Renew dead lead acid batteries easily with this simple ‘how to’ guide. They are generally reliable and provide all the necessary power to start a vehicle and power its various electrical accessories. A lead acid battery will not last indefinitely; at some point in time it will likely need to be recharged in order to work properly. A full renewal of the battery, however, is not reliant on recharging alone. The battery must also be free of corrosion and possess a full store of electrolytes in order to perform at its best.
Disconnect the lead acid battery from the vehicle and remove it from the battery tray. Removing the battery will enable you to better clean it as well as the battery terminals and tray. The battery removal process will vary from one vehicle to the next. Generally, you should only need some basic tools, such as a wrench and screwdriver. When disconnecting the battery, you must detach the negative battery cable first.
Clean the battery tray, as well as the battery terminals, with a mixture of baking soda and water. A few tablespoons of water added to a pint of water should be sufficient. Pour the baking soda mixture onto the tray and terminals and scrub with a wire brush. Use an old toothbrush to clean any small, hard-to-reach areas. Rinse with clean water after you've removed all corrosion. A clean tray and terminals will ensure the battery, once revived, will stay it good condition.
Use the same baking soda/water solution to clean the lead acid battery. Clean the entire surface of the battery, including the battery posts. A wire brush can be used on the battery posts, while an old cloth or rag can be used to clean the case of the lead acid battery.
Check the electrolyte level within the lead acid battery. Use a screwdriver to gently pry the plastic caps off of the battery's refill holes. If the level of fluid within the holes is low or the refill holes are empty, you must add distilled water. Pour enough distilled water into each of the refill holes to submerge the plates within the battery. Do not overflow the holes. If you own a lead-acid battery that is sealed/maintenance-free, you will not be capable of adding water.
Connect the battery to an automatic battery charger. An automatic charger will work best due to the fact that it will turn off as soon as the battery has completed a full charge. When hooking up the battery charger to the lead acid battery, connect the negative clamp first and then the positive clamp. Plug the charger into a power source and turn it on. After the battery has received a full charge, unplug the charger and disconnect it. At this point, the battery should be renewed and ready to install in a vehicle.