Q: I’ve heard that if my battery is dead, putting aspirin into it can
rejuvenate it enough to get the car started. Is this some sort of myth or
is there a bit of truth to it? — Seth in Madison, Wis.
A: Actually, this is basically true. When a couple aspirins are dissolved
in the battery fluid, a fair amount of acetic acid is produced. This is
often enough to give a dying battery enough current flow to get a vehicle
running. As for a dead battery, I doubt much will help in that case, other
than getting the vehicle jumped from another battery.
There’s an element of practicality here, however. To put aspirin into the
battery, you’ll need some tools to get a cell open because most batteries
are sealed-type designs to prevent evaporation. I think the amount of
effort would be more than that involved in finding a jumpstart.