Car repair can be tricky, especially if you don’t know much about the vehicle’s technicalities. For this particular reason, many people refrain from trying to repair it at home, thinking it might be dangerous, or they might end up causing more damage to the car.
However, if done right, there are plenty of advantages associated with repairing car batteries at home.
Today, I’ll help you learn how to repair a car battery all by yourself. Plus, we will discuss how to recondition a car battery with Epsom salt and what benefits you get from doing it yourself.
Symptoms Of A Bad Car Battery
Car battery failure has certain apparent signs and symptoms, which indicate that something is wrong.
If you pay close attention to your car’s performance, you might be able to identify the cause soon and fix it before it results in irreversible damage to the vehicle.
These signs and symptoms include:
- Slow crank
- Weird clicking sound as you try to turn your key
- Dimming headlights
- Slow start
- Electrical issues
- Very odd smell
Possible Problems With A Car Battery
If you start to notice that your car’s battery is draining, the first thing that you must do is identify the cause.
Some of the most common and most important reasons for a bad battery are the following:
- Old battery
- Loose or corroded cables
- Extreme temperatures
- Human error
- Incomplete, or overcharging
How A Bad Battery Might Negatively Impact Your Car
Batteries are an essential component for your car, and their failure or damage can adversely affect your vehicle’s performance. When a car battery goes bad, it often increases the temperatures on high voltages.
It can lead to severe damage to the internal components of the car, lying around the battery. As a result, high amperage can also lead to excessive heat production and end up damaging or blowing up the engine.
How To Repair A Car Battery At Home
Now, let us talk about the actual process of fixing your car battery at home. Before we move on to the steps, you must understand that the most common reason behind a car battery’s failure is that it goes dry.
The fluid from the battery might drain because of several reasons, including those that I mentioned above. Once the battery is dry from the inside, it stops working, and your car doesn’t start.
So, to combat this situation, the primary resolution is to add the fluid back to the battery.
However, there are a few essential steps you must follow during the process:
Start by unplugging the cables and removing the battery from the car.
Next, examine the battery to make sure there are no external damages to it. If all is well, it is most likely that the lack of fluid is the reason behind its failure.
Start by cleaning the battery terminals and the outside of the battery. Professionals and experts in garages often use a terminal cleaner, but you can simply use a piece of sandpaper if you don’t have one at home.
Remove the top caps (or covers) of the battery to expose the cells or holes, and take a good look inside using a torch. Confirm the fact that the battery is empty from the inside and that all the fluid is gone.
Now, since it has been in the car for quite a while and there still might be some battery fluid remnants in there, it is a good idea to wash the battery thoroughly. You can use plain water to do this.
Next, leave it alone, so it’s not soaking wet anymore and let it dry completely.
Once done, the one and the only ingredient that you need to revive the battery is battery water, sometimes also known as battery “acid.”
You can purchase this water from a local garage or automobile store.
Pour the battery water into the cell holes and fill up the battery to a considerable level.
Make sure you don’t fill the container to the top. Stop right where the battery’s body ends, and the cover or top surface starts.
Close the caps again and make sure they’re nice and tight.
Return the battery to the car and plug it in place.
Try starting the car. Understand that it might not start just yet, so be patient.
Push the car with manual labor and try starting it. It might take several minutes before it starts working.
Once the car starts, the rule of thumb is to get it going for 20 to 25 km to give time to charge and adjust to the new fluid.
The single catch in this situation is that this method only works if all the cells are functional and working. If one or multiple cells are damaged, broken, or nonfunctional, adding battery fluid might not help.
Similarly, if the battery has undergone trauma or is broken externally, a fluid replacement will not be an effective solution. You’ll have to replace the battery entirely and get a new one instead.
How Do You Recondition A Car Battery With Epsom Salt
If you are looking for a home remedy to fix your car battery, here’s an effective one that might help.
Remove the caps using a screwdriver.
Remove the leftover fluid battery into a container.
Get about 10 ounces of baking soda and 1 gallon of distilled water. (Remember that these quantities are for a regular 12-volt battery)
It is always safer to mix the two ingredients in small portions in a container.
Add a small amount of baking soda to a little bit of the distilled water and mix them until they combine.
Once the mixture is complete, use a funnel to start pouring this resultant fluid into the battery cells.
Put the battery’s cell caps back on and shake the battery for a few seconds.
Now, remove the caps again and empty the whole thing into a bucket or container. The baking soda mixture helps clean out the insides of the battery.
Now, mix approximately 15 ounces of Epsom salt with one gallon of distilled water.
Make sure the water is warm and use the same portion method while mixing these ingredients.
Use a funnel again and pour this mixture into the cells.
Slow charge the battery for about 24 hours and preferably leave the cells open to let the overflow out when it starts bubbling.
Make sure the workplace is safe, sturdy, and ventilated.
Check the voltage on the battery using the voltage meter. If it’s not good enough, let the battery charge for another 24 hours and check again.
Remember that this method is more of a fun DIY and the success rates vary depending on the type of car battery and the quality of ingredients you use.
Why You Should Prefer Car Battery Repair At Home
I am advocating changing car batteries at home and telling you so much about it because there are several benefits associated with it. For example, some of the major ones are the following:
Getting car batteries changed from experts, and professional garages can be quite expensive sometimes, not everyone has the budget for it all the time.
Besides, who doesn’t like saving the extra bucks, right? Repairing car batteries at home can save you hundreds of dollars at a minimum.
Getting a professional to come over to take a look or taking your car to the garage can take quite a lot of effort, especially if you are a busy person.
Plus, you have to go through the trouble of dropping off your car to the garage and returning on foot or through public transport and then going through the same process to pick up the car again.
Doing it at home by yourself saves you from all this hassle of going out or waiting for someone to arrive.
Busy garages can take quite a while when you give up your car for repairing purposes. Because of this reason, you might not be able to do any of your chores or go to work because your vehicle is not available.
In contrast, when you repair the battery at home, it is ready to use much less time.
Being dependent can be quite a pain because you can do nothing to help yourself if you are in an emergency.
Even if you prefer getting it done professionally, learning this skill can always come in handy in times of desperation when you don’t have an expert or professional around or cannot afford their help.
Repairing a car battery is quite easy, but there are a few things that you must take care of. This particular procedure is technical and involves chemicals, electricity, and sensitive materials.
Thus, it is important to take the necessary precautions and be cautious when doing the job. These include:
Wear gloves, eye protection, and protective clothing.
Avoid spilling the acid by tripping the battery or squeezing it too hard.
Hold the battery carefully and make sure it is sturdy.
Avoid smoke, sparks, and flames near the battery, such as a lit cigarette.
Take off all your jewelry and fancy clothing before you start the task.
Do not directly touch the battery or the acid without a tool or protective covering.
Make sure you’re wearing proper shoes that cover your feet from all sides.
Remove all valuable carpets and rugs from the workspace.
Ensure that the work table or floor is an even surface, so your battery or water/acid is steady.
If the bottle of battery water/acid is too big or too heavy, try taking some in a smaller container and then pouring it into the battery.
Wrapping it up
You see, repairing car batteries at home isn’t that big a deal as you thought it was. The right techniques, proper knowledge, and suitable equipment can help you do this task in less than an hour.
Just be careful of the few factors that I mentioned above, and you should be good to go.
Now that you’ve learned how to repair a car battery at home, congratulations because you’re no longer dependent on car garages and hired professionals!
You can fix your car battery at home any time you want.