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Old 11th March 2010, 12:05   #1
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Thumbs up DIY : Renew Your dead car / bike battery

Thought of sharing this tip I found from ehow site with you guys that can save you thousands of bucks that you might spend on buying car battery even when its not needed. Lead Acid battery plates develop sulphur with aging and this blocks current leading to low voltage and a time comes when battery is no more able to maintain 12v and car does not start.

I have tried this trick on my car battery which went dead few days back, just 10v was left in it and was going down to 4v on using self. First I tried charging it using battery charger for one whole day and night but I found as soon as I remove it from charging, it would go to 10v at once. So battery was dead, there was no reaction (bubbles) in one of the cell. I was about to change my battery then found this tip and it worked for me

Enough history, the real thing is:
==========================
When you are not able to recharge the battery and it won't maintain 13v then do this.

1. Open all the caps (from where you fill water) of cell and drain the acid. (You can use this acid to remove algae). Please do this cautiously, wear surgical gloves and goggles to protect your eyes and hand from acid.

2. Take an empty 600ml plastic cold drink bottle, fill it with distill water and add 2 teaspoon of magnesium sulfate in it. Shake shake shake! shake it well untill all the salt gets dissolved in distill water. You can get magnesium sulfate from people who supply chemicals in school labs.

3. Fill each cell with this magnesium sulfate solution you just prepared, don't overfill, just about 0.5 inch above plates is good. Tap the battery from each side so that air bubbles trapped in plates escape.

4. Dont put the caps back, leave battery open and put it on charging. I used 5Amp charger for my 35Amp car battery. Charge it for atleast 24 hours.

5. Remove battery from charging and check voltage. Wear your goggles and peep in cell using a torch to see tiny bubbles coming up from each cell plates. This indicate that your cells are working! If you don't see this then your battery needs more charging. If you do see bubbles and battery voltage remains constant between 12.6 - 14v then you just saved your battery and it can be used in your car now

Info source: How to Recondition a Lead Acid Battery | eHow.com
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Old 11th March 2010, 12:20   #2
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Hashim thanks for sharing the info; so if I understood, it simply means, cleaning the plates from sulphur sediments using magnesium sulphate right?
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Old 11th March 2010, 12:24   #3
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thanks will definitely try it out!!
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Old 11th March 2010, 12:37   #4
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Wow!!! this is a great tip..

Recently when my battery died down another simple cleanup of the terminals did the trick.

I think regular checkups and maintaince of the battery can make it last much longer.
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Old 11th March 2010, 12:39   #5
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Just a friendly warning.

Be very careful when trying anything with a battery.
Worst case scenario it blows up.
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Old 11th March 2010, 12:54   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Just a friendly warning.
A couple of more warnings:

None of these actions should be attempted in indoor.
The acid solution is hazardous, corrosive and fatal for kids.

@Hashim, good post there...esp. useful when your battery decided attain nirvana on the eve of a EMI/credit card repayment...
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Old 11th March 2010, 13:14   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hashim View Post
5. Remove battery from charging and check voltage. Wear your goggles and peep in cell using a torch to see tiny bubbles coming up from each cell plates. This indicate that your cells are working! If you don't see this then your battery needs more charging. If you do see bubbles and battery voltage remains constant between 12.6 - 14v then you just saved your battery and it can be used in your car now

Info source: How to Recondition a Lead Acid Battery | eHow.com

Do you mean I have to use MgSO4 + Distilled water as eletrolyte now on after above step. No H2SO4 .

Will the battery perform ok ? ( whats happened in your case ?)

Or do you suggest refilling the acid (H2SO4) after Step 5. Kindly explain
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Old 11th March 2010, 13:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hashim View Post
4. Dont put the caps back, leave battery open and put it on charging. I used 5Amp charger for my 35Amp car battery. Charge it for atleast 24 hours.
What is the purpose of the above step? Is the charging done to remove the sediments?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hashim View Post
5. Remove battery from charging and check voltage. Wear your goggles and peep in cell using a torch to see tiny bubbles coming up from each cell plates. This indicate that your cells are working! If you don't see this then your battery needs more charging. If you do see bubbles and battery voltage remains constant between 12.6 - 14v then you just saved your battery and it can be used in your car now
Can we start using it right away? What about the distilled water filling activity?

