How To Use A Car Battery Charger

How to charge an automotive battery with a charger?

If you frequently take short trips with your car and you constantly start and stop, this makes the car battery work too hard…

This is especially true during winter time when you will be using headlights, wipers, heated windows, and heater for most of the time that you are in the car. What happens is that there is more current that drains out of the battery than what the alternator can charge back.

Consequently, there will not be enough power left in the battery to be able to start the motor. When the battery becomes that discharged, it will become flat. You can avoid having a flat battery if you keep with you a car battery charger.

It is very affordable and a good investment for an emergency situation. But how to use a car battery charger?

This is what we’ll share with you in this article!

Charging A Battery

Can you jumpstart a car with a battery charger? With the 12v car battery charger, it utilizes the main current in replacing the lost charge of the battery. This is through the negative and positive leads being clipped onto the battery posts.

On average, car batteries have the capacity of about 48 amp hours. What this means is that when charged fully, it can deliver one amp for 48 hours, two amps for 24 hours, and eight amps for six hours and so on.

The basic charger can commonly charge at about two amps. This being said, it will be needing twenty-four hours so it can deliver the 48 amps necessary to have a flat battery fully charged. You can keep charging a car battery while still connected overnight at home.

There is a wide variety of chargers that have different rates of charge. The range of charging a car battery is 2 amps to 10 amps. With higher charge output, the faster it is that the flat battery becomes recharged.

But it is not always desirable to have a fast charge because it may buckle the plates of the battery. The loads being imposed on the car battery may be measured from the current being used by different electrical components of the car.

For example, the headlights require about eight to ten amps. The same goes for the heated rear window.

In theory, a battery that has been fully charged without having taken current from a generator can work the starter for around ten minutes. The headlights can be turned on and can remain on for 8 hours.

The heated rear window can last for around 12 hours. When the battery is nearing full discharge, you will notice that the lights will grow dimmer gradually and then it will go out altogether.

Apart from cold weather and short trips, there are other factors affecting your car battery’s state. You can expect cars with a dynamo instead of an alternator to experience failure.

This is because the alternator can produce more electricity and it can also charge the battery better even at low engine speeds.

For all of these cases, the answer is to test the battery frequently with a hydrometer.

This is so that you can check how much capacity the battery still has. When necessary, you can use the battery charger to charge it.

Ways To Connect The Battery Charger

For some batteries, they have a one piece cell cap cover that fits in a central trough. You should always check first the electrolyte level before you connect the battery to the charger. Charge whenever necessary and clean also the battery posts.

You can leave the battery to charge for as long at the rate of charge is just at three or four amps.

If the car you have has an alternator, you first have to disconnect the terminals of the battery.

If you do not, the alternator will be damaged. This is especially true for older types of alternators.

If separate and individual cell caps are fitted, you have to have them removed for ventilation.

You can leave the trough cover on. Only remove it when the charge rate is high. Clamp the red positive lead from the charger to the positive post of the battery. With the black negative lead, clamp it onto the negative terminal of the battery.

When all these have been set up, plug the charger and switch it on. There will be an indicator light, ammeter, or gauge that can show you if the battery is charging. You may notice that the charging rate is high at first. However, this gradually drops when the battery is becoming more and more recharged.

If the battery is very flat, it is most likely that charging will take a long time. Periodically check it using a hydrometer while it continues to charge. When the battery is becoming fully charged, you will notice that it will give off gas and the cells bubble.

However, if any of the cells begin to gas before the rest or do so in a violent manner, you can suspect the battery to be defective. You ought to have it checked by a battery specialist.

Unplugging Before Disconnecting

After you charge your battery, see to it that you switch off the mains and then unplug the charger first before you remove the terminal clips. If you do so, the clips may create sparks when you take the off and may ignite the gas given off while charging.

Be sure that all the electrical circuits are turned off when reconnecting the battery. Again, sparks may happen when you will be replacing the second battery terminal and then ignite the battery gas.

What to Do Next

These are the steps that you need to know so you can answer how to use car battery charger. Hopefully, this article is able to help you in figuring out the ways to charge your battery using a charger.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments! And you can return to homepage to find our more battery information.