How Sulphuric Acid Plays A Role In Your Car Battery And How To Keep The Battery Going

Sulphuric acid is a highly caustic material that, if not diluted, could burn through a number of materials. It is diluted with water in most car batteries so that the electrical charges that pass between the two lead plates is easily conducted via the water and acid. If you want to keep your car battery running for as long a life as you can get out of it, here is how to "recharge" the sulphuric acid and its role in your battery's life.

Why Add Water?

If the battery uses a diluted water and acid solution, you will need to add water to it a couple times a year. Since the battery heats up the water/acid solution inside, the water often evaporates, leaving just the acid, and then the battery cannot properly conduct a charge over the channel in between the lead plates. You will undoubtedly notice that your electrical system in your car is struggling to accommodate everything it needs power for, and may even need more frequent jumpstarts. If that happens, take your vehicle into the nearest auto service shop and ask them to check the battery's fluids. Your car will need to cool down enough before the battery can be removed and opened to check the water-to-acid ratio, so plan ahead.

Why the Acid Cannot Be Present on Its Own

As previously mentioned, the acid is too corrosive. It would eat through parts of the battery casing if it was not diluted. Additionally, the acid is present to act as an electrolyte within the water, and sulphuric acid is one of those acids that can withstand the electrical currents produced by a car battery without disintegrating within a short time. When it is concentrated, it also has less conductivity than it does when swimming in a cup or two of water, so it is important that the balance of acid and water within your battery be consistent.

How to Keep the Battery Going

Have the battery tested each time you perform routine maintenance services. Your auto technician has a charge tester to clamp to the positive and negative posts of the battery to see how fully charged it is. If the charge is low, he or she will remove the battery and check the water/acid levels. Then the technician will put the battery on a charger that plugs into a standard outlet, or he/she will jumpstart the battery for a quicker recharge this way. You may also invest in some of these testing tools if you would like to perform some of your own battery maintenance tasks, but you should leave the addition of water to the battery up to your technician because of the level of personal danger involved.

Contact a company like Auto Electric Sales & Service for more information.