What Happens If A Car Battery Gets Wet [Explained A-Z]

It’s okay for any normal person to wonder if water can damage a car battery. When it’s raining heavily, you could be confused whether to head out with your car or not. So, what happens if a car battery gets wet?

The good news is that rainfall won’t affect your battery at all and you’d be able to keep driving your car in that condition. But it’s a different story if your car battery is completely submerged in water.

what happens if a car battery gets wet

Keep on reading to find out why your battery isn’t affected by rainfall but it can be damaged when completely submerged. You’ll also learn about different battery types and how you can prevent your car battery from getting damaged. So, let’s dive in!

Can A Car Battery Get Wet

You may be in situations where your car battery may get wet. Whether it’s due to flooding or due to heavy rainfall, it’s not uncommon for the car battery to get wet during these times. So, there’s no doubt that a car battery can get wet.

car battery get wet

But there are different types of car batteries. How the battery will react to water depends on the type of battery you have in your vehicle. Here are the two most common battery types you’ll often come across:

Sealed Batteries

You can already guess by the name that sealed car batteries are the ones that don’t let anything in or out. Such batteries are completely sealed. You won’t have to worry about rainfall if you have a sealed battery.

sealed batteries

They’re more than capable of resisting water intrusion from rainfall no matter how heavy the rain is. Even if such batteries are completely submerged in water, it’ll take a long time to cause any damage to them.

Vented Batteries

Vented batteries aren’t completely sealed. The gases are allowed to escape from the battery by creating a vent with a rubber membrane. As the membrane is made of rubber, it lets out the gases but doesn’t usually anything in.

You won’t have to worry about rainfall either if you have a vented battery in your car. Vented batteries are also great at resisting that. But the main problem arises if vented batteries get submerged in water.

The vented batteries will allow water inside them in such situations. So, the battery acid will be diluted when they come in contact with water and even the battery plates will start to get corroded. Keep on reading to learn more about the effects of water getting inside a battery.

What Happens If A Car Battery Gets Wet [Explained A-Z]

If you understand the impact of a wet battery on your car, you’ll be able to drive freely without worrying. So, let me put your mind at ease right away. It’s rare that a car battery getting wet will bring your car to a stop.

A car battery is built such that it can deal with these things. Remember that the car manufacturer keeps in mind that you’ll be driving the vehicle in different conditions. They take rainfall into account when making the batteries. So, have some faith in them.

There’s no doubt that the car battery would get wet on top but the good news is it won’t get inside. The main reason that I confidently say that water won’t get into the battery is because of how the case is made. There’s a polypropylene resin seal that protects the batteries from water entering them.

So, there’s a strong possibility that you’ll be able to drive your car even with a wet battery. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any long-term effects because of it. If you leave the car battery wet and don’t take some actions to protect it, you’ll have to be prepared for these consequences:

Corroded Battery Terminals

While the chances of water getting inside the battery are extremely slim, there’s nothing protecting the battery terminals. If water stays on these terminals for a long time, they’ll become corroded.

corroded battery terminals

If you notice that your car battery is starting to corrode, you should clean it. It’s also a good idea to keep the battery terminals dry at all times. If they’re not dry at all times, they’ll make a weak connection and the lifespan of the battery will be reduced.

Damage Due To Submersing

You’ll be okay for the most part when your battery gets wet due to rain. But if the battery is completely submerged in water, that’s a different scenario. Especially, if you have a vented battery.

Remember how there are some vents in such batteries that let the gas escape? The water can get inside your water through those vents. It can create all sorts of problems.

The main concern when water gets inside the battery is that it can dilute the chemicals and cause leaks and other malfunctions. In the absolute worst-case scenario, the battery will be completely dead and the car won’t start.

What To Do When The Car Battery Gets Wet

If your car battery has already become wet, you can do a few things to reduce the damage. Here are the detailed instructions on what you should do when you’re in this situation:

Step 1 – Disconnect The Battery

First of all, turn off the engine of your car. Doing so will make sure that the battery no longer gets an electrical current. So, it’ll reduce the chances of any potential harm. Then, you have to disconnect the battery terminals.

disconnect the battery

Remember that you should always remove the negative terminal of the battery first. When you reconnect the battery, you’d have to connect the positive terminal first. Otherwise, there’s the possibility of the battery shorting out.

Ideally, you should be wearing insulative gloves when dealing with a wet battery. It’ll protect you from getting accidentally electrocuted.

Step 2 – Clean The Battery Terminals

The battery terminals will also get wet due to rain. You should clean them right away to prevent any corrosion. You can use a wire brush or a battery terminal cleaner for this job.

clean the battery terminals

Alternatively, you can also use baking soda and water to clean the battery terminals and connectors. Once they’re clean, wait for them to dry before you connect the battery again.

Step 3 – Rinse The Battery

After removing the battery, check for signs of damage. If it’s severely damaged, you’d most likely have to replace it. But if it looks okay, then you should clean the battery.

Rinse the battery with clean water. You shouldn’t use a high pressure here as it can damage the battery. So, use a low-pressure pipe instead or pour the water from a bucket to clean the battery. 

