charging a car battery

Charging A Car Battery

Never open battery caps with your face directly over the battery. Use baking soda or an approved cleaning agent to neutralize any spilled acid. Never smoke in battery charging areas.Keep tools and other metallic objects away from uncovered batteries.Do not strike the sides of the battery with any tool that could produce a spark.Have a dry-chemical fire extinguisher in charging areas or readily available.Neutralize static buildup before touching a battery by contacting the nearest grounded surface. Always handle batteries in a well ventilated area. Never touch both battery terminals with your bare hands at the same time. Remove rings, watches and dangling jewelry when working with or near batteries. Only use insulated/non-conducting tools to remove cell caps. Never lay tools or other metal parts on top of a battery. Exposed terminals, even on disconnected batteries, are an electrical shock hazard. Ensure charger is turned off before connecting or disconnecting a battery to prevent arcing.Charging your battery Two things are needed to charge a battery. A voltage source strong enough to move current through a battery, and time. The more current we can push into a battery, the faster we can charge it. Charging at too hight a rate however can overheat and damage the battery. To reduce the chances of this happening, charge at a slow rate. The rate/time a battery recharges also depends on a couple of factors, how discharged is the battery and if the battery is cold. Check the battery temperature during charging. If the battery is hot to the touch, stop charging immediately until the battery cools. Do-It-Yourself Battery TasksReplacing Your Battery Charging Your BatteryJump-starting Your Battery
charging a car battery 1

Charging A Car Battery

Charging your battery Two things are needed to charge a battery. A voltage source strong enough to move current through a battery, and time. The more current we can push into a battery, the faster we can charge it. Charging at too hight a rate however can overheat and damage the battery. To reduce the chances of this happening, charge at a slow rate. The rate/time a battery recharges also depends on a couple of factors, how discharged is the battery and if the battery is cold. Check the battery temperature during charging. If the battery is hot to the touch, stop charging immediately until the battery cools.
charging a car battery 2

Charging A Car Battery

Check the battery. After allowing the battery to charge, check it to make sure it works. Some digital chargers will provide you with a readout that will tell you if the battery is properly holding the charge or if the battery will need to be replaced. This is often indicated by a percentage like “100%” as in the battery is 100% charged. You may also want to use a voltmeter to measure the voltage of the battery once disconnected from the charger by touching the positive and negative cables from the voltmeter to their respective terminals on the battery. If the battery is still in the car, the easiest way to check it might be to simply hook it up again and attempt to start the car. If the voltmeter reads the number of volts that are appropriate for the battery, the charger indicates it’s good, or the vehicle starts the battery is sufficiently charged. If the voltmeter or charger indicate that the battery is bad or the vehicle won’t start, there may be other issues to resolve or the battery may need to be replaced.
charging a car battery 3

Charging A Car Battery

Have the battery checked by an auto-parts store. If you have charged the battery using a charger or another vehicle but your vehicle still won’t start, remove the battery (if you haven’t already) and take it to a local auto parts store. There, they can charge the battery and check to see if it works fine, can be serviced, or needs to be replaced. If your vehicle’s battery is a VRLA battery or a no-maintenance wet cell battery, you will have to replace it if it doesn’t hold a charge. If the battery is bad, you will need to purchase a replacement for it. If the battery is fully charged and working well but your car won’t start, check the battery cables to ensure they aren’t broken and connect firmly to the battery.
charging a car battery 4

Charging A Car Battery

Disconnect and remove the battery from your vehicle if necessary. It’s important to disconnect the battery before conducting any repairs or maintenance on your vehicle. Most of the time you will be able to charge the battery without taking it out of the car, but if reaching the battery or fitting the charging cables in the engine bay or trunk where the battery is located proves difficult, remove the battery from the car completely while you charge it. If you are unsure where your battery is located, check the owner’s manual for your vehicle. Some vehicles have the battery in the trunk, while most have it under the hood. Disconnect the negative terminal first, then the positive when removing a battery.
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Charging A Car Battery

Search Add New Question Will the alternator charge a dead battery if I jump start my car? wikiHow Contributor If your battery is not too old, it may be able to be recharged. Assuming the battery died because the lights were left on, the alternator will provide a maintenance or surface charge, the amount used to start the car in the first place. If the battery is depleted, you will need to use a proper plugged in charger to rebuild the capacity over several hours, if the battery accepts the charge. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 3 Helpful 9 Can I have my car batteries charge another battery that is not my car? wikiHow Contributor No, connecting your battery to another battery likely will not charge it sufficiently to start another vehicle. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 3 Helpful 9 How many miles should I drive to keep my battery charged? wikiHow Contributor You don’t have to drive. The car just needs to run for about 5 minutes each day. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 7 Helpful 13
charging a car battery 6

Charging A Car Battery

Never open battery caps with your face directly over the battery. Use baking soda or an approved cleaning agent to neutralize any spilled acid. Never smoke in battery charging areas.Keep tools and other metallic objects away from uncovered batteries.Do not strike the sides of the battery with any tool that could produce a spark.Have a dry-chemical fire extinguisher in charging areas or readily available.Neutralize static buildup before touching a battery by contacting the nearest grounded surface. Always handle batteries in a well ventilated area. Never touch both battery terminals with your bare hands at the same time. Remove rings, watches and dangling jewelry when working with or near batteries. Only use insulated/non-conducting tools to remove cell caps. Never lay tools or other metal parts on top of a battery. Exposed terminals, even on disconnected batteries, are an electrical shock hazard. Ensure charger is turned off before connecting or disconnecting a battery to prevent arcing.
charging a car battery 7

Charging A Car Battery

Set the charger. Digital chargers may indicate the existing voltage in the battery and allow you to set the final voltage level, while older models may simply allow for on and off settings. Speed chargers will also allow you to choose the speed in which you want to charge the battery (often depicted by a picture of a turtle for slow charges and a rabbit for fast ones). A fast charge is good for a car battery that recently died as a result of leaving your lights on or something to that effect, while a battery that has been dead for some time may require the slower charging method before the battery is usable again. If you can set the voltage the charger will stop on, set it to the specified voltage on the battery or that you found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. Never set the charger to fast charge if you will be leaving the vehicle unattended. You may want to leave the battery slow charging overnight to fully charge it if it has been dead for some time.
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Listen for clicking. If the car won’t start, but produces audible clicking when you try, there likely isn’t enough electricity in the battery to start the vehicle. This may be because it failed to charge properly when you were charging it or it may be a result of the battery simply being too worn out to hold a charge. Try jump starting the car again, or remove the battery and have it tested. Make sure you have a good connection to the battery when charging it, otherwise the battery will not be able to start the car. The clicking indicates that there is some electricity in the battery, but not enough to start the engine.
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Get a car battery charger. Pick a charger that is appropriate for your battery and purposes. Most chargers will work for all types of batteries except Gel Cell batteries. There are fast chargers that can charge your battery quickly or even provide you with a jump start, as well as “trickle” chargers that provide a slow but longer lasting charge. Many newer chargers come with a microprocessor to monitor how much the battery has charged. These digital chargers will then stop the process automatically when the battery is fully charged. Older, simpler chargers must be stopped manually to prevent dangerous overcharging and should not be left alone for extended periods of time while connected. Read the charger’s instruction manual to make sure you are using your particular unit correctly. Even new digital chargers should be monitored closely while charging to ensure it functions properly and stops before over-charging the battery.

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