A lot of people panic when their car battery no longer supplies power to the starter motor. They immediately think it is time to tow their vehicle to the auto shop and replace the car battery with a new one. That might not always be necessary, though. There are some circumstances where a car battery just needs to be recharged with a car battery charger.
For instance, if you forget to turn off your headlights or radio and they remain on for a long time, it could weaken the charge of the car battery. Sometimes people who don’t drive their vehicles for a long time will also discover problems with their battery. In these circumstances, a car battery charger should resolve the problem for you.
On the other hand, if your car battery is more than 2 years old, then it is probably time to get a new battery. You cannot keep charging car batteries forever because the chemicals and components inside of them will eventually deteriorate. Also, make sure your alternator and electronic control unit are in good working order. They could possibly be the reason why your car doesn’t start too.
If you test the quality of the car battery charge with a multimeter, then you can confirm whether it is the battery or alternator. If the multimeter shows the battery has a weak charge, you can proceed to charging the car battery.
Steps to Charge Car Battery
Below are the top four steps for changing a car battery.
1) Connect the Car Battery Charger
Make sure your vehicle has been turned off for at least 20 minutes. Open the hood of your vehicle and locate your car battery. Follow the same steps you would follow to jumpstart a car battery. Attach the red clamp (positive) to the positive terminal.
As for the black clamp (negative), attach it to the chassis rather than the negative terminal. This will prevent hydrogen gas from leaking.
2) Set the Amps
The car battery charger should let you set how many amps you want to use. The more amps you select, the faster the charge. However, we recommend less amps and a longer charge because it will be a better and more dependable charge for your battery.
3) Activate the Charger
If you’re using a portable charger, turn on the power switch to activate the charger. Otherwise, plug the power cord from the charger into an outlet or some other reliable power supply. Leave the charger alone because it will stop automatically when the battery has a full charge.
4) Deactivate and Disconnect the Charger
Turn off the car battery charger. Disconnect the power cord from the power supply and charger. Take off the clamps from the battery terminals. Basically, you are reversing the entire order of these steps. After the clamps are removed, close the hood and start your vehicle. The engine should start right up without any issues.
How Long Does It Take to Charge?
There are a couple of factors that determine how long it will take to charge a dead car battery. Mainly, the size of the car battery and the strength of the battery charger will determine the length of time to charge the battery.
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It will take a minimum of 4 hours to charge your battery, but it could take all the way up to 24 hours in some cases. If your battery charger only emits four amps, you can expect the charge to take a longer time. But if you have a more powerful battery charger that emits up to 8 amps, then it should take less time to charge.