Step 4 – Dry The Battery

You have to ensure that the battery is completely dry before you reinstall it in your car. Use a clean towel or a piece of cloth to remove all the water and moisture from the battery.

Store the battery in a well-ventilated area so that it gets dry quickly. You can also store it under direct sunlight or other heat sources if you want the drying process to be even faster. Double-check that the metal parts are dry.

Step 5 – Reconnect The Battery

Now, it’s time to install the battery. Make sure you connect the battery to the terminals in the right order. You should make sure that the connection is tight so that you don’t run into any issues later on.

reconnect the battery

Once you’ve reconnected the battery, you should test it using a multimeter. If there are still any issues with the battery, you’ll most likely have to replace it.

How To Know If Water Has Damaged Your Car Battery

There are some pretty obvious signs that’ll tell you when your car battery has been damaged due to water. If you’re on the lookout for them, you’ll be able to tell when you have a bad battery. Here’s a quick rundown of them:


I already talked about it but as it’s the most common symptom of a wet battery, it’s worth mentioning again. If you see greenish spots on the connectors or battery terminals, you can tell that you have a corroded battery.


When there’s any kind of leakage from the battery, you’ll notice a foul smell coming from the battery area. You’d also see the liquids or electrolytes leaking from the battery visually. It means that the seal has been compromised for sure and you’re better off replacing the battery.

Slow Cranking

When the water gets inside your battery, it’ll reduce the effectiveness of the battery by diluting the chemicals. So, you’d likely have trouble starting the engine and it may even produce cranking noises.

Swelling Of The Battery

One of the most common signs of a bad battery is swelling. The same goes for a car battery. If there’s too much water inside the battery, it’ll increase the internal pressure of the battery and make it swell.

Electrical Issues

The battery runs the electrical components in your vehicle before you start driving your vehicle. If you notice any electrical components malfunctioning before running it, your car battery could be at fault.

electrical issues

The most common electrical issues include dimming of the headlights, flickering lights, the dashboard going crazy, and faulty power windows. If you face any of these issues, get your car battery checked and see if you need to replace it.

What Happens If A Car Battery Got Wet And Won’t Start

Usually, rainfall would almost always not cause any significant damage to a car battery. That’s what I’ve seen in my own experience and working with other cars. However, the batteries can damaged when they’re submerged in water. Especially, the vented ones.

The most common sign that your battery is no good anymore is that the car won’t start at all. If that happens to you, the most likely thing that has happened is the battery has short-circuited and is now dead.

You’d have to replace the battery. You have two main options here. You can do the replacement yourself or hire a mechanic to do it. Doing it yourself will save you about $150 in labor charges.

I can assure you that replacing the car battery is one of the easiest automobile jobs you’ll come across. So, if you want to change your car battery on your own, follow these steps to do it:

  1. Identify the positive and negative battery connections. The red one is the positive terminal and the black one is the negative terminal.
  2. Remove the black terminal first and then, do the same for the positive one. Some batteries will have a cover on them. You’ll have to remove them and release the mount to disconnect the positive terminal.
  3. Remove the hold-down strap by releasing the two nuts and you should be able to easily pull them out.
  4. The battery will be completely disconnected from the car at this stage. All you have to do now is lift the battery.
  5. Clean the battery terminals before you install the new battery. Line up the terminals with the right cables and put your battery in place of the old one.
  6. Install the hold-down straps first and connect the positive terminal. Then, connect the negative terminal and you’re all done.

That’s how easy it is to replace the car battery. If you’re still skeptical about replacing the battery yourself, you can always hire a mechanic to do it.

How To Prevent The Car Battery From Getting Damaged

There’s very little chance that your battery will damaged from water getting inside it during rain. But that doesn’t mean that you should follow the right precautions when using your car battery.

Caring for your car battery will not only protect it from water damage but also increase its lifespan in the long run. Here are the maintenance tips you should follow to keep your car battery healthy over a long period:

Ensure Proper Installation

When you install your car battery, you should make sure that the connections are tight. If any of the cables are loose, they can reduce the engine performance. Not only that, but water can also enter the battery through those weak spots. So, all the cables of the battery and the terminals should be tight.

Keep The Battery Dry

If the car battery has become yet due to rain, you should dry it. You can do it when you get home or when the rain has stopped. If the water stays on the battery terminals for a long time, they can be corroded. When that happens, you’d have to clean the battery terminals.

Inspect The Battery At Regular Intervals

You should inspect the battery from time to time and check its condition. Firstly, check the battery for corrosion. You already what you should do when the terminals are corroded.

Apart from that, check that the battery plates are submerged in electrolytes. That’ll also prevent the battery from water damage. But if the electrolyte levels are too high, that can also create corrosion.

Besides that, it’s also a great idea to spray a small amount of lubricant on the battery posts from time to time. Doing so will prevent any corrosion in case the battery gets wet.

Follow Proper Practices During The Rain

As rain doesn’t cause any significant damage to the car battery, you shouldn’t let it ruin your day. While a little run shouldn’t get in your way, you should still follow some tips to ensure the maximum safety of your car. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the rainy weather:

  • Find a spot that’s covered well or at least has good drainage to park your car when it rains.
  • Dry the area around the battery if you parked your car in an area where it has gotten wet.
  • If you have an electric car, make sure the battery is fully charged. It should also have full visibility so that a little water doesn’t mess it up.

