How To Connect A Trickle Charger To A Car Battery

Explaining how you can connect a trickle charger to your car battery right way.

If you are living in a super-cold-when-winter state in the United States, or somewhere around the globe, then you might encounter the trickle charger many times before, especially if you have a car.

Although it is also used as a charger even not during winter, not all people might be familiar with how to connect a trickle charger to a car battery.

Since not all car owners (especially new ones) are common about how the trickle charger works and how you can connect it to your car battery, we gathered up answers for you.

There is a step-by-step process on how to use the trickle charger, and they are as follows:

1. First, make sure that the battery is ready for charging.
2. Be mindful and check if the cables are connected.
3. Voila, you can turn on the charger!

It looks simple and comfortable when you are just staring at the steps, but it entails a more detailed description once you dive in on the next few paragraphs. We’ll definitely explain why!

What Is A Trickle Charger?

It is customarily used to charge the battery at a slow pace. A standard manual trickle charger charges a car cell for a total of 24 hours. While other types can be left on the car battery at an indefinite time, these types of trickle charger are used during summer or winter when the car battery needs to be stored away from the vehicle for a more extended period than usual.

Like a car engine, a trickle charger has two types: manual and automatic!

An automatic trickle charger is capable of switching on and off when it’s already full or depending on the battery voltage while the standard trickle charger is just a normal trickle charger that has no advance mechanisms, unlike the automatic one.

How To Use The Trickle Charger?

Car maintenance from the engine to the battery is quite expensive and having one trickle charger is a savior most of the time especially if the car battery is already aging and needs reconditioning. A trickle charger plays a massive part in saving it and prolonging its life.

While performing any electric procedures like connecting the trickle charger to the car battery, you always need to be mindful of safety measures before doing anything else.
Even if you say that you are going to use an automatic trickle charger, you still need to know how to try the safest way. Why? Because it always involves electricity!

Unlike any battery chargers, the trickle charger is really easy to use. You just need to remember the step-by-step procedure before you start and make sure that you will still get complete fingers after doing so – some might lose them if they aren’t careful.

Be sure that you have the following:

⚫︎ Your car battery (may it be a lead-acid, wet cell, etc.)
⚫︎ Your favorite brand of trickle charger
⚫︎ Two alligator clips
⚫︎ A power cable

Step-By-Step Procedure

1. First, make sure that the battery is ready for charging.

But how can you make sure that the battery is ready for charging?

Before connecting anything to the car battery, especially the trickle charger, you need to check first the area where the battery is currently located. The area needs to be well-ventilated and most especially, not raining – not even a single drop.

When we charge the car battery, extra hydrogen gas is being emitted and can explode once get in contact with oxygen. This process if not attended right away, may result in an explosion.

Be sure that you have turned off the car lights and the ignition. Car keys should be removed as well as the charger.

Before attaching any cables to the car battery, make sure that the place where you will put the car battery is free from dirt or oil as it can affect battery terminals and can start corrosion on batteries that will lead into another problem that might damage the whole car engine if not attended right away.

2. Be mindful and check if the cables are connected.

This is the step where you will use the alligator clips. One should be a black clip, and the other is a red clip. The red is for the positive end. Once it is attached to the positive end, it should start charging. Once you noticed that there’s a constant connection between the positive end and the trickle charger, you can now connect the negative cable.

We highly remind everyone not to touch the cables when the charger is rammed in as you may experience serious injury. Aside from it, we advise that you double check the user manual for the trickle charger and the car battery before plugging in the charger into the main outlet.

3. Voila, you can turn on the charger!

Once done checking everything that is needed, you can attach the trickle charger to the main power socket. You can now switch the charger on, and if an amp meter is available, check the amperage level.

If the amp meter is high, it means that the battery is low in energy. On the contrary, if the meter is low, it says that the battery has sufficient charge. Ironic, right? If it does happen, you can try reconnecting the trickle charger and try the above method again. If it doesn’t work out that way, it means that you need to move on and buy a new car battery from the retailer cause it says that the battery is good as dead.

This is not only made for car batteries. You can also use to charge other batteries such as for motorcycles, golf cart, and other small things. The trickle charger that is compatible with those mentioned is the one amp, and two amps trickle charger. They are entirely different from those trickle charger that you can use for the car batteries.

The 2, 6, and 12 V battery trickle charger are the ones for motorcycles, tractors, snowmobiles and the like. It can charge small up to large batteries. Also, it charges classic or old batteries from old cars and motorcycles.

This type of trickle charger has two different settings. There is 2 amp charge rate for the 6 V battery while there’s a 4 amp charge rate for the 12 V batteries. There’s a more detailed explanation on how these charging rates differ from each other on the trickle charger manual that you have.

A trickle charger actually takes care of everything for you especially during long months of winter or summer to keep the battery charged and avoid it from dying rapidly.

While using the trickle charger, you can leave it for months on some types (most often the automatic ones), while the normal ones can be left connected for more than 24 hours. You can see the duration of time when can you give these trickle charger on the manual.

How Long Does It Take A Trickle Charger To Charge A Car Battery?

It usually depends on different factors. The usual duration of trickle charging to get it fully charged (from fully-discharged) is around 20 to 24 hours. It will depend on factors like your battery level, the charger’s voltage level, and the battery’s age and performance.

A good example is a 30 amp battery that has a reserve capacity of 60 or 70 can take 60 minutes only. While a 2 amp battery with a reserve capacity of 60 – 64 can take 20 to 24 hours to get fully charged.


A trickle charger one of the must-have device if we own a car or other automobiles and motorcycles. This device is a great help especially on reviving car batteries that have a dead cell in it.

In this article, we found out how to connect a trickle charger to a car battery, the types of trickle chargers and their differences from each other.

There are points that we need to remember if we want to use a trickle charger in charging car batteries:

1. First, make sure that the battery is ready for charging.
2. Be mindful and check if the cables are connected.

If these things have been considered and checked, then, that is the time that you can use the trickle charger and plug it onto the main socket.

There are also automatic and manual trickle chargers. Automatic ones are those that have a feature of switching on and off when the battery is already full and if it needs to be charged. This is the type of trickle charger that you can leave even for months, and the cell won’t be affected.

However, the manual is the opposite. It has regular features like another battery charger that can only last for a minimum of 24 hours and a few days as it can damage the entire battery and can cause car battery explosion if not attended to.

If the car battery won’t charge using the trickle charger and you tried it on another battery that is entirely new, then the battery needs to be replaced, and you need to visit the nearest battery retailer.