How to Recondition A Car Battery That Won’t Hold Charge

How to recondition a car battery that won’t hold charge is not that hard as you think. This happens to me many times in my life.

That’s why in this post, I will talk about how to fix a car battery that doesn’t hold charge.

When you know why a car battery won’t hold charge, it is time to fix that problem. Some of my clients followed my steps now; they can recondition a car battery by themself. I hope you can do it by yourself after reading this helpful post. So read this carefully.

What is Reconditioned Car Batteries

Reconditioned car batteries refer to the process of bringing back to a healthy life and charging the capacity of your old and dead cells. You may throw your car battery that won’t hold charge, but this is not the solution for the car battery.

If you throw your car because your car battery won’t hold charge, it will be a total waste to readily throw your old car batteries when you can still recondition it one to three times.Reconditioning a car battery is just properly following those steps.

There are several types of batteries, such as Lithium-ion, NiCad, NiMH, Rechargeable types, and Lead-acid batteries for cars.

So. I highly recommend you instead of throwing away the batteries. Let’s learn how to recondition a car battery that won’t hold charge.

Why Should You Recondition Batteries

Like I said earlier, people throw away their car batteries. Throwing car batteries is understandable since no one wants the hassle and inconvenience of using batteries that are no longer efficient. 

The batteries are also incredibly expensive to replace and might not even go down in price as the device ages. 

Not only for the battery won’t hold a charging problem, but you should also recondition the car battery—anything that happens to your car battery, you can recondition. Reconditioning car batteries allows you to preserve and refresh the function of batteries so that you can work as they used to.

Throwing or wasting any batteries is very bad for the environment. They are leaking chemicals to the environment, causing a significant impact on the well-being of the planet. So throwing a car battery is not a perfect solution. You could use a battery for entertainment like, watch a drive-in movie. Fun right!

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

recondition a car battery that won't hold charge
Recondition a car battery that won’t hold charge

If your car doesn’t charge, you don’t need to throw the battery. Fortunately, there are ways to fix this situation without replacing the battery. It can be done at home with just a small investment and few tools. One of the great things about this is you can recondition the car battery by yourself. So no worries.

In order to fix a car battery that doesn’t hold charge. You will need some basic requirements:

Always remember safety first. And whenever you work around with a battery, you should ground it properly. That’s why you need to wear protective eyewear and hand gloves.

Items and Tools Required for Recondition :

  • Screwdriver 
  • Battery load tester
  • Battery Hydrometer
  • Terminal Cleaner 
  • Voltmeter with probes 
  • Battery charger 
  • Plastic funnel

Follow only the five steps below to recondition a car battery that won’t hold charge :

Step 1: Prepare The Battery Properly
Step 2: Load Test
Step 3: Pull Out The Cell Covers
Step 4: Perform Hydrometer Test
Step 5: Test The Cells

Step 1: Prepare The Battery Properly

car battery
Prepare car battery

Put on the safety measure: protective eyewear and hand gloves. Clean the car battery posts by placing a battery post cleaner on each battery post.

You have to clean the battery port very precisely. Make sure you twist it back and forth until the posts become clean and bright. There is no alternative to clean and make the port bright. You have to do this first.

Step 2: Load Test

Perform a load test is an important task to recondition a car battery. Connect the load tester to the positive battery terminal first and then the negative post.

Quick Tips: usually, the positive post will be the larger of the two and the positive postmarked with “+.” This will prevent sparking.


It’s time to switch on the load tester, and you should always check that the load does not drop below 12 volts.

If the meter goes to the bottom of the scale and sustains that position or remains there. That means your car battery is completely dead. The battery issue cannot be solved, and you must replace the battery.

Step 3: Pull Out The Cell Covers

Removing the cell cover is simple and easy. All you have to do is place the screwdriver under the border of the cell cover and lightly pry it up.

Take out the cell cover and set it aside. You removed the cell covers and only two more steps to complete your job.

Step 4: Perform Hydrometer Test

battery hydrometer
Battery Hydrometer

First, Use a hydrometer, squeeze the bulb and insert the tube into a battery cell. Squeeze the bulb consistently and a few times to stir up the battery solution. After stirring up the battery solution. If the battery solution is dark-colored, that means the cell is bad, and you will need to replace the battery.

Next, you can draw the fluid up into the scale portion of the hydrometer by squeezing the bulb and releasing it while the tube is in the solution.

You should know which color the fluid rises to:

  1. Green color fluid indicates a good and strong battery
  2. Red color fluid indicates the battery has to be recharge
  3. White-collar fluid means a fair battery
  4. Dark color fluid indicates the battery cell is bad, and you need to replace it as soon as possible.