Can You Jumpstart A Car Battery When It’s Raining

You may be concerned about your and your car’s safety when thinking of jumpstarting the battery when it’s raining. But don’t worry, it’s absolutely safe to jumpstart the car during that time.

jumpstarting a car.

The reality is that the metal leads used to connect the batteries are much better conductors of electricity than rainwater. So, rainwater wouldn’t really have an impact on the jumpstarting process.

You wouldn’t have to worry about jumpstarting the vehicle in rainy weather any more than you would on a sunny day. However, it’s always better to dry the battery and the jumper cables just to be extra safe.

Can An Electric Car Battery Get Wet

The truth is that the effects of water in an electric car are similar to that of a conventional car. When you drive in the rain, there’s usually no damage caused to your car battery.

charging an electric car in rain

The batteries in electric vehicles are also protected very well from water damage. The batteries in electric cars are also bigger and have better waterproofing for added protection.

However, if the battery is completely submerged in water, it can have a bad impact on the battery. The good thing is that modern cars can detect water intrusion and the circuit breaker will trip to prevent further damage.

Your course of action should be to not try to start the car if you think your electric car battery has gotten wet. You should take it to a dealer or a qualified mechanic to fix the issues with your battery. Then, you can use it.

What Else Makes A Car Battery Die

It’s normal to be concerned about water damaging your car batteries. But hopefully, your mind is at ease now as there’s very little chance of the battery getting damaged due to water.

If you notice that your car battery has died after a heavy rain, it’s not necessary the water is the culprit. Remember that it’s the alternator that charges your battery. If you’ve left your vehicle sitting around for a while, the battery may have died. It’s not necessary that it’s completely damaged.

Besides that, leaving your headlights or interior lights on for long when the car isn’t moving will also start draining the battery. These things may seem like your battery is done for.

So, you can try to revive the battery by jumpstarting it or letting it get charged by driving your car for a while. If everything fails, you can conclude that you have a bad battery and you’ll have to replace it to solve the issue.

How To Charge Your Car Battery When It’s Raining

There’s no real difference in charging your car battery when it’s raining compared to normal weather. You can connect your car battery to a battery maintainer. If you wait for a few hours, your car battery should be charged. Hopefully, you’ll be able to start your car at that stage.

A battery maintainer may not be accessible to everyone. So, another great option is using a portable battery pack to jump your car. If you have one, you can use it in these situations.

Finally, there’s also the good old method of using jumper cables. Ask someone to jumpstart your car using the jumper cables. If you don’t have any of the components I mentioned, you should at least manage some jumper cables. It’ll help you when you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Can A Car Engine Get Wet

The car engine can get wet during rain or when you drive through a handle. But just like batteries, the engines are meant to handle these types of situations. There are components like radiators and pumps that can deal with this water.

However, the main problem arises when the car is submerged in water for a long period. The electrical system of the car is especially prone to being damaged when water gets in the car.

So, you should ideally avoid driving through flooded roads when you’re driving to be safe. If you have any suspension that water has damaged your engine, get your car inspected. You could be looking at some repair work if your car was underwater for a long time.

What Happens If The Alternator Goes Wet

You know that car batteries are pretty much okay to water exposure. But the same can’t be said for alternators. If the alternators get wet, they’ll start to malfunction and cause electrical issues in your car.

A wet alternator can cause electric shorts and can damage electric components. The alternator itself will also get corroded due to water exposure. You’d most likely have to replace your alternator if it gets wet.


How long can IP67 and IP68 batteries survive underwater?

Both of them were tested by being thrown into a body of water that was about a meter deep. IP67 batteries can last up to half an hour and IP68 batteries can last around 1.5 hours in these conditions.

Is it okay to charge a car battery when it’s raining?

It’s usually safe to charge a car battery even when it’s raining. The main thing you should consider here is the charger itself. The charger should be dry. If it’s wet, a fuse can get blown.

Can you pour water on battery terminals?

Yes, it’s completely safe to pour water on battery terminals when you clean them. Another good option is to spray some WD40 to clean it. However, make sure they’re dried properly before you reconnect the battery.

How long do car batteries last on average?

A cell lead-acid battery that’s used in cars usually lasts for 3-4 years in areas that have a high temperature. But they can last a few more years if the climate is more normal.

Can you remove the car battery when it’s raining?

You should realize by now that the chances of rainwater causing any damage to a car battery are next to zero. So, it’s safe to remove the car battery when it’s raining. There’s no need to overthink it.


What happens if a car battery gets wet? Now, you should know all about it in detail after completing this guide. While you can be relaxed if you drive your car in the rain, you should avoid flooded areas.

That’s the main takeaway you should take from this article. You can also follow the preventive measures to keep your battery in good condition at all times. Feel free to check out our car battery getting disconnected while driving guide in case you’re facing this problem.

Note: You can read our ultimate guide on why the battery is dead after replacing alternator and how to fix it.