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How to Fix a Car Battery That Doesn’t Hold Charge

  • Car Services
  • Nova Kainen
  • 7 minutes

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It can happen that due to some malfunction, your car battery fails to hold a charge. This can affect the smooth functioning of your automobile. Hence before the situation worsens, you should know how to fix the car battery that doesn’t hold a charge. This blog discusses the various signs that tell you when is the right time to replace your battery and how to fix it. 

how to fix a car battery that doesn't hold a charge

Why does your car battery fail to hold a charge?

There can be many reasons for the failure of the car battery to hold a charge. Some of the major reasons are listed below: 

Depleted battery

If you properly maintain your car, its battery can last about five to six years. If you find that even after several repairs, the battery fails to get back to normal working condition, then it’s time to replace it. By replacing the battery, your battery and engine perform better. 

There are chances that the battery can get depleted even when the engine is off. The battery can drain due to your failure to turn off the car’s light or when any part of your car is continuously plugged into constant power.  

Corroded battery cables

The inability of the car battery to hold a charge can also be due to corroded battery cables. The corroded layer prevents the battery from getting enough charge from the alternator. Through regular maintenance, you can prevent corrosion. 

Faulty alternator

When the engine is on, the alternator charges the battery via cables. If the battery can’t hold a charge after being jumpstarted, the problem is most likely due to a faulty alternator. 

Defective fuse

A defective fuse can also be the reason, so get it replaced once you confirm it.  

What signs indicate that you need to replace the car battery?

  • The engine fails to start quickly even after turning the key 
  • Dimmed headlights or their failure to turn on 
  • Poor performance of your car 
  • Strange smell due to leakage of battery fluids 
  • Corroded battery connections or terminals 
  • Frequent jumpstarts to get the engine working 

Also read: How Long Does It Take To Replace A Car Battery?

What to do when your car battery cannot hold a charge

When you come to know that your car battery has become dead and cannot hold a charge, there are certain actions you can take to bring it back to normal. 

Jumpstart your vehicle

If your car’s battery dies, a reliable temporary fix is to jump starter it. This job can be done using jumper wires, a battery booster, or a spare car. To avoid doing any harm to your vehicle, it is recommended that you ask a professional at a local auto shop for advice. 

However, if you consult the owner’s manual and follow its instructions, you may jumpstart the car on your own. A dead battery can explode at any time, causing serious injury or death, so if you have no prior experience, never risk your safety or vehicle safety by trying to jumpstart it. 

Use Epsom salt and distilled water

The best way to revive a dead automobile battery is to mix Epsom salt and distilled water. The sulfate buildup in your battery will be removed when you pour the Epsom salts and distilled water solution into the battery. Furthermore, recharging a dead car battery with Epsom salt and distilled water can extend its useful life. 

It’s easy: mix and dissolve Epsom salt and distilled water in the proportion 1/3.  

The issue can be resolved by adding the solution to the battery cells at the battery terminal until the plates are covered by 1/4 to 1/2. 

Apply aspirin solution

Since aspirin is an acid, diluting it in water makes for a fantastic solution that may be used to alter the electrolyte composition of a battery. 

Crush 12 aspirin tablets (either 350 mg or 500 mg) and dissolve them in 180 ml of warm water. Finish the task by adding equal quantities to both the positive and negative terminals. An additional water level is necessary to help cover all the plates. 

Use smart battery chargers

A smart charger can restore power to a dead automotive battery. The smart charger has a simple charging procedure that will restore your battery. To restore a dead automotive battery, a smart charger with a recondition mode is required. 

Vw Charging GIF by Volkswagen Financial Services


Use 200A chargers

A 200A charger is a high-voltage charger; thus, while reconditioning a car battery, it’s important to be conscious of the voltage. Charging your car’s battery using a 200A charger requires you to take certain precautions and should be done in a well-ventilated area. 

Also read: Is Red Positive or Negative on a Car Battery?

What steps to take if your battery is dead

Once you find that the battery is dead, then follow the steps given below: 

  • Wear protective equipment and then clean the battery terminals. 
  • Perform a load test; if the load falls below 12 volts, it is time to replace the battery. 
  • If your battery has passed the load test, you can take off the cell covers. 
  • Perform a hydrometer test to test the fluid and if the solution is dark in color, replace the battery. A green or white solution indicates the battery is good. 
  • Test the battery using a voltmeter and then add the battery fluid to the cells with a voltmeter reading less than 2 volts.  
  • Return the cell covers and put on a trickle charger for 24 hours. Constantly draining a battery means you’ll need to give it 24 hours of trickle charging. 

Also read: Know Everything about How to Change a Car Battery

Why should you recondition the car battery?

You should get your automobile battery reconditioned when it stops holding a charge. If your car battery won’t charge or retain a charge, it may be less capable of powering your vehicle, have a lower charge capacity, or die completely. 

A car battery can be recharged again if it has been reconditioned or refurbished. Your car battery should be reconditioned to power your automobile’s electrical system once again. 

What are the safety precautions you should take when reconditioning the car battery?

If you are trying to recondition your car battery, there are certain safety precautions that you should take to avoid any unexpected dangers.  

Here are some precautions to take: 

  • Wear gloves 
  • Wear an apron  
  • Put on safety goggles 
  • Choose an open, well-ventilated area 

Safety First GIF by Mammoet Merchandise


How much will a car battery cost?

Battery replacement costs can range from $50 to $300 depending on factors such as brand, warranty, size, product compatibility, and type. There will be additional labor costs that can range from $30 to $100. 

Bottom line

The next time you find your car battery fails to hold a charge, you should not stay confused. We have provided you with all the details you need to know when encountering such a situation. Always ensure that you properly maintain your car and get your vehicle regularly checked by a mechanic. 

how to fix a car battery that doesn't hold a charge

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