The battery is an essential part of every vehicle’s electrical system. It lets the engine start, providing power, or, as the phrase goes, “juice” for the electronics, voltage regulator and alternator.
Being properly maintained, the accumulator can last for not less than 3-5 years, operating until the very end of its “Calendar life”. Poor care and maintenance can enable corrosion on the terminals that destroy the connections, a short circuit, lack of water, alternator damages.
Additionally, the knowledge about how to charge a car battery with a battery charger is quite essential. The battery can die if you leave the vehicle idle outdoors for a long time, especially in winter, when it’s extremely cold. If you forget to turn off the lights before leaving your cherished vehicle in the garage, it can become a negative factor, as well.
The Common Car Battery Maintenance Issues
Before I wonder, how can I charge a car battery, I would think about the charging frequency.
To prolong a lead-acid battery’s life, never discharge it completely. It should always have at least 50% of juice. Otherwise, it gets destroyed quite fast, and you would have to replace it in a year or two, spending extra money on your vehicle maintenance.
Therefore, it’s necessary to:
- check the voltage;
- insulate it from extremely cold temperatures;
- charge a car battery overnight and fully, every week or more frequently;
- prevent the cables’ damages;
- refill the accumulator with the electrolyte or distilled water.
Dead Car Battery Tricks
Meanwhile, when a force majeure situation already happened, and the battery is dead, it’s still possible to revive it. You’ll diagnose that it’s dying when the dome light and headlights are dim, the motor doesn’t start, the radio doesn’t turn on after the ignition switch is turned.
In this case, you can:
- jumpstart the car with another vehicle, battery booster or another accumulator;
- add electrolyte;
- give it a dose of aspirin, soda or magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt).
Adding some chemical compound to the water, you make the acid (electrolyte) mix stronger. However, please, be careful with a frozen battery, as it can explode. It is to be thawed before recharging.
How to Charge a Dead Car Battery with a Charger?
First of all, it’s necessary to remove the dear vehicle accumulator, inspect it for damages and the terminals’ corrosion, clean the surface, add electrolyte and replace the caps. As any battery is a dangerous car part, prone to exploding, containing acids, emitting harmful gas, don’t neglect the safety precautions. Wear protective gloves and clothes; goggles would be helpful, as well.
Quite naturally, you are to park the vehicle in beforehand, on a level surface. Additionally, the knowledge about how to jumpstart a car with the available portable jump start is necessary. Study the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions and follow them. The memory saver is to be installed if your vehicle is computerized.
Charging a car battery with a charger:
- install it, starting with the “Plus” terminal, then proceed with the negative one;
- plug it in;
- wait until the battery is full;
- unplug the device;
- remove the cables, starting with the positive one;
- fire up the vehicle.
How Long to Charge Car Battery with Trickle Charger?
It depends on the battery type. It commonly takes 12-15 hours to revive a lead-acid accumulator completely. These essential car parts are the most dependable, the coming with the oldest history and still widely used by the wise driving enthusiasts. They are low-maintenance, high-performance, not expensive, long-life, resistant to the temperature extremes, but heavy-weight, not environmentally-friendly.
NiMH batteries can be recharged within 2 hours. The vehicle parts of this kind are used mainly on hybrid cars. They are flat, robust, resistant to cold temperatures. But they can be damaged by overcharging, requiring the best jump starter for types of diesel with a monitoring system.
When it goes about a lithium battery, from 30 minutes to hours may be sufficient to recharge it. The accumulator is safe, green and efficient. However, it’s sensitive to heat, expensive, and it can burst into flames, being damaged or overheated. Therefore, it’s used mainly for electric vehicles and bicycles. Unlike the lead-acid accumulator, this vehicle part is to be discharged completely before recharging.
Meanwhile, trickle chargers are the devices that help the battery to remain fully charged. It’s helpful in winter periods; works on the vehicles that are parked, for example, motorcycles, boats, traveling trailers, as they charge at low amperage, during long periods of time, avoiding overcharging.
How to Charge a Car Battery at Home?
In winter, when it’s cold outdoors, it’s better to bring the battery in. However, it extracts harmful gas, so the premises are to be properly ventilated. Anyway, I would recommend charging a battery in a garage that is heated and illuminated, rather than at home. The process is the same as it was described above. The terminals and case cleaning, the charger hooking up and turning on, the timer setting is the basic stages. The charger is to be off during the cables’ connection.
But, how to charge a battery without a charger? You can do it with a common, laptop charging device, adding copper wires, a bulb, and a resistor. Connect the wires, checking the scheme, positive, and negative separately. However, you are to be an electrical engineer to apply this method, as it’s a bit complicated and dangerous.
Additionally, charging a car battery while still connected is easy when it’s not completely dead yet. Just drive the vehicle around a yard or not busy area, having turned off all the lamps and devices.
How to Charge a Car Battery with Another Car?
Having selected the jump-starting method, you are to:
- park the running car face-to-face near the stranded one;
- connect the vehicle batteries;
- start the vehicle that is in running order, wait for a couple of minutes;
- check if the dead battery is revived;
- disconnect the cables.
Wondering, how to connect jumper cables, start with the “plus” terminal of the dead vehicle. Connecting the negative ends, start with the battery of the functioning car. Don’t touch the terminals and don’t let them touch the metal engine parts. It can be dangerous, producing sparks. Don’t mix the terminals to avoid fire or damage.
How to Charge a Portable Jump Starter?
The booster charging time and frequency are different, depending on the brand and model. Commonly, when the device is in use, it’s recommended to charge it every week. When it stays idle, it can keep the charge during up to 3 months. So, going to charge start car battery charger, just connect it to a standard, 110V electrical outlet and wait a bit. An AC adapter can be used to solve this task, as well.
Thus, if you aren’t sure, how to charge a car battery using a battery charger, it’s essential to read the manual and memorize the theoretical basis. It’s not difficult, actually, but the car part is attributed to the safety hazards, being prone to exploding, containing dangerous acids. So, observe the safety precautions, maintain your vehicle accumulator properly and timely and never get stranded on the road.
You can also see our selection of the best jump starter for diesel. Learn all the nuances of using the product. Analyze all the strengths and weaknesses.