How to recondition a lead acid car battery

Lead acid car batteries are an essential part of the power system of a vehicle. Whether you own a car, a boat or a motorcycle, a properly functioning battery is a must. However, lead acid batteries are not immune to deterioration and have a limited lifespan. Over time, sulfation and corrosion will reduce their capacity, eventually leading to premature failure.

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Fortunately, it is possible to prolong the life of your lead acid car battery by reconditioning it. This process involves removing the sulfation that has built up on the battery plates, allowing the battery to work at its full capacity again. Better yet, reconditioning can also save you money, as it is much cheaper to recondition a battery than to buy a new one.

In this article, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to recondition a lead acid car battery. We will cover everything from checking if your battery is suitable for reconditioning to the actual reconditioning process. By the end, you will have all the knowledge you need to extend the lifespan of your lead acid car battery.

How to Recondition a Lead Acid Car Battery

How to Recondition a Lead Acid Car Battery



Lead acid car batteries can deteriorate over time, causing them to lose their ability to hold a charge. Instead of buying a new battery, you can recondition your existing one to extend its life and save money.


Before you get started, you’ll need a few basic materials:

  • Epsom salt
  • Distilled water
  • A battery charger
  • A hydrometer
  • A small funnel


Follow these steps to recondition your lead acid car battery:

  1. Remove the battery from your car and disconnect the cables.
  2. Clean the top of the battery with a mixture of baking soda and water. Rinse and let dry.
  3. Remove the caps from the battery.
  4. Unscrew the vent caps and fill each cell with distilled water using a small funnel. Be careful not to overfill the cells.
  5. Add Epsom salt to each cell. Use one tablespoon per cell for small batteries and two tablespoons per cell for larger batteries.
  6. Replace the caps and shake the battery to mix the solution.
  7. Use a hydrometer to check the battery’s specific gravity. If it’s below 1.225, charge the battery with a battery charger.
  8. Charge the battery until it reaches a specific gravity of 1.265.
  9. Remove the charger and let the battery sit for a few hours.
  10. Check the specific gravity again. It should be around 1.265.
  11. If the battery still isn’t holding a charge, repeat the process a few more times.
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Reconditioning your lead acid car battery can save you money and extend the life of the battery. Regular maintenance including cleaning and adding distilled water can prevent the need for reconditioning in the first place.

The Importance of Battery Maintenance

The Importance of Battery Maintenance

Extend the Life of Your Battery

Proper maintenance of your car battery is crucial to ensuring it operates at optimum performance. Regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your battery, allowing you to save on replacement costs in the long run. Regular maintenance includes keeping your battery clean, ensuring the connections are tight, and checking the electrolyte levels.

Prevent Unexpected Breakdowns

Regular battery maintenance can also prevent unexpected breakdowns. Having the battery die on you in the middle of nowhere is not only inconvenient, but it can also be detrimental to your safety. By performing regular maintenance, you can detect and prevent problems before they become larger issues.

Here are some battery maintenance tips:

  • Check electrolyte levels every few months and top up with distilled water as needed.
  • Keep the battery clean and free of dirt and debris.
  • Ensure the battery connections are clean, tight, and corrosion-free.
  • Check the battery’s charge regularly to ensure it stays within the optimal range.
  • If your car won’t be used for an extended period, disconnect the battery or use a battery tender to keep it charged.


Regular battery maintenance is crucial to ensuring your car starts every time and preventing unexpected breakdowns. By following these simple tips, you can extend the life of your battery and save on costly replacements. Always remember to take safety precautions when performing maintenance on your battery and consult your car’s manual for specific instructions.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Reconditioning a Battery

Step-by-Step Guide to Reconditioning a Battery

Step 1: Preparation

Step 1: Preparation

Before you start the reconditioning process, make sure you are properly protected by wearing gloves and goggles. Next, gather all of the necessary tools including a battery charger, distilled water, a hydrometer, and a battery reconditioning solution.

Step 2: Opening the Battery

Step 2: Opening the Battery

Using a screwdriver or pliers, remove the covers and caps from the battery cells. Once they are removed, use a flashlight to check the water level in each cell. If the cells are dry, add distilled water to cover the plates.

Step 3: Testing the Battery

Use a hydrometer to test the specific gravity of each cell. Record the readings and compare them to the manufacturer’s specifications. If the readings are low, it may be necessary to replace the battery.

Step 4: Charging the Battery

Connect the battery charger to the battery and set it to the lowest charge rate. Charge the battery for several hours or until the battery charger indicates that it is fully charged.

Step 5: Adding Reconditioning Solution

Step 5: Adding Reconditioning Solution

Add the recommended amount of battery reconditioning solution to each cell. Allow the solution to sit for several minutes before moving on to the next step.

Step 6: Equalizing Charge

Set the battery charger to the equalizing charge mode and let it run until the battery is fully charged, usually several hours. This mode will help distribute the reconditioning solution evenly throughout the cells.

Step 7: Finishing Up

Finally, re-test the specific gravity of each cell. If the readings have improved, the battery has been successfully reconditioned. Replace the covers and caps, and use the battery charger to fully charge the battery before use.

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Tips for Extending the Life of Your Car Battery

1. Maintain Proper Water Levels

Lead-acid batteries require regular maintenance, and one of the most important tasks is checking and maintaining the water level. Make sure to use distilled water and keep the water level just below the cell plates. Low water levels can cause the battery to overheat and damage the cells, while overfilling can lead to acid overflow and corrosion.

