How to Recondition a Car Battery That Won’t Hold Charge?

Sometimes a car battery that fails to store a charge makes it hard to start the car. However, most of the time, the car battery users connect it to the charge when they want to use it to keep charging when travelling. When the car battery fails to hold its charge in most cases, people prefer replacing it where some batteries have poor characteristics.

However, batteries with calling features and won’t hold a charge are the ones that need reconditioning since it restores the standard functionality of the battery. Therefore, reconditioning a car battery that drains quickly has to follow the steps to achieve the goal.

Steps of reconditioning a fast draining car battery

recondition a car battery

The information below shows how to recondition a car battery that drains charge faster. First, consider reading the manufacturer’s instructions on the car battery, handling it, and replacing parts. Reconditioning a car battery is a simple take that anyone can undertake so long as you understand the measures of the battery. The battery cannot provide 100% effectiveness while providing energy to the car after reconditioning, but it increases the lasting period of the battery.

i. Gather the requirements for the reconditioning processGather the requirements for the reconditioning process

Collect all the requirements you need for the reconditioning process. These requirements include gloves that protect hands when handling some wires that might have electricity, spectacles that protect the eyes from splashes of electrolytes in the battery, voltmeter to measure the voltages after reconditioning the battery.

A tool kit to hold some tiny parts, screwdrivers to remove screws, distilled water to add to the battery, a brush to brush off any dirt particles with the battery, and other minor requirements like the baking powder, salt, battery charger, apron to wear, funnel for adding water to the battery, washing sponge, buckets and battery load tester.

ii. Open the car to locate the battery

After opening to identify any external errors that make it not hold a charge for running the car, locate the battery inside the car after opening.

iii. Remove the dust particles around the batteryRemove the dust particles around the battery

Using a piece of cloth, clean the car battery by removing debris and other dust particles that accumulate on the surface of the battery. Since rust is part of the dirt in the battery, remove using the steel wool you insert in the baking soda solution and rub the rust’s surface.

For proper cleaning of the battery surface, add distilled water to the soda solution and mix until it forms a greasy paste. Using a toothbrush, dip the brush in the solution and rub the whole surface of the battery. You can also use steel wool to rub particles that stain the battery. When cleaning, take care when the solution can react with some parts of the battery like the terminals that might harm bare skin. After cleaning, ensure the surface is dry before moving on to the next step.

iv.  Measure the voltages of the batteryMeasure the voltages of the battery

To measure the voltage of the battery, use a voltmeter that is for measuring voltages. First, check the voltage that the battery holds for starting and running the car. Then, to use the voltmeter connect to the battery terminals for it to begin reading the voltage.

If the voltage is below the standard voltages, then the battery needs action immediately. But if the battery has zero voltages in it, then the battery needs replacement. In this case, we are reconditioning the battery. Therefore, it means the battery voltage is below the standard voltages.

v. Open and clear the contents of the car batteryOpen and clear the contents of the car battery

Using screwdrivers remove all the screws and open the car battery. After opening the car battery, remove the contents in the car battery, including the dangerous liquids for holding power. Remember to put on gloves, spectacles and other clothing that protects against the damages from the battery contents.

Pour the liquids into the bucket gently, considering observing the safety measures since the liquids are harmful. After clearing everything in the battery, place it back to its original position. Add baking soda to the liquid in the bucket as it is an acid, and the soda neutralizes the acidity.

vi. Clean the cells in the car battery

Make another solution of baking soda and distilled water for cleaning the cells. Using the fan, add the solution into the cells gently and replace the battery caps. Gently shake the battery to ensure the solution gets in contact with the walls of the cells for some time, and then pour the solution into a bucket. Ensure the liquids are dry after cleaning the cells as the liquids can cause accidents after some reactions.

vii. Recharge the battery after cleaningRecharge the battery after cleaning

Connect the battery to the charger, use a charger compatible with the battery, and meet the battery’s requirements to avoid overcharging and other effects. Connect the charger’s positive terminal with the positive terminal in the battery and the negative terminals, respectively.

Take good time in the charging process as it determines the effectiveness and efficiency of the battery. It is advisable to leave the battery to charge for about two and a half days.

viii. Measure the voltage of the battery

Use a voltmeter to test the voltages of the battery. If the voltages are high, then the battery is suitable for use, but if the readings are still lower like before, continue with the charging process for some hours. Add electrolyte to the battery in case of any spillage.

ix. Inspect the status of the cellInspect the status of the cell

Use a battery load tester with a voltmeter to test the status of the cell. Connect the battery load tester with the car using the battery. To inspect the status, switch on the lights without starting the car, leave them for some time, and measure the battery voltage. You can also use the cycle method to check the status of the cell by putting the system under load with tasks with lights on.

Cycling is a process that must be performed severally to come up with the average voltage of the car battery. The standard voltages must be 9.6 volts.

What causes a car battery to fail to hold a chargeWhat causes a car battery to fail to hold a charge

  • An old battery

When the battery is old enough, it fails to hold its charge to start and run the car since it might have issues with the charging section that it fails to receive a charge. When the battery fails to hold a charge, consider inspecting the whole battery and correct any issue; if the battery still experiences the same problem, it needs replacements. Also, consider buying new batteries according to the experience with the older one.

  • Leaving the lights on

After using the car, you leave the lights on or extended drains of the car battery, and the car battery loses its charge. Or using lights every time in the car drains the car battery since lights use batteries to produce when the car has no charge lights won’t light.

  • Faulty alternators

Alternators hold the voltage regulator in the car battery, so when the alternators are wrong, it means the voltage regulation will fail. Hence, the battery will receive less charge that drains faster. When the battery alternators are wrong, the battery won’t hold a charge for long since they receive less Charge or excess Charge that drains quickly.


It is good to know how to recondition a car battery that won’t hold a charge as it is a simple thing to carry out. Even though it requires time when testing, it does not consume much time when fixing related issues.

Therefore, follow the article’s steps above carefully when reconditioning a fast draining charge battery. Also, please read the manufacturer’s instructions when handling the battery since the battery contains harmful substances that need serious care.

I take 4 junk 12V batteries and bring them back to life with a combo of epsom salt and used battery acid.

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