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OT - Batteries Stuck in Mag-Lite Flash Light

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  • OT - Batteries Stuck in Mag-Lite Flash Light

    When I test my Mag-Lite Flash Light, the light was dim so I started to replace the batteries. The flash light is one which holds 6 C-cell batteries. The first two batteries slid out nicely but the remaining ones are stuck. I'm sure they are corroded to the Aluminum shell of the light.

    Anyone have suggestions on how to loose/remove the batteries still stuck in the flashlight? They are firmly stuck in place and repeated slamming on the workbench didn't loosen the stuck batteries. I've tried sliding a thin piece of metal between the stuck battery and the tube wall but it didn't work either. Could the base of the battery be drilled and a screw extractor be used to try to break free the stuck battery? Would WD-40 be of any use in this situation? Any other ideas or suggestions? Thanks.
    Last edited by BigBoy1; 12-31-2016, 09:59 AM. Reason: Typo!

    Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

    Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.

  • #2
    I had to bin two of them for the same reason.
    When they put the notice out to change your smoke alarm batteries, do your flashlights as well.
    Then keep them high and dry.
    Pop the rubber off the switch there is an allen screw under it. back it off and it frees up the inner part, if it isn't corroded tight as well.
    Then you may be able to push everything out.


    • #3
      I had the same thing happen to a pair of nice aluminum knock-offs I bought from Menards. I couldn't get them out. I even tried some "excessive force" that damaged the aluminum housing but couldn't get the batteries to budge. If you figure out how to get them out, I'll certainly be interested to know! Now I always remove the batteries if I'm going to store the flashlight for any length of time.


      • #4
        maybe fill them with baking soda water?
        nothing to lose if it doesn't work.


        • #5
          Batteries are alkaline use an acid such as vinegar.
          Central Ohio, USA


          • #6
            Baking soda and water...I've used it on old cameras with AA batteries that were corroded in place, car batteries to clean the tops off. Let it work for a day or so, you'll see the bubbles as it works.


            • #7
              Phosphoric acid cleans battery juice crusty stuff off in seconds. And aluminum is reasonably resistant to many acids.

              Remove as much of the switches etc as possible, then drip diluted phosphoric, vinegar, or whatever in. Should work pretty fast. Never tried vinegar, phosphoric is quick, and did not damage the simpler flashlights I have cleaned that way.

              Keep eye on ball.
              Hashim Khan


              • #8
                Forget all the chemicals... just try hot water for a hour or two. "Close to boil" the flashlight if you like. The stuck batteries will free up. Then you can deal with any residual mess, if any.


                • #9
                  When I restuff old electrolytic capacitor cans for my vintage electronics restorations, I thread a heavy screw, or even a small lag bolt into the "guts" and use that to pull them out. Same method will probably work for the batteries, or at least help you out.

                  I find that the batteries in the last 5 to 10 years all start leaking, some heavily, before they die. This seems to be a constant problem of late at my house on thermostats, flashlights, etc.


                  • #10
                    Like Mike said, alkaline battery leakage is base, so use vinegar. I just soak/fill them up with cheap vinegar (with a couple of drops of dish soap to break any surface tension) overnight and most of the time, that is enough. Bang them around periodically to get the vinegar down in there better, and tap/slam the open end against a block of wood on the ground to see if they have loosened.
                    I also do what polar does to extract - drill a 3" or longer drywall screw into it and pull with needle nose vise grips (since you are 2 batteries down).
                    Hmm, I tried water years ago with poor results, but I don't think it was particularly hot. Next time. I will try as Lakeside suggests. Hot vinegar would surely be even faster.
                    Last edited by Joel; 12-31-2016, 12:32 PM.
                    Location: North Central Texas


                    • #11
                      Don't both ends come off? Just drive them out.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ohio Mike View Post
                        Batteries are alkaline use an acid such as vinegar.
                        Are all C-cell batteries alkaline batteries? BigBoy1 never stated what his were.
                        Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada


                        • #13
                          slide hammer


                          • #14
                            As Arcane pointed out, the first step is always to figure out what the batteries are first.

                            If they are LI-Ion, do NOT drive any metal object into it.

                            If they are alkaline, the leakage has probably eaten into the anodizing inside the flashlight body, making the surface rough and causing a mechanical grip if the battery swelled (as they tend to do). Use a light acid like vinegar to clean out the leakage.

                            If they are older carbon-zinc then the leakage is acid, which does not hurt the anodizing much. Use baking soda to clean out the leakage.

                            No matter what chemical you use to clean it, do NOT seal it with the tailcap while the chemicals are in it. That can create a very good seal and the chemicals can spray vigorously when you loosen the cap.

                            I've a hundred or so flashlights and have lost a dozen or so to extensive battery damage. Unless you are a collector or are broke, it's better to toss it and buy a new $10 knock-off from china that is 30 times brighter, will run many times much longer and fits comfortably in one hand. Not much use as a club.

                            At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                            Location: SF East Bay.


                            • #15
                              I have used Vinegar, Phosphoric Acid, and CLR (Calcium,Lime, Rust remover) all with good results to get Alkaline batteries that leaked out of friends and family members Mag Lights. Remove the switch , lamp head, etc. first though.

                              I prevent this in my own flashlights by taking a piece of wax paper, rolling it into a tube so that it just fits around the inside diameter of the flashlight tube, then sliding the batteries down inside the wax paper tube. Should I forget to check the batteries periodically, if they do leak, the wax paper stops the corrosion from bonding with the aluminum tube, and they slide out pretty easily unless grossly swollen, but even then they are still easier to remove than they would be if the corrosion was in direct contact with the aluminum tube.
                              NRA Life Member