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Battery Acid on Seat

My daughter was returning an old battery to the shop for the $5 deposit. She placed it on the back seat where it tipped over and acid leaked out. The seat cushion is damp, how do i remedy this

Lots of baking soda. It will neutralize the acid and not harm the car. Lots of water was well to activate the baking soda and rinse the gunk out. The quicker you act the better.

Don’t be surprised if you find damage months from now. That acid has already damaged fibers that will break months or years from now.

Good Luck

I would do as Joseph recommends. However, make absolutely sure your really soak the seat (take it out and put it on the driveway) with water and baking soda, or you could sustain burns when you sit down and compress the material.

If it was just the seat cushion, I would personally go to a wrecking yard and just buy the replacement seat if you can find a color match. Eventually you will have to do this without a doubt.

A few years ago I replaced a battery in one of my cars and must have gotten a small amount of acid on my jeans. They developed large holes in some embarresing places soon afterwards and had to be junked.

Like they say – baking soda. If a lot of acid got spilled, definitely pull the back seat out. In addition to neutralizing the acid in the seat fabric, make sure there isn’t a pool of acid slowly eating a hole in the floor under your back seat. If there is, clean it up with baking soda and lots of water. If the paint is bubbled, scrape the area clean. Let it dry. If any bare metal is showing, get some spray paint that claims to cover metal and lay down a couple of coats. Don’t worry too much about color match. Who is going to see it?

Start checking salvage yards for seats . . . they’re toast! No matter what you do, the acid will ruin the seats. Maybe have an upholstery shop change the fabric. Cloth or leather? Rocketman

FYI - I Spilled Battery Acid All Down The Legs Of My Pants, Once.

They were some kind of polyester or synthetic fabric, made from cloth that probably was actually comprised of “plastic” fibers. Whatever the explanation, those pants were not harmed by the acid! They lasted for years. Apparently my pants were similar in composition to the plastic container that the acid came in or the stuff from which the battery case was made.

I have used carburetor cleaner to remove stains from fabrics and even car upholstery. If your seats are “cloth”, there’s a chance the fabric won’t be harmed.
The carpetting could be OK, too. I can’t speak for the seat’s foam, springs, or the floor of the car, though.

I’d follow everybody’s advice for diluting or neutralizing the acid, but the extent of damage could just be a “wait and see”.

Hi! I had the same thing happen to me in my car, however my seats are leather. My one corner section of back seat is eaten through. How much would it cost to repair? Can it just be patched by me somehow? Or does the whole backseat need to be replaced? Thank you!

The leather section can be replaced by an upholstery shop, expect to pay $300 to $400.


Another old discussion brought back to life, but seems to still be helpful and can live a new life.

Yikes, I can’t believe it’s been 11 years since my comment was made, but it was still common sense back then. :wink:

I’m not sure if those long pants are still okay or not and I don’t care. All of my pants end above the knee, now. I’m now living in the endless summer mode.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

Susan, you don’t say! You don’t say the make, model, and model-year of this vehicle. Also, you don’t say if it’s the seat cushion (lower part you sit on) or the seat back. They are separate units.

Most vehicles have fairly easily removeable seat cushions. Depending on some of the missing information it might be cheaper and easier to find a “pre-owned” seat unit (with the same color leather) from a similar salvaged vehicle. That’s what I would do.

Please respond and you can get more helpful information, possibly.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

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I know these can very successfully be patched. I say that because in my youth, I saw my aunt who was a seamstress, repair several damaged leather seats. And she did it all with thread and needle.

I’m sure that kind of talent still exists today. I just don’t know where you would find it.

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Thank you!! I’m not too good with needle and thread besides a hem or buttons. Lol. I’ll look into who is. Thanks for response!

Hi there! Sorry! Didn’t know it would make that much of a difference. I own a 2007 Mazda 3 grand touring. It is the right side passenger back seat in the corner. So it’s affecting a bit of the bottom seat (cushion) and bit of the back where you lean on

Thanks for the cost estimate!! :blush: at least I have ball park

That car is old enough that you should be able to find a used seat back and seat cushion in a salvage yard for less than the cost of a repair but it might be difficult to find a Mazda 3 with leather seats.

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Susan, are still here?

Well, on a car of that age (not that it’s old, my cars are older) I’d definitely search for a salvage seat with the same upholstery. The price on the item should have depreciated greatly by now.

Another possible option
If you have comprehensive insurance coverage (without a ridiculously high deductible) you could probably make a claim based on the fact that you “vandalized” your own car by accident. This happens all the time and insurance agents understand that. It’s just common sense.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

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Man, I feel stupid saying I accidentally vandalized my own car. Lol! But I’ll call them and see what they say. That and salvage yard sound like best bet. Thank you for all the info!

You’re welcome!
I was joking about the vandalizing, but you’d possibly be surprised how many insurance claims involve people damaging their own vehicles. Often husband and wife “collide” in driveways while parking cars.

I have $0 deductible on all my cars and I carry collision insurance and comprehensive coverage (which is what would cover your seat damage).

When my son was little he was very active (actually, he still is, but in a good way!) and he was excited about something as we got in our car and he jumped up and broke my windshield with his head! He wasn’t hurt and insurance covered the glass replacement.

Another time I discovered that the rear window glass in one of our parked cars was “exploded” into little shards. I had been running a power weed trimmer earlier that day and all I could figure was that I whipped a rock at the window by accident. I explained this to my insurance agent and she arranged for a window replacement, promptly, zero cost to me.

Explain the situation to your agent and if you have comprehensive coverage on the vehicle it should take care of the damage. They will possibly want an estimate done or may have an adjuster do one.
Many insurance companies do use “salvaged” parts to repair vehicles more than a few years old. I wouldn’t have a problem with a matching seat in as good or better condition than the you had prior to damage. Perhaps an auto upholstery / auto trim shop can repair it.

While waiting, you could try your hand at locating a salvaged seat by searching online or calling some larger salvage yards. Some yards will try and locate one for you.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

A few years ago, my brother parked one of the cars on the street, across from the family’s driveway

The next day, my brother’s wife . . . my sister-in-law, I guess . . . got in the other car, the one in the driveway. She started it up and backed out of the driveway without looking. She was going really fast and was inattentive, as already mentioned. She plowed right into their other car

She t-boned it . . . but good

We all got a good laugh out of that incident :laughing: