Thursday, June 13, 2024

How To Use Car Battery Charger

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How To Pick The Right Battery Charger

How to use Car Battery Charger

Let me start with a disclaimer: BatteryStuff.com does not sell inexpensive, off-the-shelf battery chargers often found at retail outlets and certain other online stores. We cater specifically to microprocessor-controlled chargers, also known as smart chargers. All the chargers we stock are reviewed, tested and selected based on function, reliability and durability.

This type of battery charger is designed to charge lead acid and other types of batteries based on computer-generated algorithms. Simply put, the charger collects information from the battery and adjusts the charge current and voltage based on this information. This allows the battery to be charged quickly, correctly, and completely when using a smart charger. All the chargers we sell can remain connected to a battery indefinitely and will not overcharge or damage it.

Simple steps to select the right battery charger for your needs.

Noco Genius1 Battery Charger

The NOCO Genius1 is currently the best-selling battery charger on Amazon, and there’s little wonder why — not only is it a reliable automatic car charger that makes charging an easy and stable process, but it does it for only $30 or less.

What makes the Genius1 so popular is its versatility. It works with all sorts of batteries — including lithium-ion, AGM and deep-cycle — and both 6- and 12-volt battery types. It charges and maintains batteries, with a trickle charge feature that keeps your battery charged over long periods of inactivity. It also uses sensors to measure the temperature and adjust its 1-amp charge accordingly.

Another feature that makes the Genius1 portable car battery charger useful is the fact that it can charge completely dead batteries. Typically, this is a problem for automatic chargers, but the Genius1 has a “force mode” that allows it to function as a manual charger. This means that it will deliver a continuous charge that proceeds unabated until you switch it off, and it can be used to resuscitate a battery with zero battery voltage.

NOCO’s Genius line also features models with higher amperage, providing more power and, if you desire, a faster charge. It’s the Genius1, however, that delivers the best bang for your buck, making it an excellent introductory product when it comes to charging your own battery.

Who This Is For

This guide is for anyone who drives a car or any other vehicle often and wants to keep it in good shape for as long as possible and avoid costly battery replacements. Whether youre looking for a simple-to-use, affordable and portable car battery charger, or an ultra-powerful one that you can use at home, our top picks should have you covered.

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Set The Power Specifications

Although a car battery is relatively standard when it comes to power specifications, its always ideal to verify the voltage and amperage exiting the charger before any connections are made. Use the switches and buttons on the trickle charger in order to set it to the exact numbers found on the car battery.

Set the values to the middle of the range reported on the battery. Any fluctuations can still be within a safe area. Overcharging a battery leads to damage and possible fire because of the chemical reactions involved, reports Battery University.

How Long Does It Take To Recharge A Car Battery Using A Charger

How to use a car battery charger

There is no definite answer for this as it all comes down to the type of charger in use. Here are some of the most common chargers you will find today.

1. A 40 Amp Car Battery Charger

A 40-amp car charger is incredibly fast and using this to recharge your car means you can always start it within a few minutes even if your battery was almost dead. A 40amp charger is a great accessory to own, especially if you travel a lot as they get you up and running quickly. However, their fast-charging capabilities are also their weakness.

Why? Theres a high probability you may end up overcharging and damaging your car battery especially if the 40amp charger youre using doesnt feature automatic shut-off. So, if youre using this one, you need to be there the whole time. A 10 amp charger is also relatively quick and will often complete charging your car battery in about 4 hours.

2. A 4 Amp and 2 Amp Charger

These are basic car chargers and will often take long to recharge your car batteries. They are ideal if youre not in a hurry or if youre recharging a car you rarely use. Given that an average car battery has 48 amps, a 4-amp charger will often take 12 hours while a 2 amp one will have you waiting for the next 24 hours. Low amperage chargers like these can recharge your car but are ideal if youre trying to recharge a smaller battery, for instance, a motorbikes.

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Battery Charger Needle Not Moving

  • Charger amp meter fault. To eliminate a fault with your charger, connect it to a known good battery. If it shows the same problem, its most likely a fault with your charger.
  • Battery charge is too low. Standard battery chargers will not work on a completely flat battery. Even modern trickle chargers with maintenance mode can struggle. But there is a way around this. You can place another battery that has a good charge, in parallel with the bad battery. Connect the two batteries together using jumper cables, positive to positive and negative to negative. Exactly the same as jump starting a car. Now connect the charger. The bad battery should now be able to take a charge.

Wiring 2 batteries in parallel temporarily recharges the bad battery, but only do in an emergency to avoid battery overcharge and damage.

  • Dirty battery terminals. A car battery can get covered in a lot of dirt, and battery terminals can corrode. If the battery is not charging, then check the terminals first. Clean them and try again.
  • The amp meter needle is stuck. Mechanical needles can be prone to sticking, especially if the charger is old. Gently tap the meter and see if it moves.
  • Your AC outlet is faulty. The power supply from the AC outlet must be good for the charger to work. You can check this by plugging in another electrical item such as a lamp.

