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Okay, I've been nominated for Dumb___ of the year. I accidentally grabbed distilled vinegar instead of water to top off the 6 month old battery in my car. I topped off 3 of the 6 battery cells before realizing it. I have read that distilled vinegar is actually 95% water, so I am wondering just how much battery damage to expect. If a shorter battery life is the only real result, then I can live with that. Thanks!


  • Vinegar's a weak acid, so it might not have hurt anything. I'd just wait and see.
  • that is a first for me , please keep us informed if anything happens with the battery.
  • I'm puzzled why a 6 month old battery needs topping up at all. Was the water/acid level that low? What kind of battery is this?

  • A blunder, but surely harmless. You are correct that vinegar is 95% distilled water and 5% acetic acid. Acid in the battery is OK. Vinegar is not recommended but don't expect anything bad to happen.
  • The battery came from Advance Auto. Believe it was not totally full when purchased
  • Robsp- I'm curious, what is your idea of "full"?
    Just asking because it shouldn't be full as in full to the top. There has to be room for expansion and for the gas to escape. How low was the battery?
  • @TwinTurbo Correct, manuals say that the plates have to be convered. Most batteries used to have a star shaped opening to which level you should fill the water. Batteries also heat up and room for expansion is also necessary.
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