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How Do You Charge a Car Battery?

To make sure your car is always ready to start, you’re going to need to make sure the battery is in good health - which means you’ll need to make sure it’s fully charged.

While it’s not possible to show battery percentage on your car as you would on your phone, you won’t really need to. If your battery is low on charge you’ll usually find out by having problems with your electronics, your headlights appearing dimmer than usual or your car might completely refuse to start.

To avoid this happening, it’s a good idea to invest in a battery charger and to make sure your battery is suitably charged. However, before you go connecting wires, you’ll need to know how to charge a car battery at home. You can also read if car batteries charge while idling.

Charging a Car Battery

If you are wondering how to charge a car battery, or even how to charge a car battery at home, don’t worry, it’s not a difficult task. You can either charge it while it is still in the car or take it out.

Find and Prepare Your Car Battery

Once you have your charger ready you’ll need to locate your battery. Some batteries are found in the front of the car and some are located in the rear. If you’re not sure where to find it, simply consult your owner’s handbook.

Once you’ve located your battery, it’s worth checking out the condition of the contacts before you hook up the charger. If these are corroded or dirty, you’ll want to give them a quick clean before you start.

Connect Your Car Battery Charger

To make things a bit easier, you’ll want to disconnect your car battery from the car. To do this, simply disconnect the negative cable first (usually coloured black), followed by the positive cable (usually coloured red).

Now you can hook up the car battery charger to the car. It’s always best to follow the instructions provided with the battery charger, but as a general rule of thumb, you can do the following. 

Hook up the positive clamp to the positive terminal and the negative clamp to the negative terminal. Make sure that you place the charger in a safe place where it won’t fall on top of the battery.

How Long Should You Leave Your Battery on Charge?

Depending on how flat your battery is and its size, it could take up to 12 hours to fully charge. If your charger allows it, you should select the slowest charging speed to avoid any damage to the battery.

If you find that after charging the battery that your car won’t start, the battery might be dead and need replacing.

Disconnecting the Car Battery Charger

Once your car battery has had a full charge, you can disconnect the battery charger following the steps you used to connect it, just in reverse. Make sure that the charger is turned off and unplugged, disconnect the positive cable first and then the negative cable.

If you unplugged your battery from the car to charge it, reconnect the cables to the terminal in the opposite way you took them off. Positive cable first, then negative.

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