What Happens If You Leave A Car Battery Charger On Too Long

This depends on the car battery and the car battery charger that is being used.

Some batteries can handle overcharging while others cannot. Batteries that cannot handle overcharging risk permanent damage and in some extreme cases may explode.

Certain car battery chargers turn off automatically once the battery is fully charged and/or reduce the supply of current to maintain a charge once full. When using one of these chargers, nothing risks happening if you leave your car battery charger on past a full charge.

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How To Use A Car Battery Charger

Everyone should know how to use a car battery charger as a dead battery is a common problem, especially in the cold winter months. Car battery trickle chargers slowly recharge your vehicles battery and are invaluable to have. If your battery is dying, or you are having issues getting your car started, you should consider carrying a portable charger in your trunk, just to be safe. When charging batteries it is always a good idea to wear safety goggles. Also you should remember that while the change is slim, there is always a risk that a battery may explode when you try to charge it.

Hopefully, you will avoid the need to charge your battery, but if you find yourself in a situation where the battery life is dying and it needs to be recharged, then heres how you do it.

Step 1: The Charger

Obviously before you begin, you will need to acquire a battery charger. Not all chargers are the same so you should familiarize yourself with your particular model prior to using it. Inspect the instructions and make sure you understand how the charger works and what each button, dial or reading is used for.

Step 2: Connect the Charger to the Battery

Step 3: Setting the Charger

Step 4: Plug In and Charge

Plug in the charger and let it do its work. You may be able to set an amount of time for the charger to work, or it may shut off automatically when it is done. Either way it is a good idea not to move the charger or play with the cord during this process.

Step 5: Disconnect

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Prepare Your Car Battery For Charging

How to use a car battery charger

Its essential to take some safety measures before attaching the charger to charge your battery. Make sure your car is parked in a garage or in any space which is well ventilated and free of rain.

Do this because excessive hydrogen gas is produced while charging the battery. And it may cause a fire or explosion if the area is enclosed.

Also, dont forget to turn off the ignition of the vehicle and take away the key.

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Clean The Battery Terminals

Before you start charging your battery, its a good idea to clean your terminals. You can do so using a terminal cleaning brush, which looks similar to a small toothbrush and is used to clear away corrosive debris and dirt from the terminals. You can also use either a commercial battery cleaning solution or make your own by mixing baking soda and water.

Cleaning the terminals neutralizes battery acid and prevents malfunctions from occurring when you charge the battery and reconnect the terminals.

When cleaning your batterys terminals, always make sure you wear face and eye protection for safety.

Once Fully Charged Safely Disconnect

Once the charger indicates that the battery is fully charged, disconnect everything.

Doing so with the correct procedure will avoid sparks, burns, and other disagreements. Here are some guidelines.

  • Turn the charging device off.
  • Unplug the charging device from the electrical outlet.
  • Remove the blacknegative chargecable first.
  • Then proceed with the redpositive chargecable.
  • Place the charged battery back in the car.
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    It Keeps Your Car Running

    The car battery provides a steady stream of voltage to keep your engine and accessories running .

    When your battery is too weak or old, it can’t do either of these things. You might need to charge your car battery if your engine is sluggish or slow to start, or if your battery is completely dead.

    Beyond starting your car, charging your battery can help clue you in to whether or not it’s time for a new one. For example, leaving an interior light on overnight will drain your battery, but if the battery is “healthy” then it should quickly recharge. A battery that needs to be replaced, however, won’t hold a charge or will need to be recharged multiple times.

    When Charging A Battery Which Cable Goes On First

    How To Use A Car Battery Charger

    Identifying the cables is an extremely crucial process for charging the car battery with a charger. This is because due to the positive and negative terminals, the right cable or clamp must be placed on the right sides, or else there is the risk of the battery exploding if not done correctly.

    First, examine your cars battery and identify the negative and positive battery terminals. Usually, the positive terminal will have a plus sign, the abbreviation POS, or the letter P written. Similarly, the negative terminal will have a minus sign, the abbreviation NEG, or the letter N. Once you have identified them, move on to the next step.

    Before connecting the charger and starting the process, make sure that it is turned off and unplugged. Most cars have a negative ground in this case, the positive charger clip or clamp should be connected to the positive battery side. The positive charger clamp is going to be red in color.

    Next, you need to attach the negative charger clip to the cars engine block or frame, and it should be as far away from the battery of the car as the clips cable permits. Ensure that the negative clip is connected to a heavy-gauge metal component of the engine block or the frame. You should never attach it to the fuel lines, sheet-metal body parts, or the carburetor. The negative charger clip is going to be black in color. Make sure that you follow all instructions carefully when you recharge your battery.

