Uh-oh. Your car battery is dead. What to do now? Luckily for you, we have outlined the options you have when your car battery needs a charge. We go over the different types of charger, how long it will take depending on the amps and voltage, how to jump a car, how long does it take while driving, and other useful information that will determine how long it takes to charge your car battery.
First – What Are the Determining Factors?
If you’re wondering about the process on how to charge a car battery, the most important detail is arguably the real reason why you need to charge your battery. Why does your battery need a charge in the first place? There are numerous causes that might be the reason behind your battery’s inability to provide your car with enough electricity.
Your battery could be getting old in your car as the first possible the reason. The second is that there are some damaged parts, like corrosion and cold weather contributing to the wear-and-tear of various engine parts. If the battery is damaged but still in working condition, then charging it is possible. But if the charging methods do not work, then you might have to consider a full engine replacement. If you decide to get a new car battery, you can sell the old one for some extra cash.
The Different Types of Charger
Depending on the type of charger you use to give your battery some juice, the timeline to a full charge varies greatly. It can take between one hour to a day to charge your car battery – and it all depends on what type of battery your car has, and the mode of charging you choose.
The simplest type of charger that lets you charge a car battery is the linear battery charger. This lets you give some power to your battery via a wall socket for an easy and simple method. However, the simplest way isn’t the quickest way. Since it requires little set-up and power, this battery operates at a low amperage, and can take a long time to charge your battery.
The cheapest version of this method is the Repco-branded battery, which runs at just 2.7 amperes. The Repco will take up to 12 hours to charge the 12-volt lead-acid battery that is found in most cars. The linear battery option runs at a continuous charge, and doesn’t have a controller to stop the charging when the battery is at the peak. If you’re not keeping an eye on your battery levels and the length of time that you’re changing your battery, this can cause damage to the longevity of the battery. In some conditions, it can cause the battery to explode or fail.
The multi-stage battery charger is more expensive than the linear options, and range from around $90-$110. Compared to the linear charger battery, the multi-stage version recharges the battery in bursts instead of a continuous stream. This is better for the battery cells, and prevents long-term damage that has been reportedly done by the linear batteries during the continuous charging.
The multi-stage chargers are also known as intelligent chargers, possibly due to the burst-charging method and the higher amperes. Multi-stage chargers can be purchased up to 50 amperes, which lets you charge a car battery in less than an hour.
The trickle chargers are the last kind of charger that you can choose, and operate between 0.8 amperage and 4 amperage. They run at a low power output level and are not meant for charging a battery when it goes dead. However, they are useful in preventing the problem if you connect it to the battery when the vehicle isn’t being used.
An Enhanced Flooded Battery, also known as an EFB, is a good choice for charging fast and operating at low voltages for use while the vehicle isn’t running or when the battery hasn’t fully drained. The trickle chargers can affect how long it takes to charge a car battery if it keeps the battery in proper working condition.
How Long Does It Take To Charge A Battery While Driving?
The amount of time it takes to charge your car battery while driving depends on certain factors, such as the car usage cycle and initial charge time.
Car Usage Cycle
The first factor that contributes to the car battery draining is the car’s usage cycle. If you leave your car stationary and unused for a long period of time, the battery is more prone to dying than if you frequently use your vehicle. If you accidentally leave your lights on or air conditioning running, the battery will drain and run out.
The best way to charge a battery is while your car is idling. If the alternator isn’t faulty or damaged, idling can self-help the car and recharge the battery partially. If this doesn’t work, you can take your car for a short trip to recharge the battery. This would require using a multi-stage battery charger to recharge the battery to full levels.
Initial Charge Time Duration
The time that a car battery takes to charge depends on when it was last fully charged. The time it takes for a car battery to charge also varies based on your vehicle’s make, model, year, and previous usage. For most cars, you should try and maintain 1000 revolutions per minute for a certain period of time.
Driving on high-speed lanes, like on a highway or freeway, will typically be able to charge the battery in just 30 minutes. If you are driving in busy traffic or in slower-moving lanes of the city, the recharging process can take up to one hour or more. Try not to use the lights, radio, or other electronic devices during charging your car while driving.
How Long Does It Take To Charge A Car Battery With A 12-Volt Charger?
The amount of time it takes to charge a 12-volt car battery depends on the amount of amps you are using to recharge your battery.
Length Of Time Using 40 amps
Forty amps will charge your car battery quickly, even within a few minutes of starting the process. Be sure to not overcharge your battery, as this can damage your battery and hinder its lifespan and efficiency during long-term use.
