All cars need a battery, regardless of whether they have internal combustion engines, are hybrids, or are electrical. But the battery is also one of the many things in our vehicle that we take for granted until the car doesn’t start. Turn the key to your liking or press the ignition button repeatedly, but a dead battery is a dead battery.
What is Battery Reconditioning?
A battery discharge process known as sulfation occurs when powering a vehicle or device. This chemical reaction leads to the formation of sulfate crystals on the battery plates. More crystals mean longer charging times, less efficiency, and less charging capacity.
Reconditioning, or refurbishing a battery removes these sulfates, replenishes the electrolyte solution it contains, and allows the battery to recharge and function like new.
How to Recondition Batteries? Is it Possible?
Most people believe that an old battery should be thrown away and replaced with a new one. While this is the only solution for these people, there is another way to save money and get a 100% working battery.
It’s time to talk about how to recondition batteries (yes, your reconditioned batteries will work like new ones, and you can even sell them). Continue reading
You need to know that battery reconditioning is very simple and can be done by any single person. You will need a bit of your time and a few gadgets and items, but you will be able to get a completely new battery. This means your old, reconditioned battery will have the same capacity and features as a brand new unit.
If you are interested in the know-how to recondition batteries, almost all types of batteries, are reconditioned, pay attention to all of the details below.
Plus, you get a new battery, save money, and don’t pollute the environment. In this way, we can reduce the impact of old batteries on the environment by 50%. As the end result, the planet will be healthier and you will not have to pay a lot of money for a brand new battery simply because it is very expensive.
Hybrid Battery Reconditioning
Hybrid cars are among the best vehicles in the world and have two main components. So they are easy too. The main components are the electric motor and the battery. The battery can last up to 200,000 miles in most hybrid cars.
If it is damaged during the warranty, the manufacturer will replace it. However, most of these batteries last longer, so they will be damaged after the warranty expires. In this case, you will have to pay for a new hybrid battery. You need to know that a new battery of this type can cost up to $ 3,000!
It also means that you can recondition a battery. Another fact that you should know is that it is possible and very simple.
All hybrid batteries consist of modules. Some cars have more, some have less, but each of them is based on the same principle. For example, the Toyota Prius has 28 modules. When the manufacturer replaces a battery, they fix the old one and sell it again.
One good thing is that you can do the same. All you have to do to replace the damaged module and the battery will last a long time. The price for this update is around $ 700, so it’s a lot cheaper than buying a new one. On the other hand, the reconditioning battery will last another 6-7 years, so this is also a wise investment.
How to Recondition a Car Battery at Home
The following applies specifically to lead-acid batteries. While you don’t have to wait for a battery to run out to recondition it, safety comes first. A quick visual inspection will determine whether the battery is suitable for reconditioning. Check for cracks, bulges, or fragments. If the battery is not in good condition, it is best to buy a new one.
The battery reconditioning process does not require an engineering degree, but it does require patience. Most of the items you will need are likely to be at home. Below is the essential list of supplies:
- Protective wear (e.g., safety goggles, chemical-resistant gloves, apron)
- Steel wool or battery terminal cleaner
- Flathead screwdriver
- Two large buckets
- 1 gallon of distilled water (no tap water due to chemicals added)
- 1 pound of baking soda
- 1 pound of Epsom salt
- Battery charger
Step-by-Step Guide to Reconditioning a Battery
- Suit up and space out: This may not be rocket science, but it is still science. Things could get messy. Make sure you are also working in a well-ventilated area.
- Create a cleaning solution: use a 2:1 ratio of baking soda to water to create a liquid paste. This mixture acts as both a battery cleaner and a cover for acid spills.
- Cleaning the battery: If the battery terminals are corroded, apply the cleaning paste (or a special battery cleaning product) to the posts and scrub off the debris with a toothbrush. A foam reaction means that the solution is working. Use steel wool for severely corroded batteries. Clean, wipe and dry the terminals completely.
- Check the voltage: connect the voltmeter. Like jumpstarting a car, the red cable is connected to the positive terminal and the black cable to the negative terminal. A standard car battery contains six cells, each producing about 2.1 volts. Therefore, a healthy battery will read 12.6V. Between 10V and 12.6V means you can recondition the battery. Instead, replace the battery when it is less than 10V.
- Empty battery cells: Until now, you did not have to remove the vehicle battery. At this point, however, you should. Have a bucket and a half pound of baking soda nearby. Take off the battery cover and remove the cell caps underneath with the flat-bladed screwdriver. Slowly empty the contents of the cells into a bucket one at a time. You can add baking soda when you leave or when all cells are empty. In both cases, the battery acid is neutralized for safe disposal in any facility such as a recycling center that accepts hazardous waste.
- Clean the battery cells: use the funnel to pour the cleaning solution into each cell. Reinstall the cell caps and battery cover securely. Now shake the battery for at least a minute. Unseal the mixture and dispose of it in the existing waste acid waste container.
- To replace the battery cell solution: Mix 4 cups of water with 4 ounces of Epsom salts. Stir until the water runs clear. Boiled water will speed up the process, but it is not necessary. Use the funnel to fill the cells with the new electrolyte solution. Cover and shake again to distribute the salt evenly.
- Recharge the battery: like a good chest piece, do this step slowly and quietly. Set up in a safe place. As an extra precaution, remove the battery caps as the electrolyte solution heats up and can overflow during charging. Position the charger as far away from the battery as possible and connect it at a speed of 12 V/2 amps. Let the battery charge for 36 hours.
