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How to Charge A Car Battery? A Step by Step Guidance 

How to Charge A Car Battery? A Step by Step Guidance 

If you want to learn “how to charge a car battery?” here is all you need to do: 

  • Get your battery ready

  • Don't leave any electronics turned on 

  • Disconnect the right cables 

  • Inspect the terminals and clean them if necessary 

  • Hook up the battery charger 

  • Turn off the charger and disconnect the cables 

 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


There are many instances where your vehicle's battery runs out of charge. When that happens, you got to recharge the battery to get the vehicle moving. Otherwise, you'll have difficulty starting and other undesirable outcomes. 

Charging the car's battery is not a simple process. While it sounds like charging your smartphone, the process takes a couple of pre and post steps that you need to implement to prevent dealing with risky situations like electrical shocks. 

However, by following a certain procedure, you should be good to charge the battery without causing any issue to yourself or to the vehicle itself.

This article provides you with a step-by-step procedure on how to charge a car battery. It highlights the main things to keep in mind while charging the battery. It also refers to some mistakes that people might make, making the battery constant, if not their lives. 

How to charge a car battery? 

When your battery runs out of charge, you don't necessarily need to consult a professional mechanic and pay for their high hourly rate. Instead, you can charge the battery yourself by following these simple steps: 

  • Get your battery ready

Before we dive into the details about how to charge a car battery, you need to familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s specific battery. Some batteries require certain preparation where you must take it out of a certain compartment.

Therefore, we advise that you check with your vehicle's owner’s manual or take a look at the battery itself and see if it's connected in a certain way that prevents you from charging it while sitting in place. 

By looking into the manual, you will not only get information about where the battery is located and how it's connected, but you might also get some idea about how to charge the value successfully without causing any damages. 

  • Don't leave any electronics turned on 

One of the very common mistakes some people make when charging their battery is leaving the electronics turned on. If that happens, they experience what's known as the electrical arc, which could harm the electric components, especially if you're driving a modern vehicle.

Therefore, after familiarizing yourself with your vehicle's battery and getting it ready, you need to make sure that all electronics and every single accessory is turned off. Next, check by looking at your vehicle's dashboard and see whether the stereo or the lights or anything else is turned on or not. 

  • Disconnect the right cables 

While we indicated that charging your car's battery is not a very complicated process, this step is the most sense once you follow certain steps. It requires a lot of caution to prevent dealing with electric shocks.

When dealing with batteries, whether to charge them or repair them, you need to know that the terminals need to be connected and disconnected in a certain way. In general, you don't want to leave the negative terminal connected to the battery by itself at any point for any reason.

Before connecting or disconnecting the terminals and the cables, you need to distinguish between the positive and negative terminals. In general, the negative cable will have a “-“mark, while the positive cable will have a “+” mark. These marks are big enough and obvious enough for you to see them without any extra effort. 

Therefore, when you want to disconnect the battery cables, you must start with the negative cable. This way, you'll end up with the positive cable connected to the verify itself, which is an OK situation.

After disconnecting the cable, make sure that it's laid away from the battery itself because as you will dealing and trying to disconnect the positive terminal, there is a high chance that the negative terminal could get in touch with the battery or the positive terminal, causing some risky situation. 

  • Inspect the terminals and clean them if necessary 

Once you disconnect the cables, take a closer look at the terminals and make sure there are no rust or corrosion signs. It's not rare to deal with rust and corrosion build-up around the different battery terminals, impacting the battery's overall performance.

Having too much rust and corrosion on the terminals can block the electric charge and makes the battery disconnect intermittently. 

Keep in mind that there is a certain point where the rust could be too much to the point that you can't clean it up. At that point, you must replace the terminals instead of spending time and effort getting them cleaned. 

Replacement costs of battery terminals differ significantly depending on your vehicle may, model, and here. Therefore, we advise that you research the rough range of prices for your vehicle type and be patient to find the best deal unless you are in a rush. 

  • Hook up the battery charger 

Once you are ready and the terminals are cleaned up or replaced, the next step is to hook the battery charger and get the charge going.

