How to Charge a Car Battery
February 17, 2017 at 11:07 AM
Ideally, car batteries are supposed to stay charged by drawing the excess power of the car engine. Most of the batteries can last for at least five years without any need for replacement or recharging. However, even the best of car batteries will ultimately run out of power, or even prematurely lose their power when the lights are left on for far too long.
Signs that Your Car Battery Needs to be Charged
The following signs indicate that you battery is dead, or about to die.
1. Your engine cranks but fails to start. This might also be as a result of your starter or anything else, but about 94% of the time, the culprit is normally your battery.
2. The car doesn’t crank, doesn’t start, and no lights come on! This is pretty easy to diagnose and a sure sign that your battery is dead. Any time you car seems to have lost all signs of life, then the battery is the most automatic first thing to check out
3. One day the car starts just fine, and next day it doesn’t. When starting your car is an irregular problem for you, it is an indication that: Either (i) your battery terminals are broken, corroded, or loose; or (ii) The battery has a parasitic draw, whereby the power is being drawn by some unnoticed gizmo.
3 Ways you can charge a car battery
At Dowleys, we recommend that you charge the battery using the following three methods:
1. By use of a Speed or Trickle Charger
You can use this method by following the procedure below:
- Place you battery charger on a stable surface. This should be as far from the battery as your cables could allow, in order to avoid accidentally connecting negative and positive terminals and damaging the charger or even causing a fire. A stable surface also ensures that the charger doesn’t fall or disconnect from the battery.
- Connect the charger to the battery with the black cable with a negative sign on it going to the negative terminal of the of the battery while the red one goes to the positive terminal markde (+)
- Set the charger. Some chargers might indicate the amount of voltage in the battery and even allow you to set the final voltage level that you need. Some allow you to choose the most appropriate speed of charging too.
- Check out the battery to see whether it is actually charging. Some digital chargers can show you the appropriate readings that will indicate when the battery is fully charged.
2. Jump Starting Your Battery
This is another way of charging your car battery when it is temporarily dead and you need to start your car. Here is how you do it:
- Park a properly functioning car in a manner that it faces the car that you want to jumpstart. If the battery is in the car’s trunk, just back it up to the stationary car so that the charging cables can be able to reach it. Ensure that the parking breaks are on throughout the process.
- Use the jumpstarting cables to connect the two car batteries.
- Start the functioning car
- After one minute or two, attempt to start the dead car
- Once the dead car starts, disconnect the cables and allow the car to run for some time
If you suspect that your battery has problems, you can opt for troubleshooting. This can be done in four steps:
- Have your car battery checked by a reliable auto-parts store expert. They can be able to inform you whether you need a replacement or not. If the battery is fully charged, then maybe the battery cables have a problem.
- Have the alternator tested. This can be the reason why your car is not sufficiently charging the battery.
- Sometimes you can tell that there is a problem with your alternator by just looking at your interior lights. If they get brighter when you accelerate and dim when you remove your foot from the gas pedal, then the alternator might have a problem.
- Listen for any clicking. An audible click when the car fails to start might mean that the battery is down.
Take note if the care stalls. If your vehicle starts after charging then stall soon after starting to run, the alternator might be having a problem and you may need to consult reputable firms like Dowleys.
Woe unto you if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery. However, recharging the battery doesn’t need many tools or lots of mechanical experience. All you need is a battery charger and time. With the above pointers you will be equipped in most aspects related to car battery charging.
Category: Tips And Advice
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