Length Of Time Using 2 amps
Charing your car with a 2-amp battery will take 1-2 days to reach a full recharge. This is usually due to the 2-amp battery providing 1 ampere per hour. This type of amp power is generally used during a trickle charge or to maintain your battery at a specific level. Using a 2-amp battery could be a good solution if you want to leave your car connected to the charger for an extended period of time, and your car isn’t generally being driven on a regular basis.
Length Of Time Using 4 amps
A car battery generally holds 48 amps, so it will take about 12 hours to reach a full charge using this voltage. This could be a good choice for charging your car battery to maintain a certain level for a long period of time.
Length Of Time Using 10 amps
A 10-amp charger is able to charge a half-discharged small car battery in about 2-3 hours. The small car battery is categorized as an RC 40-60. The charger can charge a 50% discharged medium-sized battery, which is RC 60-85, in about 3 to 4 hours, or a large-sized battery, which is RC 85-190, in approximately 4-7 hours. If the battery is fully empty, then you just need to double these times to see the amount of time your charge will take.
Length Of Time Using 12 amps
Before using a 12 amp charger, make sure that you aren’t charging from a circuit that holds multiple outlets and devices. Figure out the circuit breaker and wiring that you have on your outlet before choosing this version. The best situation for a 12-amp charger is that you can get 5 miles of range per hour of charge when using a 12 amp load.
How Long Does It Take To Trickle Charge A Car Battery?
Trickle charging your car might arguably be the best solution for long-term use, since it is used over a long period of time to regularly maintain the battery levels without an extreme amount of power. This is the preferred method to keep your car battery topped off if you don’t drive the vehicle consistently as well. Those who drive RVs, ATVs, and motorcycles generally prefer trickle chargers.
Trickle chargers can take upwards of 2 days to charge a car battery to the full amount. A trickle charger generally only uses 1-2 amps, so the process is a lot slower than a higher-amperage charger. The best part about the trickle charging mechanism is that it won’t overcharge the battery by accident. It also prevents the battery from potentially overheating due to a high amount of power and voltage. If you have a damaged battery or an old battery that won’t charge, you can bring it on specific place for some compensation – especially if you’re in Nashville.
In order to determine how much time it will take to trickle charge your car, you need to read the spec sheet and possibly buy an automotive battery tester to see how much your battery has left. If you don’t have a car battery tester, you can calculate the time using the minutes left in your battery, the reserve capacity in terms of amp hours, the voltage used, and the current battery percentage.
How Long Does It Take To Jump Start A Car Battery?
If your car has died and you need to make it to the auto body shop, then jump starting your vehicle could be the best solution for a short-term fix. When your car dies, it is a sign that the battery is experiencing issues. Either the battery is just dead, or there is other damage that has made its way to the battery itself. You need to determine if your car battery is under warranty to see if you are covered.
One crucial part to note is that after you jump start a car to get the battery running, it can put added stress on the alternator. The alternator must provide electricity to the car and is simultaneously trying to recharge a dead battery that might need replacement. This puts a tremendous amount of stress on the alternator, and can in turn, damage the alternator along with the already-damaged battery.
A jump-started car can usually run for about 10-15 minutes after getting jumped, but your car alternator can undergo serious damage during that short period of time. Replacing an alternator is more expensive and time-consuming than just replacing a battery. Jumping a car can get you out of a tricky situation, but it can lead you into an even tougher one if you’re not careful or jump your car too often.
If you know that your car battery is dead, then there isn’t any point in trying to recharge it with a battery charger to preserve the lifespan of the battery. If you know your battery needs replacing, then jumping a car won’t damage the battery any further. You should jump your car, and then immediately take it to a mechanic to purchase a replacement battery. Waiting to replace a battery can lead to a more expensive and costly repair in the future. Determine if the car battery can be repaired or if you need a full replacement before taking the next steps.
What If My Battery Needs Replacing And I Don’t Have The Funds For The Fix?
If you determine that your battery cannot hold a charge and it is the main issue, then trying to charge the battery won’t do your car any good. A battery replacement is a costly procedure that you might not be able to financially pay for at the moment. If this is the case, we recommend checking out a reputable place that you can bring your car to sell for junk.
Luckily for you, CashCarsBuyer is a trustworthy and fair company that will provide you with a quote of your car. Remove all of the non-metal parts of your car and sell them for some quick cash before bringing in your vehicle. Earn some money and save towards your next car!