How To Refill Any Car Battery

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Introduction

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One of the functional and essential parts of a car is the battery. Without a good battery, your car won’t budge from a spot. Car batteries are able to convert chemical energy to electrical energy, which ignites your car engine and the electrical components of your car such as charging port, lights, radio, etc. Normally, car batteries can last for five years from the date of manufacture. However, not regularly maintaining your car battery can result in a shorter life span.

Unlike dry-cell batteries, wet-cell batteries have a fluid substance, which we call electrolyte. The electrolyte is a mixture of water and sulfuric acid. Imbalance between the concentration of sulfuric acid and water in the battery, can damage your battery. This calls for regular maintenance to ensure the concentration levels of both the acid and water are just right.

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Can I Refill My Battery With Acid

car Battery With Acid
car Battery With Acid

When you notice this imbalance in concentration, you might wonder if you need to top your battery with acid or water. Actually, it’s not wise to top your battery with more sulfuric acid. This will only damage the battery further as it will increase the rate of corrosion.

In most cases, what dries off is water. And this is because water quickly evaporates from your car battery when the engine is working or you are charging your battery. During a process called electrolysis, water breaks down into hydrogen and oxygen gases that dissipate, which lowers the water level (electrolyte level) in your battery. Hence, in refiling your car battery, what you need to add is water.

Steps To Take When Refiling Your Car Battery

STEP ONE: Wear Protective Devices

As mentioned earlier, the electrolyte in batteries contains Sulphuric acid. It can be hazardous if this acid spills on your body in the process of refilling your car battery. This is why you need to wear protective devices like goggles, gloves.

It is also important to pay attention to the label written on your battery. Some batteries are maintenance-free, and often comes with ‘DO NOT OPEN’ labels on the battery. If you see this, it implies you can’t refill the battery. It is wise to give heed to this warning.

Step Two: Pry Off The Cell Port Covers On Your Battery

Pry Off The Cell Port Covers On Your Battery
Pry Off The Cell Port Covers On Your Battery – Img from Wikihow.com

You might need a flat-head screwdriver for this. Most car batteries come with six cell ports, often covered with rectangular lids. Use your screwdriver to flap open the rectangular lids.

Once, you have done this, proceed to unlocking the cell ports on the battery. This cell port can be round which makes it easy to immediately turn loose by twisting clockwisely. If otherwise, use a befitting screwdriver to unscrew the ports.

Step Three: Clean The Surface Of Your Battery

Clean The Surface Of Your Battery
Clean The Surface Of Your Battery – Img from Wikihow.com

It is essential to maintain optimum safety when attempting to refill your battery. Perhaps you notice spills on the surface surrounding the cell ports before or after opening it, you can use a damp cloth to clean it off. This helps to prevent and slow down corrosion and ensures your battery lasts longer.

Step Four: Check The Water Level

You can’t just go off pouring water once you have opened the cell ports. You need to look inside, preferably under a flashlight if your area is not bright enough, to see the electrolyte level in your battery.

A common rule of thumb to know your battery needs refill is if the metal plates surrounding your battery are exposed. If the metal plates are exposed, then refill. If not, just close back the cell ports. Overfilling of your battery can do more harm than good.

Step Five: Add Water

Add Water
Add Water – Img from Wikihow.com

Not every kind of water can be used to refill your car battery. The best water to use is distilled water or deionized water. You shouldn’t use tap water, as it contains minerals that can affect the electrolyte content of your battery. Ensure to purchase distilled water from Available places near you.

When refiling, use a small funnel or a turkey baster to add water to the batteries so as to reduce unnecessary spills. Endeavor to fill just to cover the metal plates in your battery. Filling to the brim of the cell ports isn’t proper.

Step Six: Cover The Cell Ports

Once you have refilled with distilled or deionized water, you are almost done. Cover back cell ports as you met it initially. Flip back the rectangular flaps covering the cell ports, if your battery has it.

CONCLUSION

There you have it! It’s a no-brainer to refill your car battery. It’s advisable you charge your battery before refill, especially if the water level is good enough. If not, after you are done charging, ensure to top up the water level as it would have evaporated during the charging process.

Regular maintenance of batteries by refilling is a good way to increase the lifespan of your battery.

Blessing Afolabi is a writing enthusiast. She enjoys reading about science, leadership, and any other edifying materials. She's willing to go the extra mile in curating the right kind of content. When she's not writing, she's busy reading, chatting, or just hanging out with friends.

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