If you haven't charged the battery before, you need to know that every charger might have certain instructions that you need to review in detail before hooking it to the battery. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when charging the battery with an external charger:

  • Do not ever connect the charger when it's turned on. Make sure that the charger is turned off and then connect the terminals
  • As we indicated before, start with connecting the positive charger cable to the battery terminal
  • Then, connect the negative charger cable to the battery negative terminal
  • Once everything is connected securely, go ahead and turn on the charger. By default, the charger will be set to the lowest speed.
  • If the charger has a timer, we advised that you take advantage of this timer and set it up to a point where it turns off once the charge is done. If you don't know how long you have to connect the charger to your battery, you need to refer to your vehicle's owner’s manual and get accurate numbers and results before overcharging the battery or not charging it enough. 
  • Turn off the charger and disconnect the cables 

Once the charge is complete, you must turn off the charger before disconnecting any of the cables. 

After the charger is turned off, go ahead and disconnect the negative cable first and then deposited one parent with dad, you should be good to go, and your battery is completely charged. 

Put the battery back 

If you remove the battery out of a certain compartment, it is time to put it back and secure it with any specified bolts according to the specifications in your vehicle's owner manual.  

How long does it take to charge a dead battery? 

Charging a dead battery might take between four hours and 24 hours. However, this time frame depends heavily on your vehicle's make, model, year, and the power of the charger itself. It also depends on the size of the battery.

To get a better idea about how long exactly your battery needs to charge, we advise that you go through your vehicle's owner’s manual that should have some accurate information. It might also be a good idea to search online for the similar vehicle make, model, and year because someone else might have asked the same question, and there should be some videos or posts highlighting some details. 

Can you leave a car battery charger on overnight? 

In cases where your battery needs about 24 hours or lengthy time frames to be charged, leaving the charger on overnight should not be a big problem. However, you want to make sure that the boundary doesn't get overcharged, and you want to make sure that the surroundings and the location where you have a vehicle connected to the charger are safe enough and no one may touch the charger and get hurt. 

Does revving the engine charge the battery? 

Yes, removing the engine is a great idea to fast in the battery charge. When you Rev the engine, the alternator moves faster and produces additional energy needed to get the battery to the full charge in a shorter time frame. However, it is also recommended that you make sure that all electronic components are turned off, so the electric current is not depleted using these components. 

How can I tell if my car battery is fully charged? 

The easiest way to tell if your car's battery is fully charged is by using a multimeter. Then if the multimeter showed a number greater than 12.6 volts, your battery is fully charged.

However, if you don't have a multimeter, one other easy way would be to turn on and off the headlights and any of the electrical components. Keep in mind that some of the electrical components might turn on even if the battery is not fully charged. However, you'll notice that the headlights, for example, are dimmer, and things are not performing as they should. Thus, the best way to get an accurate idea about whether your car is fully charged or not is by using a multimeter. 

What happens if you leave a car battery charger on too long?

Overcharging the battery is a bad idea because the battery might die at some point of overcharging. This is because having too much charge results in situations referred to as excessive gassing.

During excessive gassing, a lot of oxygen and hydrogen is generated, causing problems without battery seals and resulting in battery bursts. Therefore, we always recommend monitoring how long you keep the charger on and understand how much charge is supplied during that time frame. 

At what speed does a car battery charge? 

If you don't want to go through the headache of connecting a charger to your car battery, you can still get your vehicle charged by the engine itself.

What you can do is you can drive your vehicle for about 10 miles at a certain speed ranging from 30 to 40 mph. At that point, if you spend about 30 minutes at the same speed, your battery should be fully charged.

That's why automotive experts recommend driving the vehicle frequently and never leaving the car sitting for extended timeframes to prevent depleting the car battery and needing a battery charge. However, if you must leave the car sitting for a long time because of a vacation or something else, you recommend using a trickle charger, which maintains the car battery even if the engine is not running. 

Conclusion

Learning how to charge a battery is an essential skill that could get you out of inconvenient situations without needing a professional mechanic.

While the process might sound straightforward, charging a car battery requires following a certain procedure to prevent electrical shocks and other dangerous situations. In general, you start with preparing the battery, turning off electronic components, disconnecting; then I got up and then the positive cables, cleaning the battery terminals, connecting the charger, turning off the charger, and disconnecting the cables the negative and then the positive one.

If you realize that your battery needs to change frequently, it might indicate that the battery is approaching the end of its lifetime. Replacing a car battery is not a cheap process. If you know that there are other mechanical problems in your vehicle, it might make sense to sell this car to Cash Cars Buyer and use the money towards a better vehicle that does not need any repairs. 

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