Like many, you may suddenly notice your car battery is leaking. Without wasting time, you need to do something to fix the issue immediately. But why is battery acid leaking from car battery in the first place?
Knowing the reasons for a car battery leaking is important, but knowing how to fix the problem is more important. Often, you will notice acid leaking from the cell caps onto the surface of the battery. A damaged battery can be another reason for acid leakage. Moreover, overcharging can cause battery acid leaking from car battery.
We are going to explain the reasons for acid leaking from a car battery. We will also break down the fixes so that you can get rid of this problem.
Reasons for Car Battery Leaking Acid
There are plenty of reasons for battery acid leaking from the car battery. You might be scratching your head wondering – “why is my car battery leaking?” We will describe the possible reasons; you just need to compare them with your scenario. If your car battery starts leaking, you should look at the following common reasons –
- Battery is Overfilled
No car battery is free from maintenance. You need to fill the car battery with distilled water from time to time. But be careful not to overfeed your battery with distilled water. It can burst and leak if you overfill your car battery with distilled water.
- Battery is Old
A car battery loses reliability when you use it for years. On average, a typical car battery will perform well for at least 4 years. After that, the battery will start to lose its performance or just die. The lifespan might be different for a lithium battery that is used in a hybrid car. But it is ideal to change the car battery every 4 years.
- Battery is Overcharged
An overcharged battery is more prone to leakage. When you charge the car battery more than its actual requirement, the steam may come out of the caps and the battery will start to boil at one point.
To prevent overcharging your car battery, you should troubleshoot the alternator.
- Battery is Damaged
Make sure the battery is installed securely within the brackets. If the brackets are loose, there can be cracks in the battery from too much vibration. Corrosion or cracks may also develop in the battery as a result of the acid contaminating the metal components.
Additionally, the battery terminal may get rusted for this. The battery’s gases may build up and potentially rupture in more severe circumstances.
- Overused Car Battery
An overused battery will absorb all the chemicals that are required to transfer power from the terminals to all the electrical components. The battery eventually fails (causing leaks) because the chemicals inside of it dry out over time. The requirements of the engine are unable to be met by the battery’s impaired operations.
- Bad Chemical Reactions
The hydrogen gas inside the car’s battery is created from chemical reactions. You need to evacuate this gas. Otherwise, you can’t completely seal the chambers of the lead acid battery.
A bad chemical reaction may also occur if your car battery is not placed at the right angle.
- Expanded Battery Plates
The battery plates may expand as a result of high combustion. Although it doesn’t happen often, the resulting liquid in the battery might be forced out, which can lead to leaks.
- Battery is Exposed to Cold Weather
Cold temperatures could trigger the battery juice to congeal. This will put a strain on the battery cells, making the battery shell come off. As a result, it may ultimately break the battery’s body, eventually promoting leakage.
When the battery plates somehow generate a lead sulfate crystal, sulfation occurs. Excessive sulfation may cause sulfuric acid to come out of the battery’s surface. Then, your battery starts leaking acid at one point.
No matter the reasons – whenever your battery leaks acid, you can feel the pain of your car battery voltage is dropping even while you are driving.
What Are the Symptoms of a Leaking Car Battery?
The good news is that there are several symptoms you can spot in a battery acid leak from your car battery. Let’s take a look at them,
- Despite the battery being replenished, the fluid level will remain always low.
- You will notice battery juice containing bubbles over the vent cap.
- The terminal caps on the battery will have significant corrosion.
- The battery shell is swollen or distorted.
- You will find steam on the surface of the battery.
- You will smell rotten eggs from sulfuric acid.
What Do You Do if Your Car Battery is Leaking Acid?
Having a broken battery in the car poses a risk to your health as well as harm to the engine or electronic parts. Therefore, we have outlined the steps of a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) procedure to fix a car battery leaking-
- First, you need to dispose of the battery electrolyte in a plastic container. Be very careful while doing this since the electrolytes in batteries are quite reactive.
- Dilute sulfuric acid into the plastic container. Baking soda can be a very good option for diluting sulfuric acid.
- Brush the damaged area of the battery with sandpaper till the surface feels smooth to the touch.
- The cracked portion should be sealed, and you shouldn’t touch it for two hours after it dries.
- Apply at least 3 cups of warm distilled water (about 66°C) to purify the electrolytes.
- Pour one cup of Epsom salt into the heated distilled water to chill it off and finish the bathing procedure.
- Now, pour cold water into the electrolytes and then, transfer them back into the battery.
- It is better to install new battery caps and clean off any water on the surface of the battery to prevent rust. After cleaning, you need to dry the battery shell completely.
- Finally, once you are done with fixing a leaked car battery, you need to charge it for 36 hours at minimum.
FAQ – Battery Acid Leaking from Car Battery
Here are some of the common questions and their answers that people ask when battery acid starts to leak from car batteries.
Is a battery still good if it leaks acid?
No, the battery won’t look good when it starts leaking acid. You will notice the cell caps are being penetrated by bubbling liquid. The battery will be sweating or it will be inflated. These are some of the signs of a car battery leak.
Can you drive with a car battery leaking acid?
When a car battery leaks, sulfuric acid comes out. This type of acid is hazardous to both you as well as the environment. It is unsafe to drive with a leaking battery. Therefore, don’t drive when your car battery is leaking acid. If you do, your car will not take long to completely fail to start.
Can a leaking car battery cause a fire?
Regardless of the battery and vehicle type, a car battery can always leak and cause a fire. A leaking battery has a high chance of catching fire at any time. If acid continuously spills from the battery, it can get corrosive as well as explosive.
We believe the above discussion regarding battery acid leaking from car battery has been helpful to you. In summary, we suggest you change your batteries right away if you think they may be leaking. The Sulphuric acid solution inside car batteries is extremely poisonous and toxic. Thus, it is imperative that you handle leaking automobile batteries with the utmost caution. We also recommend you use protective gloves and glasses while fixing a car battery leak.