Do’s and Don’ts: 6 Things to Keep in Mind When Charging Your Car Battery

To say that batteries play an important role in today’s vehicles is truly an understatement. It’s that part of your vehicle that makes transportation fast and convenient, and it’s no good if its power barely alive.
Unfortunate circumstances can happen to any driver, both beginners and professionals. Luckily, you can avoid these situations by providing TLC to your car’s battery. There are things that you can do to keep the power source in good and working condition. One of which is learning how to properly charge it. And here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when charging.


1. Make it a Habit to Check the Power Status

Always check whether or not it needs charging. Train your senses and be knowledgeable about signs of impending battery death. Are the headlights functioning properly? Do you smell something strange from your car’s engine? Your senses should be more attuned in determining these signs if you do regular check-ups. By doing this, you’ll know when is the right time to charge it.

2. Always Inspect Terminal Clamps and Cables

Proper charging involves connecting the right cables to the right terminals. Most equipment today have great safety protections against reverse polarity, however, you still need to make sure that you connect the cables correctly. This doesn’t only prevent engine damage but also protect you from accidents. Connecting these cables properly promotes good charging process, which consequently improves the lifespan of both the charger and the power unit.

3. Know How to Properly Use the Charger

Reading the manual of the unit is necessary for safe and proper charging. Take note that different models have different features. Just because you already bought and used a charger before doesn’t mean that you already know how to use all brands and models. For you to maximize the function of the unit, you need to read the manual and learn how to properly use it. Follow the steps provided by the manufacturer to ensure safe, fast, and efficient charging. If the manual included in the package is not clear enough, then try to check out free tutorials online.


1. Avoid Charging a Dead Battery

It’s not a good idea to charge it when it’s already dead. Although the power can be revived there are some disadvantages involved. Aside from the fact that it takes a longer time to reach the fully-charged status, charging a dead unit can damage it fast. The best way to charge a battery is when it still has some power left in it. Keep the lead cells inside the unit in good condition by providing energy or power juice all the time. Don’t make it work so hard by charging it only when it’s empty. This is the key to a long-lasting charger and power unit.

2. Don’t Charge in Hot Places

Charging generates energy and this energy produces heat. Avoid overheating problems during the charging process by doing it in a dry and cool area. Hot temperatures can cause fluids inside the power unit to evaporate, which prolongs the charging time and at the same time shortens its lifespan. Heat can also damage the cells inside and can cause electrical problems in your charger. Make sure that you avoid using a high-charge setting if you’re new to charging it by yourself. It’s also a good idea to buy models that can withstand extreme temperatures.

3. Don’t Use Other Cables to Charge

Believe it or not, there are people who use their car’s alternator to charge their batteries. This will shorten its lifespan and even damage the charger itself. Only use the cables provided by the manufacturer and don’t try to experiment. If you think that the cables are too short then buy a new one that fits your needs and is made out of top quality materials. If you’re not sure of what cable you should use then refer to the manual. Going to your nearest mechanic is also a good idea rather than doing it by yourself if you do not have any available cables.

Additional Tips

If you’re apprehensive on charging it by yourself, it’s recommended that you call a professional. Be sure that you check the reputation of the professional before you entrust them your vehicle. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for tips, recommendations, or instructions from folks you know have been charging their car batteries on their own.
Good charging practices promote safety and it can make your car’s battery last longer. Be sure that you only choose top quality chargers with high ratings. Always check for testimonials and find out if a particular product can produce very satisfying results. With these things in mind, you should be able to save a lot of money, time, and effort from buying new batteries from time to time.
Check out the top picks for car battery chargers and find the best one for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long should you run your car to charge the battery?

Charging time can vary from 4 to 24 hours, depending on how many amperes your car battery is being charged with and its size. On average, car battery chargers have around 4 amps, which results in a 10-hour charging time. Moreover, when it comes to charging your battery with an in-built alternator, try to avoid cohort rides. Longer rides will let the alternator to charge the battery enough.

Can a completely dead battery be recharged?

Yes. Technically, a dead battery simply means a battery that is uncharged. As every car battery is chargeable, you can recharge even a completely dead battery. However, if your car battery failed because of a damage, it is likely that it will not charge again.

How do you know when your car battery is fully charged?

First of all, keep an eye on the dashboard in your car. If the indicator is off, the battery is charged enough. Moreover, most car batteries have indicators as well so that you know when your battery is fully charged.

How long does it take to charge a 12 volt car battery?

To charge a 12 volt car battery you will need around 12 hours or sometimes a bit more.

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