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How to Recharge A Dead Car Battery? Your Ultimate Guide

Can a car battery be recharged

If you want to learn about “how to recharge a dead car battery?” Here's all you need to do:

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  1. Inspect the battery
  2. Get yourself ready
  3. Inspect the battery cables
  4. Bring a power source
  5. Jumpstart the dead battery
  6. Familiarize yourself with the different terminals
  7. Connect the positive jumper cables
  8. Connect to the negative cable
  9. Connect the other side of the negative cable
  10. Start the vehicle with the good battery
  11. Disconnect the cables
  12. Keep the vehicle running

Dealing with a dead car battery is a very frustrating situation. It can be extremely challenging, especially if you are trying to leave the house to get to work or drop the kids to school.

There are many reasons for your vehicle's battery to die, including leaving the headlights turned on overnight, not driving the vehicle for a long time, and other reasons. Unfortunately, when your vehicle's battery dies, the only solution is to get it charged so you can drive the vehicle.

While you can't charge your vehicle's battery using several simple methods, doing the procedure wrong might lead to significant damages. Therefore, whenever you plan to charge your vehicle's battery, you must follow a certain procedure to achieve successful results and eliminate any mistakes.

This article provides you with a step-by-step procedure on how to recharge a dead car battery. Once you follow this procedure, your vehicle should be good to go, and you don't need a professional. However, if the procedure didn't work, it might be an issue with another component in your vehicle which means that your only option would be to consult your mechanic.

How do we charge a dead car battery? Your ultimate guide

Whenever you hear the term dead battery, it refers to the situation where the battery is charged is completely depleted or the battery does not have enough charge to get your vehicle going.

Whenever you deal with a dead car battery, you must charge it following these simple steps:

  1. Inspect the battery

Before you move any step further and charging your vehicle's battery, you must perform a visual inspection to confirm that the battery is in good condition. After that, it's OK to use jump-starting to charge the battery.

Typically, if the battery showed any signs of leaks or cracks or probably damages, you should not attempt to charge it using jump start because you might risk your life or cause injuries to other people around you.

  1. Get yourself ready

Another important preparation step when charging your vehicle's battery is to get yourself ready. Experts recommend using some safety goggles and gloves to help protect yourself and especially your eyes from any potential sulfur leakage from the battery.

  1. Inspect the battery cables

You must take a closer look at the battery cables and confirm that they're not loose and there are no signs of corrosion or damages. If the battery cables are corroded, you must clean them up because the issue could be related to the corroded terminals, and the battery is in good condition.

Remember that automotive experts never recommend cleaning the battery cables if you see any signs of breakage or cracks around the cables because, with that, you put your life at risk of electric shocks.

  1. Bring a power source

If you're planning to use jumper cables to charge your vehicle's battery, you will need a second car with a good battery to charge your vehicle. Therefore, drive the vehicle with a good battery into a distance close enough so you can't connect the junk cables to both vehicles. You can confirm the right distance by looking at the length of the jump cable.

Once the vehicle with a good battery is close enough, turn it off.

  1. Jumpstart the dead battery

Then, pop up the hood and locate the vehicle's battery. Typically, the batter is a large component, and it should be easy for you to locate it. However, if this is your first time to jump-start your vehicle's battery, we recommend that you go through your vehicle owner’s manual to get an idea about where to locate the vehicle's battery.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the different terminals

When you look at the vehicle's owner’s manual, you also need to familiarize yourself with the location of the different terminals. Typically, you will find a positive terminal with a (+) symbol and a negative terminal with a (-) symbol.


  1. Connect the positive jumper cables

To jump-start your vehicle's battery, you must start by connecting the positive jump cable terminals. Look at the jump cables and find the + symbol or look for the red cable because it's typically positive.

Then, connect the positive cable to your dead battery first and the other positive cable to the vehicle with a good battery. Again, the order is extremely important when it comes to charging your vehicle's battery to charge it safely without causing any damage.

  1. Connect to the negative cable

Once you're done connecting the positive cables, go ahead and find one side of the negative cable and connected to the charged battery. Make sure that you don't connect the second negative cable, and the cables don't touch each other as you connect them.

  1. Connect the other side of the negative cable

The last negative cable should be connected to a ground metal component in your vehicle. This way, you ensure that the car is connected to the ground as you're recharging the battery. Most automotive experts recommend connecting the negative cable to the chassis, the vehicle frame, or any other metal component.

