If your car has been left sitting idle or perhaps you have not driven it for a while, you might experience some problem starting it. The problem can be caused by a dead car battery. When this happens, it can be a hassle, especially if you need to be somewhere. Many people might ask, can a car battery be recharged? Fortunately, it can. There are two common ways to recharge a car battery – by jump starting it and by using a battery charger.
Jump-starting a car battery will require you to use jumper cables to connect your dead car battery to a running one. Using a battery charger won’t require you to find another car to help you recharge. You will have to use the battery charger, given that you already purchased one, by hooking it up and charging your battery. Car battery chargers can usually be bought for around $30 to $130. So you ask, can a car battery be recharged? Yes. If you want to know more, read on! We’ll tell you what you need to know!
Can a Car Battery Be Recharged? – Can You Revive a Dead Car Battery?
When car owners ask, “can a car battery be recharged?”, it is most likely that they are experiencing starting issues caused by a dead car battery. When they say that a car battery is dead, it usually means that it is discharged or the battery voltage is way below its operational amount. Most batteries equipped on cars operate at 12 or more volts. When the battery’s voltage drops below that number, it means that it is dead..
Can a car battery be recharged? Can you revive a dead car battery? The answers to these questions really depend on how dead your car battery is before you try to recharge it. You might want to check or test the car battery’s voltage to determine how “dead” it is.
A car battery that is healthy should show around 12.4 to 12.7 volts across the positive and negative terminal when measured with a multimeter. But when you check the car battery’s voltage and it reads lower than12.4 volts, you might experience some issues when you try to start your car. A car battery can be recharged when it is dead but the method you can use on how to recharge it will depend on how low the voltage of your battery is after you have jump started your car.
If the car battery you are trying to recharge still has a good amount of voltage, such as between 12 and 12.4 volts, you can recharge it by driving around so it can be recharged through the car’s alternator. Your car’s alternator is capable of recharging a battery when the car is in motion. To make the recharging process more effective and faster, you need to drive around using less electricity as possible. You should refrain from using any component in your car that needs power from the battery such as the radio, light, or air conditioning. This ensures that your car’s alternator will send more energy to the battery.
Driving your car for around thirty minutes can help increase the voltage in the battery until it reaches its safe operational amount. Bear in mind that you need to run your car above idle since high revs can put more power in the charging circuit. If this process does not work or fix the problem, you should use some other methods to recharge your car battery.
When you check the voltage of your battery and you read that it is way lower than it should be or has dropped below 12 volts, it can’t be remedied by just driving around. Although your car’s alternator can recharged a healthy battery, it can’t recharge a dead one. In fact, recharging a depleted battery may damage the alternator since it will work harder to supply energy to the rest of the car while you are driving as well as to the dead battery.
Driving around with a dead battery and using the alternator drive it may also hurt the battery since it will be undercharged. If the alternator happens to recharge it, it won’t be enough, it won’t likely keep the charge which the alternator puts into it. If your battery is already in this depleted state, you won’t even be able to start your car with it. The best thing that you can do, is to connect it to a jump starter or a battery charger. These methods are known to safely recharge a dead battery. You can do these methods even without removing the battery from your car.
Can a Car Battery Be Recharged? – How Do I Know When My Car Battery Needs Replacing?
Can a car battery be recharged? You might’ve asked this question if you are experiencing starting problems. You can recharge a car battery, but there are times that a recharge won’t fix the problem. Sometimes, the battery needs to be replaced. But, how do I know when my car battery needs replacing? You will know that your battery is due for a replacement when you experience any of the following:
- Electrical problems
Your car battery supplies power to all of the electronics in your car including the lights, radio, and many more. A dying battery will have a hard time supplying power to all of these electronics. You may notice dimmer lights or the electrical system in your car suddenly stops working, this is an indication that you have a problem with your battery.
- Slow starting engine
If you ask around about how long a battery should last, you will most likely get different answers. Some people will say that it can last for about 5 to 6 years, while others will say 2 to 4 years. The answers vary since how long a battery will last really depends on a lot of factors or elements that can affect your battery life.
