How to Recondition a Car Battery
All cars need a battery, whether they have internal combustion engines, are hybrids, or are electrics. But the battery is also one of the many things in our vehicle that we take for granted until the car doesn't start. Turn the key all you want or repeatedly push the ignition button, but a dead battery is a dead battery.
Vehicles with an internal combustion engine (ICE) rely on standard flooded lead-acid batteries — those familiar 12-volt black boxes. Hybrids add a larger nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) or a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery to power a small electric motor that helps an ICE improve fuel economy. Then we have our plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, which are typically equipped with sizable Li-ion battery packs to offer pure electric driving range.
Back to the dead battery dilemma. For this article, we're talking about the 12-volt lead-acid batteries, and when one goes dead a jumpstart or battery recharge is the obvious solution. With traditional batteries, it's also just easy (but perhaps costly) to visit a local automotive parts store or big-box retailer to purchase a replacement. But what if instead of replacing the battery every time it died, you could simply recharge it to full strength — and do so several times?