- Test the battery: disconnect the charger from the computer and check the battery status with the voltmeter. Normal readings are around 12.42 V. If your reading is lower, charge it again for another 12 hours. When ready, perform a stress test by reinstalling the battery and rotating your vehicle to the “on” position with the high beams on. Test the battery again after a few minutes while it is under load. If the voltmeter reads 9.6V, congratulations! You have successfully reconditioned your car battery.
How long a reconditioned battery will last depends on its age and capacity. In theory, you should be able to repeat this process a few more times, which means that the battery life will be extended beyond the typical three to five years.
How to recondition a laptop battery
Laptop battery reconditioning is more than just possible, and there are many different ways to achieve it. However, some of these can be time-consuming. In either case, your best bet is just to give it a try, as a new laptop battery is expensive and may cost more than a new laptop.
On the other hand, all of these ways are easy and you can do them yourself. Laptops with replaceable batteries are much easier. However, you can do these steps on laptops with non-removable batteries.
Also, do not use these solutions on a new battery as it will have a negative impact and will damage it. Either way, you can recondition an old battery and use this laptop for much longer. The best part is that all of the solutions cost nothing.
- Remove a battery from your laptop and place it is a plastic bag.
- Place it in a freezer and wait for 12 hours. Then, remove it from the bag and clean it.
- Place it in a laptop and fully recharge it.
If the battery is not leaking, there is no acid around it, this way will be successful. In any case, you will end up with a new battery that can last for a long time. In addition, you can repeat the procedure a few times.
Some laptops must be ‘’reset’’ in order to get better battery life. This is a very simple solution, but it isn’t very successful. In fact, it is more about recalibrating a laptop than to reconditioning a battery. On the other side, most people have said that this is an effective solution.
- Recharge the battery until it is 100% full and leave the laptop for 2-3 hours.
- Now, leave the laptop unplugged and wait until the battery is completely empty and your laptop is turned off.
- Leave it in this state for 5 hours.
- Recharge the battery until it is 100% full. It is known that this solution increases the battery life and will make your laptop get more accurate info about the battery levels.
Reducing the temperature of your laptop seems to have a positive effect on battery life. All you need to do is to buy the cooler and place a laptop on it. This will reduce the temperature of the battery and the laptop, so the battery will last longer. During the warmer months, this is an even better thing to do.
Solution 4 (BEST ONE – Recommended Video)
This method is more than just effective, but it is a time-consuming process. In any case, you will have to plug in the battery and wait until it is 100% full. Then wait until it is almost empty, about 5%. Then, plug it in again and recharge it again. Repeat the procedure several times, until you get a reconditioned battery.
This solution may sound strange, but it is very simple. Also, it is only possible if your laptop has a removable battery. You need to plug in a laptop and charge it. When the battery is fully charged, remove the battery from a laptop. If your laptop does not work without a battery, this procedure will not be effective. On the other hand, battery life will extend if possible.
This is possible because in the process you are stopping and resetting the chemical process in the battery. The end result is that your battery will charge much better and stay full of time longer.
Recondition NiCad Batteries
You should know that NiCad batteries can also be reconditioned. But first of all, you should know why they get corrupted. This happens due to the sulfur crystals eventually reaching both ports and preventing charging. This can be solved so that your batteries will last a long time. In addition, the process is more than simple.
You need the flash camera capacitor. There are many cheap cameras of this type out there that you can disassemble and use their parts. You will know what a capacitor is because it is a large part of a cylinder.
Add a battery holder and switch to the capacitor. Tape the wires to the large black cylinder and connect them to the battery holder and a switch.
Make sure all wires are insulated and not touching anything that can conduct electricity.
Place an alkaline battery in the capacitor and the NiCad battery in the holder you added earlier.
Then press the switch and wait for the LED to light up. Then repeat the step. Remember, you should hear a noise. This means that the sulfur crystals will be destroyed and your battery can be used again.
Once you have created this “gadget” you can use it forever to recondition NiCad batteries. It may sound complicated, but it’s very simple and you can’t go wrong. In addition, it is possible to buy a capacitor for this application, but it is too expensive and does not work better than this device.
How to Recondition Lead Acid batteries?
Lead-acid batteries are expensive, so reconditioning a battery is a better choice than buying a new one. At the same time, it is possible to repair an old battery and benefit from it for several years. In either case, this is a simple procedure, but it can be dangerous as the acid can be dangerous. Either way, you need to follow the next few steps.
- Remove the battery and open the caps. Some batteries have rubber protectors, but you can easily remove them. Remove all caps and don’t put them back on until you’re done.
- In most cases, a battery does not have enough distilled water. This is the main problem. In this case, add the distilled water and charge the battery. Do not put the caps back on again. Note that the battery must be between 13-14 volts when you measure it with a voltmeter.
- If this doesn’t solve the problem, you can try a more aggressive method. You should be given an acid pack, replace the acid, and add new distillation water. If so, repeat the process with charging and you should get a new battery.
Don’t forget that if you are using a slow charger, the charging battery should last between 10 and 12 hours. On the other hand, if you use a quick charger, you can charge it in under 6 hours. It is a much better choice to measure the battery level with a voltmeter while it is charging for the best results.
Keep in mind that this type of acid can be dangerous, so it’s not a very safe process, but you can handle it and be completely protected if you wear safety glasses and gloves. The situation is the same if you plan to completely replace the battery acid.
In some cases, if the battery cells are damaged, you will not get the 100% capacity of the battery as when it was new. On the other hand, you are getting more than 70% of the performance that the battery had when it was new. This is sufficient for most batteries simply because it is enough to power for their applications.
Learning how to recondition batteries will have a positive impact on the environment and the planet in general. At the same time, you save money and can extend the life of your batteries. On the other hand, all of these procedures are very simple.