2. Keep Your Battery Clean

2. Keep Your Battery Clean

A clean battery is a healthy battery. Regularly cleaning your battery terminals and cables can help prevent corrosion and enhance the battery’s performance. Use a mixture of baking soda and water, and a wire brush or toothbrush to scrub away any dirt or corrosion.

3. Avoid Frequent Short Trips

3. Avoid Frequent Short Trips

Short trips can prevent your car’s battery from fully charging, which can reduce its lifespan. To ensure that your battery has enough time to charge fully, avoid frequent short trips and instead plan longer trips that allow your battery ample time to recharge.

4. Check Your Charging System

4. Check Your Charging System

A faulty charging system can cause your battery to die prematurely. Regularly check your alternator and belts for any signs of wear and tear and have it tested by a professional if you suspect any issues.

5. Turn off Electrical Accessories when not in use

Electrical accessories like headlights, radios and air conditioners put additional strain on your car’s battery. Turn off these accessories when they’re not in use to reduce the load on your battery and help extend its life.

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6. Use a Battery Charger or Maintainer

Using a battery charger or maintainer can help keep your battery charged and extend its life. These devices plug into your car’s cigarette lighter and provide a low-level charge that keeps your battery fully charged and ready to go.

7. Replace Your Battery When Necessary

No matter how well you maintain your battery, it will eventually reach the end of its lifespan. If you notice any signs of battery failure, such as a slow cranking engine or a clicking sound when you try to start your car, it’s time to replace your battery.


Can I recondition a completely dead car battery?

It is possible to recondition a dead car battery, but it depends on how severely the battery is damaged. If the battery is only slightly discharged, it can be easily reconditioned. However, if the battery has been completely dead for a long time, it might not be possible to recondition it completely.

What chemicals do I need to recondition a lead acid car battery?

You will need distilled water, baking soda, Epsom salt, and a battery charger in order to recondition a lead acid car battery.

How long does it take to recondition a lead acid car battery?

The time it takes to recondition a lead acid car battery varies depending on the severity of the damage and the charging speed of your battery charger. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day or more.

What are the signs that my lead acid car battery needs to be reconditioned?

The signs that your lead acid car battery needs to be reconditioned include slow cranking, dim headlights, and a battery that won’t hold a charge.

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Is it safe to recondition a lead acid car battery?

Reconditioning a lead acid car battery can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. Make sure to wear gloves, eye protection, and work in a well-ventilated area. Be careful when handling the battery and follow the steps carefully.

Can reconditioning a lead acid car battery save me money?

Reconditioning a lead acid car battery can save you money as you can avoid buying a new battery. Moreover, a reconditioned battery can last you up to an additional two years of use.

What do I do if my lead acid car battery cannot be reconditioned?

If your lead acid car battery cannot be reconditioned, you will have to replace it with a new one. There is no other way to fix a battery that has been completely damaged.


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Alice Wright

As a female reader who is not very knowledgeable about car batteries, I found this article to be extremely helpful and informative. The step-by-step process of reconditioning a lead acid car battery was explained in a clear and concise manner, making it easy for me to follow along. I appreciated the use of simple household items such as Epsom salt and distilled water to clean and revive the battery, making it a cost-effective solution for maintaining my car’s battery. Overall, this article has empowered me to take charge of my car’s maintenance and I will definitely be using these tips to extend the life of my car battery. Thank you for such a useful and accessible guide!

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Michael Johnson

As a car enthusiast, I always worry about my car battery’s health. After reading this article, I am now aware of the reconditioning process. The step-by-step guide provided in the article helped me understand the process. I appreciate the safety measures mentioned, including wearing protective gear and working in a well-ventilated area. Also, the tips on maintaining the battery after reconditioning are helpful, and I will surely apply them. Overall, I am satisfied with the information provided and plan to recondition my car battery soon. Thank you for this informative article.

Sophia Lewis

As a female car enthusiast, I found this article on how to recondition a lead acid car battery very informative and helpful. It’s great to know that instead of replacing your car battery, you can actually recondition it yourself and save some money. The step-by-step instructions provided in the article are very easy to follow and understand. I appreciate how the author emphasizes the importance of safety when handling the battery and suggests wearing gloves and goggles. I also like how the article provides different methods to recondition the battery depending on the tools and materials you have at home. This makes it accessible to anyone regardless of their level of experience or technical expertise. Overall, I thought this was a well-written and useful article that I would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to extend the life of their car battery and save some money.

Olivia Clark

I found this article on how to recondition a lead acid car battery to be incredibly helpful! As a woman, I don’t have much experience with car maintenance, but I was able to follow the steps easily and successfully bring my dead car battery back to life. The instructions were clear and the materials needed were easily accessible. I appreciate the cost savings of being able to recondition my old battery rather than having to buy a new one. I would definitely recommend this article to anyone looking to save money and extend the life of their car battery. Thank you for sharing this valuable information!

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John Williams

I found this article on reconditioning lead acid car batteries very helpful and informative. As a car owner, I have often faced the problem of my car battery giving up on me at the most inconvenient times. The article explains in simple language an easy-to-follow step-by-step process of reconditioning the battery using household items. I was surprised to learn that I didn’t need to buy a new battery every time it gave up on me, but instead could revive it with a little bit of effort. The author’s emphasis on safety measures made me feel confident in my ability to attempt this task. Overall, this article is a great resource for anybody looking to save money by reconditioning their car battery.

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