cable is connected to the negative post on the battery. Tighten the clamps with the socket wrench.

Tips and warnings

  • Never store batteries on a concrete surface because this makes the stored charge drain from the battery. You can store it on a metal or a wooden shelf.
  • Battery fluids causes chemical burns. If you get fluid on you, flush with plenty of water and seek medical attention if necessary.

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