Can A Dry Car Battery Be Revived

Posted in Car Batteries | Asked on May 25, 2010

I’ve had a car battery in my garage for about three years. It was good when I put it in storage but I just checked and all the cells are totally dry. Can I just add water and put a charger on it? Or is it a wasted effort?

There are 5 Answers for "Can A Dry Car Battery Be Revived"

  1. Adolf says:

    She’s dead, Jim…never to be revived.

  2. pedro7of9 says:

    1 it needs acid and charge…just water does not make a battery alive….but after 3 yrs id just go get a brand new no water/maintaince battery less than 50 dollars good for 4 yrs+ you can try to revive it but i think its DOA

  3. pappy says:

    I have revived batteries in that condition. It’s a crap shoot but don’t cost much to give it a try. You can try filling the cells with distilled water or you can go buy battery acid to refill the cells. Usually refilling with acid works best. Then put it on a very very low trickle charger. I have one that puts out about half an amp, then let it charge until you see it starting to “boil”. Do Not let it actually bubble up. Then start testing each cell with a hydrometer. If all the cells get back to at least 3/4 charge your good to go.

  4. Carl says:

    If it is completely dry, you need the acid. A three year old battery… even if you can revive it, it probably won’t last very long. Water and the charger won’t do it.

  5. Michael says:

    Are you sure there is no leaks in it. Sulfuric acid does not just evaporate. Did the garage get cold ever, batteries left sitting for a long time slowly lose their charge. When they get weak they can freeze if the temperature gets low. Freezing can cause the case to crack letting the acid out and usually damages the battery parts inside. Overcharging can make the water boil away leaving the acid behind. The acid like this will be stronger. Normally if this happens you just add distilled water to refill the cells and dilute the acid properly. I would try adding distilled water to each cell until the level is slightly above the plates then recharge slowly 2 amps or less. If it doesn’t charge or gets hot or you can hear bubbling inside almost right away the battery is no good. Don’t bother putting new acid into the battery as it is probably no good anyway.