After identifying the accurate fluid, make sure the battery fluid covers the lead in each cell by at least ⅛ Inch. Repeat this test on all cells and note down the evaluation.

Step 5: Test The Cells

battery cells
Test the Battery cells

Position the positive voltmeter probe on the positive battery post and negative probe in the first cell. Remember, at least two volts are required for the cell read on the meter; if not, then there is a problem with the cell.

Next, place the positive probe in the first cell and the negative probe in the second cell. Then again, place the positive probe in the second cell and the negative probe in these cells. You have to continue testing until you test all of them. You must keep track of the reading. The final reading should be zero.

Adding Treatment chemicals ( Optional ) :

You can add the treatment chemicals if you want to. Treatment chemicals will clean the cells in the reconditioning battery. You have to follow the chemical manufacturer’s instructions and then pour the chemicals properly into the cells. 

Return the cell covers and position the battery on a slow or “trickle” charger for at least 24 hours. In this case, I will recommend a trickle charger. A trickle charger that has been run low constantly requires a show-charger for 24 hours.

How do I know when my car battery needs replacing?

Yes, you can know when your car battery needs replacing. Fortunately, a few symptoms may indicate your car battery needs attention Before it’s too late. So now we know those signs mean your car battery needs replacement.

  1. Check Engine Light
    The check engine light is more formally known as the malfunction indicator lamp. The engine light is a signal from the car’s engine computer. This engine light sometimes appears when the battery is weak.
  2. Slow engine cranking
    Slow engine cranking possible causes are a degraded or defective battery, charging system problem, a dirty battery terminal connection.
    When starting the vehicle, the cranking of the engine is sluggish and takes longer than normal time to start. You should check this and notice properly.
  3. Battery Leak
    Battery leakage is commonly known as battery acid leakage. Battery leakings cause corrosion around the battery posts. You have to clean those junk from your car battery. Otherwise, your car may not start.
  4. Low Battery Fluid Level
    Battery fluid, a mixture of sulfuric acid and distilled water, creates the electricity that makes a car battery work so efficiently. You have to always keep an eye on your car battery’s fluid level. If car battery fluid needs to be tested, you should need to test it as soon as possible.
  5. Age of Car Battery
    We know a car battery for three to five years can survive at the highest. As your car battery gets old, the power of the battery gets low day by day. If you seem to age your car battery over three years, you need to change the car battery.

How does car battery charge

The vehicle uses tons of power to start the ignition and other accessories in your car. Because it drains so much energy, a normal type of battery couldn’t handle the workload.

Instead, the vehicles use a rechargeable battery in conjunction with a charging system. As we know, every battery has a pair of lead plates within the core, which are then immersed in a mix of distilled water sulfuric acid. Each of the plates is connected to a terminal with a metal nub or attachment on the top, Which you use to connect your battery cables.

When you start your car, the initial jots of electricity cause a chain reaction within the battery that generates electricity. The car uses an alternator to keep this process running continuously. The car battery alternator acts as a generator, and this is one of the main components of your car’s electrical charging system. That’s why you should avoid overcharging the alternator and check it regularly.

How Much Does a New Car Battery Cost?

Car batteries are getting higher day by day. There are more than 40 types of car batteries available, and several factors affect the cost. Lead-acid types of batteries are the most common types of car batteries. This technology is often referred to as SLI ( Starting, Lighting, and Ignition ).

Before selecting a car battery, you need to know what types and what size of batteries your car needs. Always avoid putting the wrong size battery in your car.

A typical car battery costs between $50 and $120 And some special car batteries can cost upto $90 to $200. The average battery cost runs in the $75 to $120 range.

One of the most common is the Lead-acid battery, Lead-acid costs in the neighborhood of $125 to $135. Another type of battery is an Absorbent Glass Mat battery known as AGM. This type of car battery will cost you around $200. Absorbent glass mat ( AGM ) this type of battery provides more sophisticated electronics in luxury vehicles. 

Batteries that come with mote extended warranty will also add to the cost.

The mechanical battery installation cost depends on the battery location in the car and how long it takes to install. A mechanic can charge $10 to $100 to install the car battery. 

On the other hand, many car part retailers will install the car battery free of charge if you buy the car battery from them.

Final Word

Car batteries won’t hold charge now; this is so common out there. The car battery is important for every aspect of a whole car. Car batteries provide electricity to run the engine. That’s why everybody needs to care about their car’s battery.

If you follow these only five steps, you can recondition a car battery that won’t hold charge. You have to follow them properly. Cells are the main part of a car battery. Not only in a car, but battery cells are also important for any type of battery.

Now It’s Your Turn

I’d love to hear from you.

How much time have you spent reconditioning a car battery?

Let us know in the comment below.

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