Can a Failing 12 Volt Battery Be Restored?

June 09, 2019 1 Comment

Can a Failing 12 Volt Battery Be Restored?

A 12 Volt battery releases electricity when utilizing chemical reactions.  The loss of acidic electrolyte can upset the balance of your battery, causing it to weaken? Is it possible to restore or rejuvenate a 12 volt battery by adding more acid to it?

A 12V battery contains lead plates which are submerged in sulfuric acid.  The battery functions efficiently depending on the immersion of the lead plates, the strength of the acid, and the state of the metal plates.  To restore the cells, you need to restore the chemical balance.

Older batteries need to be checked and topped off with water.  New batteries are different.  They’re maintenance free, and you cannot mess with their components.  On the other hand, older batteries lose water. This battery needs distilled water. Avoid adding acid because it will hasten the deterioration.


What Kills a 12V Battery


What Kills a 12V Battery?

Basically, it all boils down to how batteries work and how they lose their capability to maintain their charge.  In the usual wet-cell design, the negative and positive terminals are immersed in the electrolyte.  The separator actually keeps the plates from shorting out. Each pair generates an amount of voltage.  When you combine multiple sets, you get a higher amount of voltage.

When you draw voltage from the battery, this creates a reaction between the plates and the electrolyte.  This then forms the lead sulfate.  This process creates moisture and releases electrons which then generate current.  Eventually, the water would then dilute the electrolyte which eventually results in a discharged battery.  When you charge the battery, this reverses the chemical reaction and restores the battery’s chemistry.

This entire process wanes and fails over time.  The plates would gradually accumulate oxidized debris that limits their ability to react.  This is called sulfation.  When the acidity of electrolytes grows, this hastens sulfation.

How Do You Restore a 12 Volt Battery?

Replacing a battery with a new one can be quite expensive.  You can avoid spending money when you opt to recondition or restore an old battery instead.  This isn’t complicated, even if you are not a highly technical person.


How Do You Restore a 12 Volt Battery


If your batteries start failing you or do not have enough grunt, they need to be replaced or restored.  Batteries with physical damage are best left alone.  Do not tamper with it. Just get a new one.  You would know if it’s physically damaged if you see dents, melted casing, burnt wires, and other similar damages.  So, how do you restore a battery?

  1. Make sure that your battery is completely cooled. Detach the battery and the cables. Be careful with small electric jolts that you might experience.
  2. Remove the plastic caps from the battery cells.  You will find the marks where cells were sealed.
  3. Using a power drill, create holes in these marks.  Make sure to protect your eyes properly.
  4. Protect your hands with gloves as well.  Empty the cell’s contents by turning the battery upside down over a non-metallic container.
  5. Start to add a small amount of baking soda into the container.  This helps to neutralize the liquid. Do the same thing for all cells.
  6. Cover the storage tightly and set it aside safely.
  7. Mix ¼ Epsom salt with ¾ warm distilled water.  You need a quart of this mixture for one cell.
  8. Pour the mixture into the cells and shake it around before letting it sit.
  9. Connect the charger for the battery and charge for 12 hours.
  10. Cover the holes with plugs, and now your battery is ready for use.

1 Response

Terence John Molloy
Terence John Molloy

January 18, 2022

It’s good that folks can obtain info on problems with a 12 v lead acid battery, before buying a new one,

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