If you’ve noticed that your car battery is leaking, you may be wondering whether it’s safe to drive. In this article, not only will you find out whether it’s safe to drive, but you’ll also learn what is leaking from the battery, why it’s happening, and most importantly, what to do!
So keep reading to find out everything you want to know!
Is It Safe To Drive With A Leaking Car Battery?
If your car battery is leaking, then you’ll definitely want to avoid driving. If your battery is leaking, the chances are that sulfuric acid is leaking from the battery (although in rare cases it could also be water). So if the battery is leaking, then it’s going to be bad for your car, the environment, and even you!
What Should You Do If You Notice Your Car Battery Leaking?
The best thing you can do if your car battery is leaking is to of course take it to a mechanic. In the meantime though, you should also make sure that you’re not letting any of the fluid touches your skin, be inhaled, or go in your eyes as it’s extremely harmful.
If possible, you can also try to remove the battery from the car, but only if you know exactly what you’re doing.
Lastly, if your car is leaking, you should also avoid trying to jump-start it. If the battery is leaking, then there’s also a strong possibility that gas is leaking from the batter as well, which could result in an explosion.
How Can You Tell Your Battery Is Leaking?
Before you take your car to be fixed, it’s always a good idea to be sure the battery is actually leaking and it’s not something else. So here are some of the most common signs that your car is actually leaking.
- You can see cracks in the battery casing.
- There is liquid bubbling and seeping through the cell caps of the battery.
- The battery has become warped or inflated. It may also appear distorted.
- You may also notice that fluid is dripping from any cracks or fractures in the battery’s casing.
How To Clean Up After You’ve Noticed A Car Battery Leaking?
If you’ve noticed a leak and it’s not too bad, then you can also try cleaning the mess up yourself to quickly reduce the risk of any permanent damage occurring in your car. Here are the steps you’ll need to take when your car battery is leaking:
Put On Protective Gear
The first thing you’ll need to do before anything is put on protective gear to make sure you don’t get hurt. Most importantly, you’ll want to put on goggles and rubber gloves, but ideally, you should also be wearing a long sleeve shirt as well.
Check The Battery For Leaks
The next step is to check the battery for leaks. If you notice leaks on the top of the battery then you can add baking soda to neutralize the acid. If you’re not sure what the acid is going to look like, then just look for bubbling. Any areas where you notice bubbling are the areas where acid is leaking through.
Remove The Battery
If the battery isn’t leaking from the top, then the next step is to remove the battery from your car. Once you’ve removed the battery from the car, you should immediately place it in a plastic container to stop the acid from damaging anything.
(Plastic is the best choice because it’s highly resistant to battery acid, hence why your battery casing is made from it.)
And lastly, make sure you’re securing the terminal clamps so they aren’t touching the contaminated areas.
More Baking Soda
If you noticed that the leaks weren’t on the top of the battery, then you should have a better understanding of where they are now. So wherever you notice the leaks you should place baking soda to neutralize them. You should keep adding baking soda to the acid until you notice that the bubbling has stopped completely.
Clean The Contaminated Area
Once the battery has been completely neutralized, use a paper towel to wipe away all the acid. Once again, place the paper towels in the same container as the battery for safety.
Go To A Battery Recycling Center
Once your battery has been secured in its container, the last stop is to go to a battery recycling center to dispose of the battery properly. You may have wanted to recover your battery in some way, however, once it’s started leaking, there’s no recovery for it, and the best thing to do is dispose of it properly.
It’s also important to remember that you should only do the above steps if the leak isn’t too severe. In cases where there’s a severe leak, the best thing you can do is take your car to a professional for it to be disposed of.
Here are some frequently asked questions people often have in relation to their leaking batteries.
Why Can’t You Throw A Dead Car Battery In The Trash?
You should avoid throwing car batteries in the trash because the acid is terrible for wildlife and the environment. In fact, it’s so bad for the wildlife and the environment that if you get caught throwing a dead battery in the trash, you could end up receiving a fine.
Do Car Batteries Ever Leak Water?
The solution in batteries is a mix of water and acid. In extremely cold conditions, it’s possible for the solution to separate, causing the car battery to leak water.
However, if you notice that your car battery is leaking water and not acid, then it’s much more likely that the battery has been overfilled with distilled water. But if you notice a leak, it’s more than likely the liquid is acid and not water.
Can Sealed Unit Batteries Leak?
Even if you have a sealed unit battery, it’s still possible for it to leak. Over time, the battery will begin to wear and tear, so it’s entirely possible that the battery could start leaking.
As you can see, if your car battery is leaking, you should definitely avoid driving. If possible, you should also try disposing of the battery yourself, or if the situation is bad, get a professional too. And if you’re not sure whether your battery is leaking, then you should look for cracked, bubbling, and warping on the battery’s case!
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