How to Add Acid to Batteries

by Stephen Benham
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Most batteries you use are dry cell batteries; examples include regular AA alkaline batteries or rechargeable nickel cadmium batteries. However, your car or golf cart batteries contain wet cells, generally referred to as lead-acid batteries. Each cell in a lead-acid battery contains two lead plates submerged in sulfuric acid. You need to ensure the acid level in your battery is occasionally topped up, as once the acid level falls below a certain level, the cells go dead.

Step 1

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Wear rubber gloves as a precaution before adding fluid to your battery. The acid contained in the cells is dangerous and burns if it gets on your skin.

Step 2

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Use a screwdriver to unscrew the caps on the top of your battery. Most lead-acid batteries have slotted caps so insert a suitably-sized screwdriver in the slots and turn counter clockwise, then lift the caps off using your hands. If your battery has push-on caps you need to insert the end of the screwdriver under the side of each cap and pry them off.

Step 3

Check the acid level in the battery cells. There are two lines on the inside of the cells representing the minimum and maximum acid level. If any of the cells are below the maximum level, you need to add fluid. Charge your battery, if necessary, before adding fluid.

Step 4

Pour distilled water into the acid reservoirs. A bottle that has a small spout is best so you can accurately and slowly pour in the distilled water. Don't exceed the maximum level, because the acid expands when a battery gets charged. Never use water from your tap; it damages the plates in the cells.

Step 5

Use your fingers to replace the caps. Either screw them or push them in place. Use a screwdriver to tighten the caps if they are threaded.

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