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    Find Out A Good Location

    Another critical issue is to find out a suitable location to attach the negative terminal of your trickle charger. Dig up a large bolt which is connected or attached to the engine block or chassis.

    For the alternative, you can get a portion of the frame which is free from oil, grime, and dirt.

    Also never use the negative terminal of the battery because it can be the cause of unexpected fire or exploitation.

    Battery Tender Plus Battery Charger

    When it comes to picking the right battery charger, the kind of vehicle you drive typically doesn’t play a major role. After all, most cars, motorcycles, SUVs, trucks and other road vehicles use lead-acid batteries, which are relatively resilient and inexpensive to manufacture. A charger that can power up a lead acid battery in an SUV can do the same for one in a motorcycle, for instance.

    The best overall charger for your vehicle’s lead-acid battery is the Battery Tender Plus . It’s an automatic charger, which means it will shut down on its own when your battery charge is full, preventing overcharging. It even has a “float” battery maintainer mode that will keep it at full power during periods of inactivity, compensating for the self-discharge associated with lead-acid batteries.

    The 1.25 amps of power provided ensures a “low and slow” charge, which is best for the health of your vehicle’s battery. It’s easy and safe to connect and disconnect, spark-proof, and checks to make sure a connection is established before transmitting power. It’s also cited as working well in extreme temperatures — both hot and cold.

    The efficacy and user-friendliness of the Battery Tender Plus have earned it a good deal of popularity on Amazon: it’s currently the site’s fourth best-selling car battery charger, with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars based on over 7,500 customer reviews.

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    What Makes A Good Charger

    Before using or purchasing one, here are a few things worth considering:

    The Right Charger for the Right Battery

    Before using a charger for the first time, or purchasing a new one, ensure that youve checked the following two points.

    First, youve read the instructions thoroughly.

    Secondly, the charging device is the right fit for your car.

    Not all chargers fit every battery. Batteries come in a variety of different types, from valve-regulated lead-acid to gel, and absorbed glass mat to lithium batteries. Each requires a particular kind of charger.

    Larger carssuch as SUVsneed larger batteries. To charge the battery of an SUV, you might need a charging device providing at least 75 amps at a time.

    And carefully read the product features, as they dont all come with a jumpstart functionality, which is something we recommend to look for.

    Charging Time

    Most chargers should allow a charge between two to 10 amps per hour. Some even provide a charge of 40 amps per hour. Unless too oldin which case they wont hold the currentmost batteries can be recharged.

    They often come with switches to allow both a slow or a fast charge. This can mean the charging time varies between two and 10 hours or more. Well expand on charging time further down.

    The higher the output, the faster the recharge will be. These devices also tend to come at a higher price point.

    Portability

    Gauge or Screen Display

    Manual Versus Automatic

    Ease of Use

    Connecting A Battery Charger

    How to Charge a Car Battery – What to use, How to hook up a car battery charger?

    Always check the electrolyte level before connecting the battery to the charger. Top up if necessary and clean the battery posts.

    If there is a power point handy, the battery can be left in the car, so long as the charge rate is only 3 or 4 amps.

    However, if the car has an alternator, disconnect the battery terminals beforehand: otherwise some alternators – generally the older type – can be damaged.

    If separate cell caps are fitted, remove them for ventilation. Leave a trough cover on, unless the charging rate is high. Clamp the positive lead from the charger, usually coloured red, to the positive battery post. Clamp the negative lead, usually black, to the negative terminal.

    Plug the charger into the mains and switch on. The indicator light or gauge will show that the battery is being charged.

    The gauge may show a high charging rate at first, but this drops gradually as the battery becomes charged.

    If it was very flat, charging is likely to take a long time check periodically with a hydrometer, while continuing the charge.

    In the final stages, the cells bubble and give off gas. If any of them begin gassing before others, or do so more violently, the battery is probably defective and should be checked by a garage or battery specialist.

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    After The Car Is Started

    Step 1: Remove the clamps. Remove the black clamp from the negative terminal first and re-attach it to the battery booster.

    Then it is safe to remove the red clamp from the positive terminal and store that as well.

    Step 2: Run the engine. Let the engine run for 10-15 minutes with all the accessories turned off before turning it back off. The alternator will charge the battery up in that time, and any less time could result in the car failing to start on the next attempt.

    Step 3: Recharge your battery booster. Recharge the booster as soon as you can so that if the situation springs up again, it will be ready for action.

    If there is an issue with the battery, alternator, or wiring then the battery may die repeatedly until the problem is repaired. Because of this, it is very important to keep your battery booster fully charged and to keep it with you on every journey. Have your battery or charging system serviced as soon as possible to fix the problem. A certified mechanic from YourMechanic can come to your home or office to service or replace your battery at your convenience.

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