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

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When it comes to a weak battery in a car, people think the easiest way to get the engine running again is to install a new battery.

Sorry to say, but savvy car owners do not squander their money on things they can easily repair. So, the right question you need to ask is how to recondition a car battery that won’t hold charge?

You may find various solutions on the internet. Still, we will focus on those solutions that require the least effort and readily accessible components—for example, Epsom salts and smart chargers.

So without further ado, let’s figure out the state of your battery.

When to Recondition Your a Car Battery?

When to Recondition Your a Car Battery

Reconditioning is the process of rejuvenating and recharging old and dead cells. If you don’t know what else to do with a vehicle battery that isn’t charging, you might be forced to throw it away.

If you have to toss your vehicle because the battery cannot retain a charge, you can restore it up to three times. If you perform those steps correctly, you will have a reconditioned automobile battery.

It is easy to figure out when to recondition your car battery because a dead battery will not function as a normal one.

With a voltmeter, measure the battery’s voltage. A battery that has passed the test should read at least 12.43 volts.

So, you need to look for the signs below and take further steps to rejuvenate a car battery that won’t hold charge.

Corrosion Due to Battery Leaking:

Your car’s battery will start leaking acid, and the acid will cause corrosion around the battery posts. This corrosion is a sign of a dead battery, and you need to clean the battery to rerun your engine.

Engine Light is Appearing:

Experts say that the engine light is a malfunction indicator. Even though not always, if your engine light is flickering, that means there is an issue in the car’s engine computer caused by a weak battery.

Your Engine is Cracking Slowly:

Reconditioning a car battery will be needed when your car’s engine takes longer to start. There can be other reasons behind a sluggish engine, but dead batteries are mostly the main reason.

The Fluid Level of Battery is Low:

The car’s battery fluid consists of a mixture of two liquids. One of them is sulfuric acid, and another is distilled water.

Since a car’s battery is the most neglected part of a car, you may not even notice that the problem was as simple as a low battery fluid level.

So, it is better to check for the fluid level before replacing the whole battery.

Check the Battery Life:

You need to replace, at least clean or replenish a car battery after three to five years.

The typical lifespan of a car battery is 5 years. So, if you feel like your car’s battery is old, check the purchase date and do the following to recondition your car battery.

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

Recondition a Car Battery That Won't Hold Charge

Reconditioning a car battery is the process of resurrecting the dead cells of a car battery to its full health. When you rejuvenate a car battery, it also enables the battery’s charging capacity.

However, you can try to revive the battery only if there are no other damages to machinery or it is extremely old. So, check for the overall battery condition and age before restoring the car battery.

How Does Battery Reconditioning Work?

Every time you start your car, the lead plates undergo chemical reactions with the electrolytes and generate energy.

The sulfate of the electrolytes and the lead forms lead sulfate crystals. These crystals start building up over time and affect the battery’s capacity to charge and produce energy.

You can guess now that cleaning these excess crystals will help the battery cells to function like before. It’s time to show you the methods to do that.

Fix a Weak Car Battery That Doesn’t Hold Charge

To make the battery cells hold the charge longer, we will focus on three ways.

  1. Use Epsom Salt and Distilled Water to Up Clean
  2. Recondition with Smart Charger
  3. Give A Powerful Boost With A 200A charger

These refining stages can be perilous. So, before beginning the process, make sure you have taken all the safety measures.

Method 01: Epsom Salt and Distilled Water

This method is the easiest to perform, and you do not need to be a rocket scientist. If you have the tools and components for this method, you can perform it in your own garage to revive the battery.

  • Step 01: Wear protective gloves and glasses.
  • Step 02: Clean the battery post with a battery post cleaner.
  • Step 03: Pour out the previous acid from all six cells of the battery.
  • Step 04: Take one gallon of distilled water and 250 gms of baking soda. Continue mixing them until the soda is dissolved completely.
  • Step 05: Fill the battery cells with the mixture and shake the battery after attaching the caps tightly.
  • Step 06: Pour out the mixture. This mixture has cleaned the battery from excess crystals.
  • Step 07: Warm 1 gallon of distilled water to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and dissolve 9 tablespoons of Epsom Salts.
  • Step 08: Pour 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each cell.
  • Step 09: To refurbish the battery, attach a trickle charger at the lowest setting with the battery for 24 to 48 hours.

Method 02: Recondition with Smart Charger

A smart charger with reconditioning mode can help rejuvenate your car battery. Let us show you the easy steps to recharge a dead battery.

  • Step 01: Set the smart charger on the ‘Recondition Mode.’
  • Step 02: Find the red clamp of the smart charger to the positive battery terminal and the black one to the negative terminal.
  • Step 03: Set the lowest amp in the smart charger and let the connection sit for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Step 04: Disconnect the clamps and check whether your battery is working again or not.

Method 03: Give a Powerful Boost with a 200A Charger

The precaution you need to take for this method is to perform it in an open place. Because 200A could be destructive to a battery and cause unexpected explosions.

Then follow the steps below:

  • Step 01: Attach the battery with the charger described in the previous method. Black clip to Negative and Red clip to Positive one.
  • Step 02: After successfully attaching the battery and charger, turn on the charger for 15 mins and turn it off.
  • Step 03: Now wait for 45 minutes and prepare a voltmeter to check the voltage of the voltmeter.
  • Step 04: You need to get 12.6V on the voltmeter. If you are reading less than that, repeat the process 4 to 5 times.
  • Step 05: For dead batteries, when you run the process multiple times, wait for a day before testing the voltage.


We hope that the methods we have discussed in this article will revive your car battery. However, when you seek help on how to recondition a car battery that won’t hold a charge, you will find ways to rejuvenate the car battery with vinegar.

It is better not to go for these methods as they may destroy your battery all the way. So, collect the items mentioned above and recharge your battery instead of installing it with a new one.