Why Does My Car Battery Leak Acid

A leaking battery can be destructive to your driveway. You may have asked yourself why your car battery leaks acid. There are a couple of reasons why your battery is leaking. To understand why your car battery leaks, you must first learn how a car battery works.

A car battery falls into the category of lead acid batteries. This type of battery works by creating a chemical reaction. Lead acid batteries are composed of six cells. These cells each contain a plate of sponged lead and plate of lead dioxide.

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When these plates are submerged into a solution of sulfuric acid, a chemical reaction occurs. This reaction creates an electrolyte. The byproduct of this chemical reaction is electricity.

Over time a battery can begin to develop sulfate crystals. This process is known as sulfation. These crystals form on the contact points of the battery and significantly reduce your battery’s performance and capacity. Sulfation is the number one reason for battery failure but it is just one of many reasons that your battery may start leaking acid.

If you let your battery overheat, it may start to swell. This swelling can cause cells to crack and leak.

The excess heat will start to cause the sulphuric acid to expand. This expansion can leak from the caps of your battery and cause corrosion to your terminals and connectors. This is why it is very important that you store your batteries in a cool place if they are not in use.

Your battery should be out of the sun and in a dry place. You should never clean under your hood by spraying water around your battery. Water can cause an increase in the speed that metals rust and adds to corrosive behavior. The majority of your engine’s components are not painted or coated to protect them from the water.

To properly store your battery, you should fully charge it prior to storage. This prevents sulfation and keeps your battery’s life cycle fresh. It is important that you don’t overcharge your battery. This can also cause swelling and cracking in the walls of the cells.

Battery cables should always be clean and free of corrosion. Corrosion can occur if acid leaks onto your battery terminals. This creates a sulfate buildup that can eventually cause your battery to lose power and capacity. Take a wire brush and carefully clean your terminals every three to six months to prevent sulfation buildup.

Leaking acid can be hazardous to your health and the environment. If you see that your battery is leaking acid, you want to handle it very carefully. Gloves and goggles should be worn when handling a leaking battery. When acid leaks out your battery, it is corrosive and must be neutralized. Baking soda provides an inexpensive way to neutralize the acid.

Not all leaks are as easy to see at first. A swollen battery can be a sign of future leakage. You should pay close attention to your battery terminals. Watch for any build up of crystals. This is a strong indication of sulfation and leakage.

The copper used in your terminal connectors will not be affected by sulfuric acid alone, even if submerged in it. It is when an electrical current is added that copper begins to become corroded. This is a chemical byproduct that builds up on your terminal and is called copper sulfate.

Repairing a leaking battery can be very difficult if you don’t have the proper tools and techniques to follow. There are some great online tutorials such as EZ Battery Reconditioning. Reconditioning a battery can bring it back to life. Reconditioning can restore 80% of the dead batteries you encounter.

Although difficult at first, you can repair most cracked, leaking batteries using this method. Drain your battery of all fluids. Next, sand the cracked area of your battery. You need to make the area very smooth so your adhesive can stick. Apply your sealant to the cracked area, similar to how you would patch a radiator.

Since you have had to empty the battery, you are going to need to make more electrolyte fluid. Heat a pot of water to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and then mix in Epsom salts until it dissolves completely. Once dissolved, allow to cool to room temperature and then add the solution to your battery.

Wipe any excess or spillage away and apply the caps firmly. Shake the battery for 5 minutes. In most scenarios, a cracked battery should be discarded but this method can be used in an emergency to get your vehicle running again.

A leaking car battery is not good for you, or your vehicle, and it can be a sign of some other issues that your battery may have. Keeping your battery well maintained can make a big difference in your battery’s life expectancy.

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