  1. Start the vehicle with the good battery

After entering that all hold jump cables are securely connected, the next step is starting the vehicle with a good battery. The jumper cables will transport the electric current from the good battery to your dead battery when starting the vehicle.

Allow the jump process to continue up to at least five minutes, so your vehicle's battery is completely charged. Then, start your vehicle with a dead battery and allow it to build its electric charge until it's full.

  1. Disconnect the cables

Once you confirm that they did battery is completely charged and you could start the vehicle with a dead battery, you can go ahead and disconnect the jumper cables.

Note that disconnecting the jump cables must be done in order because otherwise, you might risk the battery and cause internal electric shocks.

Therefore, start by disconnecting the ground cable as the first step, then follow it by disconnecting the other negative cable. After that, disconnect the positive terminal from the vehicle with a good battery and disconnect the last positive cable.

  1. Keep the vehicle running

Once you disconnect the jumper cables, allow your vehicle to run for at least 5 minutes, so you ensure that the battery is fully charged and you don't have to deal with dead battery situations the next time you turn off your vehicle.

By allowing your vehicle to run for a couple of minutes, the alternator will work as a generator and produce additional electric current to recharge the battery because when the vehicle is running, the battery does not do any job because its initial job is to get your vehicle going and provide the initial current.

Some automotive experts recommend driving your vehicle for at least 20 minutes to confirm that the battery won't die again. However, if the battery is reaching the end of its lifetime, no matter how much you drive it, it will still die because it might not hold the charge and will deplete immediately.

Can a completely dead battery be recharged?

According to automotive experts, your alternator won't be able to recharge a completely depleted battery. However, if you used a simple method like the one we explained before using jumper cables, you should be able to recharge your dead battery completely.

Keep in mind that there aren't many situations where recharging the battery might not work because it is not in good condition. For instance, if you've been driving the vehicle with the same battery for at least five years, it's definitely that the battery is no longer functioning ad you should install a new one.

The good news is that even if the problem has to deal with a bad battery, you can easily install a new battery without costing you a lot of money.

Lastly, sometimes the jumper cable recharge might not work because of issues with the terminals or the cables. For instance, the battery terminals might build corrosion around the connection with the battery. Therefore, the electric current will not leave the battery to the different electrical components. As a result, you should clean up the battery terminals and ensure that the cables are securely connected with the battery to resolve your starting issues.

Does a car battery charge while driving?

Yes, typically and in any vehicle, the alternator works as a generator. It converts the energy coming from the engine into an electric current that supplies all-electric components around your vehicle, including the battery. That's why you should typically have a fully charged battery every time you turn off the vehicle.

However, if the battery has problems, it might not hold the charge, and that's why you will deal with dead batteries after you turn off the vehicle. That's when you might want to use a dump cable to skip the batteries job and move on to the next steps in the starting process.

How many times can a car battery be recharged?

Your vehicle's battery should not require any recharging if it's in good condition. Therefore, you shouldn't expect the need to recharge the battery for at least four or five years. However, if the battery had issues prematurely, you might need to recharge it using a jumper cable.

For example, if the battery was exposed to extreme temperatures, this might impact its functionality, and therefore, you'll have to provide the battery supply and recharge it. Similarly, if you left the vehicle sitting for a long time, like a couple of months, while you were gone for a vacation, the battery might die because of minor electric components that could deplete the charge.

How do I extend the battery life of my car?

If you would like to extend the lifetime of your vehicle’s battery, you can't implement simple tips and tricks, including:

  • Eliminates short rides as much as possible
  • Never forget any of the electric components turned on overnight
  • Inspect your vehicle's battery frequently
  • Clean up any corrosion around the terminals
  • Prevent exposing the vehicle's battery to extreme temperatures
  • Do not over fasten the vehicle's battery


When your vehicle's battery dies, you need to charge it to get your vehicle going. Otherwise, you will have difficulty starting and cranking the engine. Luckily, jumpstarting your vehicle helps you charge the battery using a very simple procedure.

This article walked you through how to recharge a dead car battery using jumpstart cables. In addition, the article highlighted important tips and tricks to implement, so you don't cause damages to your battery by mistakes.

If you tried charging the vehicle's battery using the jump cables and things didn't work, your problem might be related to a different component, or it could be that the battery completely failed and required replacement.

Before you invest a penny in installing the new battery or resolving the major mechanical problems in your vehicle, you must evaluate the situation and compare repair costs to the value of your vehicle. If you realize that repair costs are approaching 75% or more from your vehicle's value, we recommend that you sell your vehicle and use its money to purchase a better car.

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  • Describe your car’s type and condition
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