What Happens If You Spill Battery Acid On Car Paint?

Battery acid spills are hazardous and can cause serious harm to the skin, clothes, and other equipment. Suppose the battery is leaking or you happen to spill some battery acid on your car; what effect does this spill have on your car paint, and how do you deal with this spill? Continue reading to find out more.

What is car battery acid made of?

Battery acids are acids used in lead-acid batteries that are essential to the proper functioning of the battery. They are highly corrosive, colorless, odorless, non-flammable, and have high electrical conductivity. Typically, the battery acid used in cars is made of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) that has been diluted with distilled water to a concentration of about 30% – 50%. Battery acid has a PH value of about 0.8 and should be handled cautiously.

The effect of battery acid on car paint

Battery acids are strong chemicals that are highly corrosive and can damage many materials, including the car’s paintwork. It can lead to corrosion and cause scratches on the car paint if left for an extended time. 

old car battery

How to get battery acid off car paint?

The amount of battery spills helps determine the best way to clean the acid spills. If the spill is in a large quantity, it is best to call a professional. There are a few steps you can take to help stop the corrosion of the car paint in case of a spill; they are:

  • First, make sure you have protective gear on to prevent any spillage to the skin and flush the area where the spill happened with a lot of cold water
  • Make a paste of baking soda and water to apply to the spot. The paste helps neutralize the acid.
  • Allow the paste to sit for at least 15 minutes on the car before scrubbing it off with a soft brush or sponge until the acid is all gone.
  • Use a lot of water to rinse the area after scrubbing, and with a soft cloth, dry the area.

There is also a commercial battery acid cleanser that can be used. However, this requires caution as the wrong acid cleanser can cause more damage to the car paint. Also, if the acid has caused too much damage before you notice it, a professional can help paint the area and restore it to its original condition.

How may leaking battery acid affect car paint?

A leak in the battery can cause damage to the car paint, which may not be detected the moment it happens. A leaking car battery acid will usually have a rotten egg or burnt plastic smell. If you notice a leaking battery, you need to transfer the battery to a sealed container where the acid cannot harm. When transferring the battery, wear protective clothing and transfer it safely to a sealed space. You can make a baking soda paste and apply it to the affected area. You may call a local recycling company to help dispose of the battery and will help clean up any residue that may have spilled.

Ways to prevent battery acid spills on car paint?

There are various ways you can keep the car paint safe from acid spillage. Some of them are highlighted below:

  • Use a high-quality battery tray that helps keep the battery in place and away from the contact of metal surfaces.
  • When working on the battery, make sure the battery caps are firmly tightened and secure.
  • Move far away from the car when you need to work on the battery acid
  • Have a protective covering on the battery before placing it in the car, and make sure there is no leakage.
  • Check the battery periodically for punctures or leakages.


Battery acid spillage occurs and can cause damage to the car paint job, which can be inconvenient and costly in some cases. However, taking precautions and extra care when working with batteries can easily be avoided. If the spill has already happened, you can try the method mentioned above to save the car paint or call a professional to help with the acid spillage and get the car back to its original condition.

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