No matter what the right answer is, the car battery’s components wear out over time. It will become less effective and when it does, it may take a while for it to produce a charge for the starter. You may have to wait a few seconds before the engine turns over. When you notice that starting your engine seems harder or slower than usual, it is an indication that your battery is about to fail.
- Foul smell
When your car battery is damaged and is due for a replacement, it can cause it to leak gas. If you notice a foul smell, that smells like a rotten egg, when you open your car’s hood, it might be caused by a leaking battery. When this happens, you need to have your battery checked or replaced immediately.
- Illuminating check engine light
An illuminating check engine light can be triggered by a lot of things or issues and a failing car battery is one of them. If you notice that your check engine light is turned on, have it checked immediately.
- Car will not start
If your car will not start and you just hear a ticking or whining sound when you turn your keys in the ignition, it could mean that your battery is dead. When you experience this problem, do not try to start your car continuously since it can further damage the battery. You can try to jump-start your car battery to start it. If your car did start up after a jump, it doesn’t mean that it’s already working fine. You still need to have your car battery checked since you might experience the same problem again next time when you start your car. If this happens, maybe it is a sign that your car battery is already due for a replacement.
- Battery terminals are corroded
When you notice that the terminals of your battery are already corroded and its metal parts have some white substances on it, then maybe it is time to retire your old car battery. Car batteries with corroded terminals, which are the positive and negative metal connections found on the battery’s top, can result in voltage issues which can cause starting problems. Although you can clean your corroded battery terminals, the problem will most likely happen again so to prevent it from happening, you need to replace the faulty battery.
- Swollen battery case
When a car battery is exposed to extreme heat and cold, it can decrease its lifespan. Exposure to extreme heat can also lead to a swollen or cracked battery case. If you notice that your car battery no longer has a rectangular shape, then you need to have it replaced immediately since it will most likely not work properly anymore.
Can a Car Battery Be Recharged? – How do I bring my car battery back to life?
Can a car battery be recharged? You now know the answer to this question and you can do so by choosing one of the two known methods to bring a car battery back to life – by using a battery charger and by jump starting it.
Using a battery charger
You can recharge your car battery by using a battery charger. With this method, you don’t need another car to help you with the recharging. You just need to get your battery charger, hook it up, and charge your battery. Car battery chargers usually cost about $30 to $130. Prices can vary depending on the charger’s weight and size, the output of the charging modes, the warranty length, and the features it has.
To recharge a car battery using a battery charger, you just need to follow these simple steps:
- First, you need to make sure that the charger is unplugged. Do not plug it yet.
- Then choose the right charge setting and rate for your battery type and its condition.
- FInd the car battery's positive and negative sides. The positive side has a P, POS, or + symbol while the negative one has an N, NEG, or – symbol.
- Connect the red cable to the battery terminal’s positive side and the black cable to the negative side.
- You can then connect the battery charger to a power source and wait for it to fully charge.
- Once done, unplug the charger from the power source and turn it off.
- Disconnect the positive and negative clamps.
- Test the charge using a multimeter. It should read 12.6v or higher. If you don’t have a multimeter, you can just start your car and turn on the headlights.
Using jumper cables
One method used to recharge a battery is by using jumper cables and it will require the help of another car with a running battery. To do this method, you need to do the following steps:
- Place your car near the other car with a running battery. Put the two cars in park and make sure that their engines are turned off.
- Connect the jumper cables in the right order. First one to attach should be the red cable. Connect it to the positive side of the dead battery. Then connect the other end of the red cable to the live battery’s positive side.
- Attach the one end of the black cable to the live battery’s negative side. The last one to attach is the other end of the black cable. You need to carefully clamp it to a large metal part of your engine’s block. DO NOT connect it directly to the battery’s negative post.
- Then you need to start the engine of the car with a running battery and let it idle for a few minutes.
- Start the engine of the car with a dead battery.
- If it starts, disconnect the jumper cables immediately in the reverse order. Disconnect the black cable from the engine block of the car with a dead battery first.
- Allow the car to run for about 30 minutes and drive it for at least another 30 minutes to recharge the battery.
Can a car battery be recharged? Yes, it can! You just need to follow the steps in the right order. If you are to recharge your battery, you need to make sure that you are protected by using eye protection and gloves. You also need to read the manuals for any specific instructions.