Savings old car battery

I have old battery that has been stored for a few years. If I placed fresh battery acid in each cell and charge it up, will it save it?

You’re wasting your time and money

Your battery is undoubtedly sulfated by now

Buy a new battery

4-6 years is typical life span of a battery

Take it to a battery recycling place. You’ll get about $3 or so and it will be safely recylced. The lead in the battery is worth money.

I got $3 for a 24 Volt lead acid lawn mower battery which is a fraction the size of a car battery

what would you do with the leftover sulfuric acid? I cam imagine all kinds of lawsuit scenarios if it ended up where it didn’t belong, etc.

Lately junk batteries are bringing $5 to $8 dollars at a local metal salvage yard. Prices do swing wildly on metals though.

Old batteries are the single most successfully recycled car part by the salvage auto parts industry. It is one of the big success stories of the used car parts industry and why old batteries should be turned in whenever you can.

Yeah, it should be turned in for a new battery


thank’s for the advice. will call salvage yard this week.

Yep, just junk it. I bought a new battery for my mower and it came with the bottle of acid to add. Of course there was too much acid so the proper way to dispose of it was to use baking soda to neutralize it, then dispose of the soda. Didn’t know I could have used it to clean my brass but I don’t like fooling around with acid.

+1 to not messing with the acid.

Even a healthy lead-acid battery that needs acid replaced due to a spill (not an issue with modern car batteries) calls for some finesse with the specific gravity (acid concentration).
Too much acid can accelerate sulfation.

4-6 years is typical life span of a battery

IN SOUTHERN STATES. Here in the north…6-10 years is the norm.

Really? What is extending battery life up here? Or what is reducing battery life in the south?

The temperature fluctuations and the extreme low temperatures we see up here reduce the life of batteries.

A weak battery won’t preform well in Cold temps. But cold temps also help preserve a battery. Heat is a huge battery killer.

@circuitsmith‌, you would be surprised at how many unsealed batteries are in use, particularly on motorcycles.

If I had an old battery like that, before I took it to the recycler I’d try a long, slow trickle charge, just to see. No new acid, just put in the needed amount of distilled water.

As they said in the hypothermia class: a body’s not dead until it’s warm and dead…

my new charger says it can fix some sulfated batteries… I have not known it long enough to believe everything it tells, but it hasn t lied so far…

I didn’t realize that batteries could last that long @Mike. I don’t count on them lasting more than 3 years here in Mississippi. And hot summer weather does seem to kill more batteries than the winter cold. Not that it gets very cold here compared to north of St Louis.

Heat destroys batteries, while the cold can sometimes make them last longer, which is why I store my disposable batteries in the refrigerator. I’m not sure if it actually makes my disposable batteries last longer, but I figure it can’t hurt.

I think the reason we still have unsealed batteries for smaller engines is that they have a longer shelf life than unused sealed batteries, which are in higher demand for use in cars and trucks. Once your pour the acid into a battery, I think the clock starts ticking in terms of how long it can last.

The battery in my Matrix is 8 years old now. Wash. DC area climate.
I only drive 2-3 times a week and I charge it overnight every 3 months.
I plan to replace it before this coming winter.

I think the information that heat kills batteries is outdated. I live in the south and I do remember when batteries did not last very long down here, especially the sealed batteries. To get a battery to last even for three years, you had to pull the caps at every oil change and refill the cells with distilled water. If you didn’t, they would be gone in a year.

Except for the last two batteries that I bought at Walmart, which only lasted one and two years respectively, both sealed, all the rest of my batteries have lasted between 8 and 11 years. I do occasionally pull the caps and add distilled water as needed, which usually isn’t much, not like 20-30 years ago. I always try to get replacement batteries with caps.

BTW, when Walmart carried batteries with caps, I never had a problem with them. Also, when my batteries do fail, its always in very cold weather, but I don’t think the cold is the cause of the battery failure. Its just that the cold puts more of a strain on the battery and its most likely to fail when under the most strain.