How to charge a car battery

When you've got somewhere to be, one of the most frustrating things as a driver is turning the ignition and realising your car's battery is flat. Your first port of call should be to jumpstart the car - however, while this gets you from point A to B, to avoid a similar situation, it is very important to charge your battery and keep it in good condition. Follow our quick easy tips on how to charge a battery below:

How to charge a car battery at home

Charging a car battery is a simple enough task that anyone with a car battery charger can do. If done incorrectly, however, this could be dangerous - so it's important to follow these simple steps carefully:

  1. Check your battery - car batteries vary from car to car, and it is vital to purchase the correct charger for your vehicle. If you have stop-start technology, your battery will require a smart charger, otherwise a conventional charger will do the job.
  2. Disconnect your car battery - for safety reasons, it is always more sensible to disconnect your car battery before charging. Start by disconnecting the negative or ground lead first and then move onto the positive lead. You should be able to determine which lead is which from the colour (negative tends to be black) - however, the ground cable should be labelled (-) whereas the positive cable will be labelled (+). Make sure you disconnect the negative lead first otherwise there is the risk that the positive terminal could give n electric shock.
  3. Clean the battery terminals - if you find your battery terminals are dirty or corroded, use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean them. The residue is battery acid so make sure to wear safety goggles and gloves before cleaning.
  4. Connect the charger - keeping the charger as far away from the battery as possible, connect the clamps to the battery terminals. Make sure the positive clamp is attached to the positive terminal and the ground clamp is attached to the negative terminal.
  5. Turn on the charger - switch on the charger until the battery is fully charged, your charger should indicate when this is complete. Many chargers switch off once fully charged but this is not always the case. Refer to your battery charger user manual. - so keep an eye out for when your battery is fully charged.
  6. Reattach the leads - once the battery is fully charged, disconnect the battery from the charger and reattach the battery to the car - make sure to start by attaching the positive lead this time.

How long does it take to charge a car battery

How long it takes to charge a battery depends on a number of factors including the power of the charger, how much charge the battery still has before charging and the battery voltage. However, the lower the open circuit voltage in the battery, the longer it will take the battery to charge.

Still not sure how to charge your car battery? Bring your car into your local Setyres garage and our experiencedexperts will be on hand to help. Alternatively, you can always get in touch and a member of our team will be in contact.

Posted on: 26/07/2021

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