Charging a Car Battery (5 DIY steps)


Your car battery stands between you and the places you want to go. If it works well, nothing will stop you. When he dies, it becomes very difficult to start the car. That is why it is important to know how to charge a car battery efficiently.

We’ll take a look at the steps to take to charge a car battery and what to do if it won’t charge.

Charging a Car Battery

Charging a car battery may seem like a simple job. However, to do it correctly, some knowledge is needed. Here’s how to safely charge your car battery. Always remember to wear eye and skin protection when working with car batteries.

This is the best way to charge a car battery:

1. Turn everything off

Before starting, it is essential that you turn off the entire car. This includes electrical functions, as well as exterior and interior lighting. Leaving these items on may drain the battery while you charge it.

Some car models also require you to remove the battery terminals before charging the battery to avoid damaging the electrical components. To be on the safe side, refer to the repair manual for your specific car model.
If you need to test your battery on the road, use a voltmeter. Touch the pins on the corresponding battery terminals to get a reading. 12.4 to 12.7 volts indicates that your 12 volt car battery is charged. Anything below 12 volts indicates low voltage, leaving you with a battery that may not start the engine.

2. Set upload speed

You want to set the charging speed on your charger before you connect it to the battery. If you have a very basic battery charger, you may not have these options. Usually the charging speed ranges from 2 to 10 amps.
In most cases you want to charge the battery on the lowest setting. By performing a trickle charge, you ensure that the battery remains in good condition. It also prevents you from overcharging the battery. The only time you should use a fast charge setting is when you need the battery right away. While this will get you back on the road quickly, it will significantly reduce battery life.

3. Clean the battery terminals

Locate the positive and negative terminals on the battery. Remove the plastic cover from the positive terminal and remove any corrosion with a wire brush.
If you can’t buff off the corrosion, consider using a baking soda paste instead. Cleaning the battery ensures that the charger makes a good connection.

4. Plug in your charger

Place your battery charger in a safe place nearby. Connect the clamp with the red cable to the positive terminal of the battery. Make sure it is plugged in and cannot fall.
Then do the same with the black cable and the negative terminal of the battery. Once the charger is connected, you can turn it on.

5. Charge and test the battery

Leave the battery charger plugged in until it is fully charged. Sometimes this lasts all night. Once the battery is charged, remove the clips in the reverse order you put them on.
Put the cap back on the terminal and try to start your vehicle. If everything works fine, you don’t have to worry about the battery. However, if the battery fails, it may need to be replaced.

Slow charging vs fast charging, which is better?

The best way to charge a car battery is to charge it slowly to protect the health of the battery. Charging a car battery too quickly can damage it. So it’s better to always charge with lower amps for a longer period of time if you’re not in a rush.

Charging a Car Battery FAQ

What does a car battery do?

Why is the car battery important and why do you have to make sure it is always charged? First, the car battery allows the engine to run and start. When you put the key in the ignition, the battery is responsible for providing the voltage needed to activate the starter motor.

Also, the car battery supplies voltage to the engine while it is running and powers your important accessories. Without it, you wouldn’t have any headlights, car stereo, or other electronics in the vehicle.

How long to charge a car battery?

Determining how long it takes to charge a battery depends on several factors. First, it depends on the type of charger you are using. It also depends on how discharged the battery is.

Fully charging a car battery can take a few hours or a few days. It’s possible to use a partially charged battery, but you may find yourself stuck somewhere, waiting for a jump start.

If you need to start your vehicle, make sure to run the engine afterwards. It is best to drive and let the alternator charge the battery before turning it off. Stopping the engine too soon after a jump start can cause you to stall again.

If the battery is completely empty, the jump starter may not work. Even if you leave it plugged into a car charger, you’ll find that nothing happens.

What to do if a car battery does not hold a charge?

If your battery is not charged, you will need to get a replacement. Try a new battery before being towed to your local auto shop. If you are experiencing the same issues after battery replacement, that may not be your problem at all. Many people replace their car battery only to find out that the alternator has failed, rendering the battery unable to charge.