Nearly every driver has experienced a dead battery at some point. Hiring roadside service or visiting a garage for service can be expensive and inconvenient, respectively.
Learn to charge your battery on your own to save both money and time by becoming self-reliant.
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How to Charge Your Battery
Car batteries can be difficult to work on, but the good news is that you don’t have to be an expert to recharge them. All it takes is some time and a battery charger – depending on its size, how much charge was left in it, and the type/power of charger used, this process could take anywhere from an hour or so up to several days of charging depending on various factors such as charger power/type.
Before beginning, ensure the battery is completely cool to touch and remove any covers, caps or cables that might be covering it. Wear gloves as the terminals may become extremely hot during charging – the white powder that appears on them could contain dried sulfuric acid that could burn your skin if it comes into contact with it! Inspect for signs of leakage or cracks; if it smells of rotten eggs or shows other signs of wear such as cracking or other signs of leakage or damage stop charging it immediately as this could be dangerous!
Battery chargers use high voltage to “push” more energy into fully charged batteries than it would be able to achieve on its own. This voltage can reach 16 volts; therefore it is important that when working on them you do not allow them to reach this point; many chargers will automatically stop when reaching this threshold so as to protect both the battery and other electronic components within your vehicle.
Connect one end of a positive jumper cable (it will be marked POS) to the positive terminal on the battery (usually marked as POS) and another end to a grounded metal component in your car with an charged battery, such as its frame or chassis. Connect its negative end directly to the negative terminal (NEG). Wait about one to two minutes while charging takes place and attempt to start your engine afterwards.
When charging your battery in your car, it is essential that you are in a well-ventilated area with gloves on and safety glasses on, since you will be handling flammable liquids and electricity. Furthermore, any jewelry should be removed prior to starting and all accessories disconnected before connecting your charger’s clamps with battery terminals; any electronics left powered on could experience an electrical arc during charging which could result in permanent damage.
Once in a safe environment, locate the positive and negative sides of the battery. Positive sides typically feature P, POS or + symbols while negative ones will typically be marked NEG or -. Connect the red cable from your charger to positive terminal while black one goes to negative terminal. Be cautious not to touch cables together as touching could spark off harmful gases produced during lead-acid battery charging process.
As soon as your battery is connected to its charger, be wary of any smells coming from it. A strong smell like that of rotten eggs indicates a leak and might eventually result in explosion under heat exposure; in such an instance it would be wise to have it towed and examined by professionals immediately.
As you work on electrical connections, heat will naturally build up. While this heat is normal and necessary for the process, if left unchecked it could become hazardous – the last thing you want is for your battery to overheat and shorten its lifespan!
Once your connections are made, disconnect the charger and allow your battery to cool off for several minutes before engaging the parking brake to keep the vehicle from moving during charging. After fully charged, try starting up your car – depending on when its battery died it may take a moment or two for its engine to turn over!
Removing the Battery
Car batteries might look like mysterious boxes filled with toxic chemicals, but they’re actually pretty straightforward devices. A battery works by bonding lead and sulfuric acid together inside to generate electricity; when fully discharged and not recharged quickly afterward, that bond hardens, making the battery less effective at holding energy and creating electricity. If left drained at 30 percent capacity for too long without being recharged quickly enough, its bond becomes inflexible, rendering less of its energy usable by your car.
Before removing a battery from your vehicle, ensure it has been turned off and that you’re in an airy and ventilated space to prevent inhaling toxic fumes. Also remove any jewelry or metal objects which could come into contact with it or its cables. It may be wise to cover its terminals with electrical tape or another nonconductive material in order to reduce accidental short circuits.
Start by disconnecting the negative battery cable first; it should have a black plastic covering with a “-” on it near its terminals. Use wrench or pliers to hold down its bolt head while using another set to loosen its nut; once loosed, pull away from battery and secure with zip ties or other restraints.
Once both cables have been unconnected, you can simply lift out your battery from its tray using its handle for easier carrying; however if that becomes corroded simply lift by its sides.
If the battery is held into its tray by any securing clamps or plates, you will need a wrench or pliers to loosen and remove them before disassembling any securing brackets on it. By taking this time and effort now, when your charger connects later you will be glad you took care to ensure a safe removal from your vehicle – anything is better than dealing with explosion or fire!
Connecting the Charger
Car batteries provide us with power for transportation, yet over time their capacity may become diminished from excessive usage or disuse. A dead battery doesn’t always indicate it’s time for replacement; sometimes all it needs to return to life is some gentle trickle charging with an everyday battery charger at home.
Before connecting a charger, be sure to turn off both your car and any additional features like radio. Failure to do this could result in an electrical arc being created at the battery terminals which can prove hazardous and cause irreparable harm to its electronics.
First, plug in your charger and adjust it to its lowest charge rate. Next, attach the positive cable (usually red) from the charger to the positive terminal on your battery by clamping securely in place and clamping securely again – once done you can connect your charger directly into a domestic wall socket and turn it on!
Once the charger is working properly, its lowest charging rate (usually slow charge in most lead acid batteries) should be selected. Some chargers feature timers that allow users to track when charging is complete.
Once your battery has been charged according to its charger’s timer, disconnect and reinstall it in your car. Take caution when installing it as older car batteries can be particularly heavy and might not fully support themselves once reconnected; reconnect the negative cable first before reconnecting positive cable; once everything is connected and plugged back in you can drive your vehicle again! If this task seems too challenging for you to tackle on your own, a mechanic is available as an option for this task.