Can You Rejuvenate a Car Battery with Vinegar?

When you discover an old battery that seems to have completely run out of juice, you can rejuvenate it with vinegar. Adding this substance to the battery creates a chemical reaction that supplies enough currents to turn over the engine. 

The average car battery can be used efficiently for three to five years before it needs a replacement. If you are deliberate, you can use it for longer. 

But again, did you know that you can rejuvenate a car battery? There are many ways to do this, and vinegar is just one of them. So, a straight answer to your question is yes, and you can rejuvenate a car battery with vinegar. 

Keep reading to discover how to do it. 

What does it mean to rejuvenate a car battery? 

Despite top-notch car battery maintenance, it will not last you forever. But again, you can bring one that has supposedly used up its efficiency back to a useful state. The process is called reconditioning or rejuvenation, and it can be done at home. You only need a few items, most of which you already own. 

While you may be unable to bring it back to its earliest performance state, rejuvenating a battery will help you get additional use out of it. 

However, not all car batteries can be rejuvenated. Lead acid batteries and AGM batteries are the primary ones you will find in an average vehicle. Luckily, they can both be rejuvenated. 

old car battery

Can you rejuvenate a car battery with vinegar?

The first step is to examine the outer casing of the battery for cracks. Unfortunately, if you discover any, you may have to throw the battery away. If you also find that the terminals are broken, or the battery is swollen somewhere, the same verdict applies. 

Vinegar is a combination of trace compounds and acetic acid. There are different types, but apple cider and distilled white vinegar are more common in America. 

The fermentation-like nature of this substance is pretty useful in automobile care too. You can use it to rejuvenate your car battery, clean its terminals, clean the windshield and the interior and exterior. 

Instead of throwing that seemingly weak or old battery away, follow these steps to rejuvenate it using distilled white vinegar: 

Step one: Clean the terminals 

Since we are dealing with an old battery, there are high chances that there is a buildup of corrosion on it. You cannot rejuvenate the battery without removing this substance. 

Some of the vinegar can be generously applied to the terminals, submerging them and removing the corrosion buildup caused by discharging. When they start foaming, it means you are doing right. Clean this substance with a soft cloth. 

Aside from preventing further damage to your battery, cleaning the terminals also clear up obstructions that may hinder adequate charging. The cables will sit freely on the terminals and facilitate an unobstructed charge cycle. 

Step 2: locate the caps

The vinegar solution needs to contact the acid water before the desired effects will occur. As such, you must pour a considerable amount through the caps that you will find on the battery. They can easily be unscrewed with the right tools. 

Note that your battery cap may not be capable of being unscrewed. This is quite common among newer models. 

Step 3: Pour the vinegar solution

Next, you can use a turkey baster to add some vinegar solution to the acid in the battery. This will create a reaction that is strong enough to generate currents to turn over the engine. However, you will have to leave it to sit for ten minutes. 

Step 4: Charge the battery 

After rejuvenating a battery, it needs to be charged for future use. You can do this by leaving the engine running for a while or taking a drive around. 

How to rejuvenate a lead acid battery 

Lead acid batteries are among the most common batteries found in vehicles. Luckily, they are also easy to rejuvenate. 

You begin by disconnecting the battery cables. Then, apply a vinegar solution to the battery terminals to remove the corrosion buildup. You must do this before you can rejuvenate the battery. 

Measure the volt reading, unscrew all the battery caps, and use a turkey baster to insert some vinegar solution into the cap area. If you use enough vinegar, you can expect to get a few more years of efficient use from this project. 

an old car battery

What else can I use vinegar to do? 

Vinegar can also be used to clean your battery terminals. These are vital points on your car’s battery that are highly susceptible to a corrosion buildup. This condition can damage your battery, but it begins by significantly reducing its performance. 

So, an essential part of vehicle maintenance is cleaning these terminals, and you use vinegar to do it. 

Get a pair of vinyl protective gloves, your usual protective gear, vinegar solution, and a soft dry cloth. Disconnect the battery cables and insulate them. Then, generously apply the terminals with the vinegar solution, and leave them for a while. 

Rinse thoroughly, dry, and reattach to your vehicle. 

Why do people throw their car batteries away?

The process of rejuvenating a car battery is effortless, but most people do not know that. This explains why these car components get thrown away. 

Alternatively, some do not know about battery rejuvenation, or they believe that it is merely a myth. 

What are the benefits of rejuvenating your car battery?

Rejuvenating your car battery offers numerous benefits. The most important one is prolonging its lifespan. For instance, the average battery may lose efficiency at its fifth year but will go two additional years when rejuvenated properly. This will save you considerable money. 

You will also be reducing pollutants while increasing your knowledge about batteries. 

Bottom line 

Rejuvenating your car battery is a process that must be planned; it will scarcely avail you in an emergency. You can use vinegar, an easily accessible substance, to restore the efficiency of an old car battery, and we have shown you how to do it. Now, you can save hundreds of bucks by getting a few additional years from your rejuvenated project. 

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