Your car is a beast machine that has its cleaning and technical needs that are to be taken care of. From its internal working to its exterior, your car asks for regular check-ups and maintenance. Some of these jobs are not as important as others, depending upon the part of the car that we are talking about.
This brings us to the issue that we are going to talk about today; the car battery. It is, of course, a very crucial part of the vehicle, and without it, your vehicle will remain static and unable to even start. When you insert your keys and twist it, or push the start button, the starter motor is supposed to start the engine. This happens because of the standard 12-V flooded lead-acid car battery which is usually found on cars.
Your car battery is designed to last for at least 3 years, and with good maintenance, you might even squeeze 7 years worth of work from it. But to ensure that this is the case, you need to maintain it properly.
Some causes that lessen the lifespan of the battery are:
- lack of use,
- low electrolyte levels,
- excessive discharging
- problems with charging,
- damaged cells.
As your battery ages, they slowly lose their ability to store charge and therefore, minimize the functionality.
There comes a point when even jump-starting and charging the battery renders ineffective.
You can go to the car service centre to replace the battery if you feel the job is too risky, or you can try some of the methods listed here and revive your battery.
Dead Car Battery - How does it happen?
The battery of the car goes through gradual degradation until it comes to a complete stop.
For minor issues like inactivity of the car or leaving the light on, you can try jumping starting it or charging it.
But when these activities become a routine, the life of the car battery degrades. The accumulation of the damage leads to the point where you cannot start your car. More often than not, the car battery dies when it loses its ability to hold a charge which is caused by sulfation.
Let's understand the basic working of the battery. It is constructed of alternating plates of dissimilar metals which is usually lead and lead oxide (Pb and PbO2). They are placed in a pool of electrolyte, which is mostly sulfuric acid (H2SO4) in water.
When your car battery is discharging, it releases electrons from the lead plate to the lead oxide plate. This, in turn, generates an electric current which can be utilized to start the engine, headlights, etc.
As the process goes on, the two plates become chemically-similar, and overtime transforms the discharged car battery plates to lead sulfate (PbSO4). Now, this is what poses a problem for the car owners.
Because of this chemical reaction, both plates become more chemically-similar and converting fully-discharged car battery plates to lead sulfate (PbSO4), wherein lies the problem.
The sulfation is divided into two categories - hard and soft sulfation.
- Soft sulfation occurs when the battery is completely discharged but you charge it straight away. This reverses the chemical reaction and brings the Pb and PbO2 plates back to their original metal content.
- Hard sulfation happens when the battery is left dead for a long period of time, which can lead to the formation of lead sulfate(PbSO4) crystals. This lessens the surface area available for chemical reaction, rendering the charging capacity useless. When left for a longer period, the formation of the PbSO4 crystals may spread and can cause cracks and short circuits within the battery.
How to revive a dead car battery?
Coming to the question that we all have in mind, there are several ways you can employ to revive a dead car battery, but the success of this depends on the level of damage and of course, the age of the battery. It is advised to replace the battery or take your vehicle to the car repair garage for complete care and inspection.
Epsom Salt Solution:
Your car battery may be dead due to a low electrolyte level which can be solved with the help of Epsom Salt and distilled water. This combination makes an electrolyte solution which helps to balance the electrolyte level in the battery.
Epsom Salt(Magnesium Sulphate) holds various hydrates which help to tip the chemical balance and deliver enough charge to start the engine.
To make the electrolyte solution, take 1 part of Epsom Salt and 3 parts of warm distilled water. Dissolve the salt in the water properly and then add the solution to each cell until the plates are covered by ¼ to ½ electrolyte solution.
Aspirin can be your go-to method for reviving your dead battery when you're stuck in the middle of nowhere with no professional help. Additionally, you can use this if you cannot find Epsom salt anywhere.
For this method, all you have to do is crush a few tablets of Aspirin 325-mg or 500-mg. Add this to the 6oz warm water and then add the solution in equal amounts to the cells. You may have to add more water to cover the plates.
And done, pretty simple, isn't it?
Distilled Water Method can be ineffective in some cases, but you can try. It is the last resort when you have neither Epsom salt nor aspirin available
All you have to do is add the distilled water enough to cover the plates. This will allow the solution to react and give your battery some more power to drive you through.
To jump-start your car battery, you can make sure of the jumper cable and another batter, a battery booster, or another vehicle.
Just remember to keep the engine on, as the dead battery won't accept the charge. A word of precaution; never jump-start a frozen battery as it can explode and cause great damage. Allow it to thaw and then try to charge it before you jump-start it.
This was all about reviving your dead car battery. Hope you found this informational!