Pardon me, if my questions sound like
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Old 11th March 2010, 13:27   #9
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Thanks Hashim for the useful info.

1. As I understand from your post, the battery after the cleaning runs on the 'magnesium-sulphate solution', and not on the original acid. Could you please confirm?

2. Any tips on how to drain away the original acid (other than turning the battery upside down)?

3. Wonder whether I can use the same trick on my Inverter battery, which went dead in 2 years (neglected topping up with water). This could save me 15K on two 80AH batteries.
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Old 11th March 2010, 13:51   #10
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Guys i am no mad scientist but simple class tenth chemistry tells me MgSO4+ H20=H2SO4 when electricity is passed through this solution, isint this is what we have in our car battert as acid, the whole process is to remove the sulphur deposits on the electrodes.

I always used to wonder what these battery guys do to the dead batteres they buy from us as exchange to new one, now we all know, they are all refurbished.

This whole thing will be very useful to me especially as my car only takes a certain model of excide battery which is long out of stock. My battery died even before the warranty could expire, but still since it was out of stock no replacement. Now i have stopped chasing them. Every time my car is cranked it feels as if its dying to get some power out of the battery, but finally it does start. I guess this is going to be a very useful test. Let me try getting MgSO4 from some school as here there is no chemical store which sells it.


Thanks

Pramod
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Old 11th March 2010, 14:56   #11
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Good tip Hashim;definitely worth an attempt to evaluate how effective this method is and to know how long one can extend the old battery's life.

Normally when any battery is declared dead,only one of the six cells has conked off;so this experiment can definitely be attempted.Even if the revived battery lasts six months it makes v.good sense.

Last edited by vigsom : 11th March 2010 at 15:01. Reason: addition
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Old 11th March 2010, 15:07   #12
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Maintenance Free in my opinion is a complete MISNOMER

Regardless of whether the battery manufacturers claims of Maintenance Free etc, I ve found that regular and preventive checkups and monthly top ups of distilled water + regular cleaning of the dirty deposits and greasing the terminals, works well in prolonging the life of the car battery.


Quote:
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... simple cleanup of the terminals did the trick.

I think regular checkups and maintaince of the battery can make it last much longer.
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Old 11th March 2010, 15:25   #13
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@007 Yes thats right, you need not put acid back into battery as the magnesium sulphate solution will turn into acid after complete charging of battery. In my case I feel battery is running better than before, horn sounds louder, my 130W headlight bulbs don't go dim when idling and cranking is also faster

@aargee 5ah is just the charger rating that I used, I feel 5Ah is good, if you use higher it will charge battery faster and vice versa. Cap is removed during charging (place it back when using in car) because continuous 24 hour charging will produce lots of fumes from battery which might not be able escape from cap vents and battery may swell up. You may fill distill water if you feel electrolyte level has done low after charging but it does not happened in my case so I didn't added and used straight after charging

@jinojohnt
1. No 'magnesium-sulphate solution' will turn into acid.
2. Use disposable plastic syringe, still some acid will be left that you will have to drain by tilting the battery.
3. I was thinking the same, since inverter battery is also lead acid, this technique should work on it too. But when battery runs without proper level of electrolyte, plates gets damaged so I doubt this trick may work. But still try as there is no loss in trying

Last edited by Hashim : 11th March 2010 at 15:28.
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Old 11th March 2010, 15:41   #14
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Wonderful Tip dear,

And I read this today when yesterday only I replaced my invertor battery with same issue that it is not charging.


But certainly this is worth a try & I will for sure try this.
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Old 11th March 2010, 15:52   #15
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Shouldnt this work for all lead acid batteries? My bullet battery is dead and i wasnt getting a 14ah battery so i got a pulsar battery instead. The electricals work but self-start wont. My old battery is lying with me. Maybe i'll try this on the "dead" battery.
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