Batteries are the most critical parts of your ride and also in some of the appliances like laptops. Most of the people usually get a new battery when the old one starts to make problems. While it is the most time saving and hassle-free way to get rid of battery problems, it is also very costly. Everyone is aware of battery reconditioning but are hesitated in reconditioning their batteries. Today, we are going to discuss battery reconditioning.
In this article, we will be discussing the reconditioning of the following batteries
- Car Battery
- Laptop Battery
- NiCad Battery
- Lead Acid Battery
- Hybrid Battery Reconditioning
Reconditioning Car Batteries
The most common symptoms of battery drainage are problems while starting your car, dim lights, and sound system problems. Once you know that the battery is troubling your car, you can use the following method to recondition your car battery. Before we begin, you must have the following tools for working
- Rubber Gloves
- Safety Glasses
- Battery Charger
- Distilled Water (1-2 Gallons)
- Powdered Baking Soda
- Epsom Salt
- Terminal Cleaner
- Toothbrush (used)
Let’s get down to the actual working
Step 1: Preparing Everything – Arrange everything at the place where you want to recondition your battery. Wear all the safety equipment and prepare a light mixture of baking soda and water to neutralize any spills or burns.
Step 2: Cleaning the Battery – Clean the battery terminals for any rust, corrosion, or dust. You can prepare a mixture thick of baking soda and water by adding 2 portions of baking soda and 1 portion of water. Use the toothbrush to clean the terminals. The toothbrush will not be of any use after you are done cleaning, that is why we recommended an old one. Sometimes the corrosion may be hard to come off; you can use sandpaper to rub it off.
Step 3: Measuring the Voltage – Now, you have to measure the voltage of the battery. Connect the battery with the voltmeter and measure the reading. If the reading is 12.6V or above, your battery is working fine, do not recondition it. If the reading is below 12.6V, you can proceed to the next step. Make sure that the connections are correctly attached: red wire to the negative terminal and black wire to the positive terminal.
Step 4: Opening the Battery – Remove ALL the caps of the battery one by one, empty the contents into a container very carefully and avoid any direct contact. Once you have drained all the liquid in the battery, add some baking soda to the container to neutralize the acid. Make sure you keep all the caps in a container, so you don’t lose them in the end.
Step 5: Cleaning the Cells – Now fill in the battery to the optimum level with a mixture of baking soda and water (2:1). Use the funnel for filling in the cells. Close all the caps and shale the battery for 30-60 seconds. Now remove the caps and empty the baking soda into the same container in which you left the original solution in your battery.
Step 6: Adding the Juice Back – After 5th step, make a solution of Epsom salt and distilled water. You can do this by adding 120 grams of one molar concentration in 1 liter of distilled water. Shake the mixture well to get a uniform solution. You should not leave any solids behind for better results. Fill all the cells to the optimum level and lock all the caps; shake your battery once again.
Step 7: Recharging and Load Testing – Once you are done with all the steps mentioned above, you have to recharge your battery. The best way to recharge is in slow mode at 12V/2AMPS. The charging needs around 24-36 hours for the best results. After this time, check the volt reading again using the voltmeter. If your battery is showing a reading of 12.4 to 12.6V, then you have succeeded in reconditioning your old battery and saving some handsome amount of money. Congrats! If you want to be surer of the results, you may do a battery load testing. You can do this by using a battery load tester, which can be purchased from a nearby hardware store.
The method mentioned above is the best way to recondition an old and dying battery. However, if you are unable to find Epsom salt, you can use the following chemicals as an alternative to an electrolyte solution
- Copper Sulfate
- Aluminum Sulfate
Laptop Battery Reconditioning
Laptop batteries are also an essential part of your laptop. If a laptop’s battery is not working correctly, the whole benefit of having a laptop is zero as it finishes the primary purposes of a laptop, which is working without electric power. You can use the following way to recondition your laptop battery
- Freeze it Up: Yes you heard us right; freezing your laptop battery works it up. All you have to do is take out the battery, place it in a plastic bag, and insert it in the freezer of 12-14 hours. Take out the bag, clean the battery, insert it back, charge it fully, and then remove it. Make sure that it is fully charged before you remove it. Now check the battery for any leaks. If there are no leaks, your laptop battery has been reconditioned and is working fine now and will give you the usual backup.
NiCad Battery Reconditioning
NiCad batteries or nickel-cadmium batteries are used in devices such as portable computers, drill machines, camcorders, and a lot of other appliances that need an even power discharge. A NiCad battery can be reconditioned as well. NiCad batteries face problems due to sulfur crystal deposits on battery terminals, and it stops proper recharging. You can recondition a NiCad battery as well. You will need to do a bit of engineering before being able to recondition a NiCad Battery. Grab a flash camera capacitor; old flash cameras are readily available from junk stores at low prices. Open it up, take out the capacitor. Connect a battery holder and a switch to the capacitor using simple electric wires. Make sure that proper insulation is done and wires are not touching any other part of the capacitor. Now place an alkaline battery in the capacitor and NiCad battery to the holder. Now turn on the machine you just made and wait for an LED bulb to glow. If everything goes according to the plan, you will hear popping sounds, which means that sulfur crystals are destroyed, and your NiCad battery is good to go again.
Keep the gadget safe. You may need to recondition NiCad batteries again.
Lead Acid Battery Reconditioning
Lead-acid battery reconditioning can be done using the same method for reconditioning car batteries.
Hybrid Battery Reconditioning
Most of the cars now have a hybrid battery. Hybrid batteries are very costly, and replacing them may be out of your budget. The good thing is that you can also recondition a hybrid battery. A hybrid battery consists of modules. When your battery starts to make troubles, the manufacturers just replace the modules and sell it again to another customer. You can replace the defaulted module by replacing it. You must be able to check the modules with the help of a computer, or you can visit any nearby mechanic to get it replaced. You can easily buy a separate module for your battery for around $700-800, get it repaired and save a lot of money.
Benefits of Battery Reconditioning
- Saves Money
- Helps in environment conservation
- Extends Battery life
How to Take Proper Care of your Batteries
Properly maintained batteries can last for a longer time as compared to unattended batteries. You can take care of your car batteries by employing the following simple techniques
- Keep the cables clean
- Make sure all the connections are proper, and there is no loose connection
- Clean the corrosion, rust, and dust away from the terminals. The best way to do this is to install rubber covers for a terminal connection.
- Keep the electrolyte full to the optimum level
- Check the charge levels on a weekly or monthly basis.