How to Refurbish a Dead Car Battery

Car batteries

can be expensive replacement parts. Depending on the make, model, and battery quality, expect to pay from $100 to $300 for a new one. However, many people are surprised to find out that there is an inexpensive alternative. Rather than buying a new battery, it is relatively easy to refurbish or recondition an existing one. Unlike other batteries, most car batteries allow access to the insides where the problem occurs. Even if the battery is 10 years old, with just a few steps, most people find they can return it to life. This process can extend the battery life another five years or more. It is easy to find everything necessary to complete the process on



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Useful Tools for Refurbishing a Dead Car Battery

Refurbishing a car battery involves the possibility of contact with battery acid. It is extremely corrosive and can burn skin and destroy clothing. Since batteries release gasses that can be explosive during the charging process, always work in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors. A good pair of

neoprene rubber gloves

ensures no battery acid contacts the hands. It is also a good idea to wear a heavy

shop apron

to protect clothing.

Safety glasses

help protect the eyes from spray and invisible gases.

The only other necessary items are an inexpensive

battery charger

,, distilled water, magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), a funnel, and a turkey baster to remove unwanted electrolyte from the battery. It is important not to substitute anything for Epsom salt or distilled water. Tap water contains contaminants and table salt is not magnesium sulfate.

Safety Precautions

Every year, over 2300 people in the United States sustain injuries from handling car batteries. About half of the injuries are the result of acid burns to the eyes and face. The rest are usually due to lifting or dropping them, since they weigh approximately 40 pounds.

Some precautions are common sense and others may not be so obvious. For example, never store battery acid in direct sunlight or any other hot location. Keep in mind that some battery chargers are only compatible with specific batteries. Use only a charger that works with a 12V automobile battery. Since metal can react with battery acid, use only plastic funnels, basters, and containers. Remove all metal tools and jewelry from the immediate work area. Never overcharge a lead acid battery. Obviously, it is important to avoid open flames, but even small sparks can lead to an explosion.

Battery Refurbishing Process

Experienced professionals know that refurbishing an automobile battery is a great way to extend its life. Even if the result is only another couple of years of use, the little time it takes makes economic sense most of the time. Some mechanics purchase

used batteries

, refurbish them, and are able to sell them at a considerably higher price.

Used Acid Removal

Begin by bringing 1/2 gallon distilled water nearly to the point of boiling. Add 1/2 lb. Epsom salt and stir until completely dissolved. Set the mixture aside. For those who prefer to avoid the mixing process,

battery acid

is readily available for purchase. Since it is important that the inside of the battery does not become contaminated, wash the outside of the battery with clean water and baking soda. Baking soda neutralizes battery acid, rendering it harmless. Scrub all corrosion from the terminals and cable connections. Keep all work surfaces clean at all times.

Battery Acid Replacement

Next, remove the battery cell covers by prying them off with a screwdriver, taking care not to allow anything to fall down into the cells. With a damp paper towel, carefully clean the area immediately around the open holes. With the


,, add the mixture to each cell, making sure that the visible lead plates inside are completely covered. Replace the cell covers and rock the battery back and forth about 10 times to enable the mixture to coat all surfaces completely. Now, attach the battery charger to the terminals and allow the battery to charge for 24 hours. Depending on the condition of the battery, repeating this process two or three times can substantially improve the battery’s performance by removing additional sulfur buildup.

Discharging Option

Some mechanics advise in favor of the added step of intentionally discharging the battery between cycles. Simply reconnect it to the terminals on a car and turn on the headlights. When the lights begin to dim, disconnect the battery and recharge as described above.

How to Buy Car Batteries on eBay

You can find any type of car battery on


.. The easiest way to find the right one is to enter the details into the search bar that is available on every page. If you want to locate an already

refurbished battery

,, just enter that term into the open field. You can even specify the brand and your desired price.

Anyone who takes the time to do the math clearly sees the benefits of refurbishing a dead car battery. Since the necessary tools are limited to items most everyone has at home, it is easy to restore a battery in a couple hours over a weekend. Others prefer to just buy a

new battery

and forego the whole process.

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