How to Use a Car Battery Charger

November 4, 2013

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.

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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 here’s 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

Once you are familiar with the basics of your battery charger, you can now connect it to the vehicle’s battery. You can charge the battery while it is still inside the car or if it has been removed, either method is fine. First attach the positive (red) clamp to the positive post on the battery. The positive post will have a “+” indicator on it. Next attach the negative (black) clamp to the negative post on the battery. The negative post will have a “-“ indicator on it.

Step 3: Setting the Charger

Next, you need to set the volt and amps on the charger. If you wish to slowly trickle charge the battery, you want it set to a lower amperage than if quickly trying to start your car. Trickle charging is the better method to use if you have time, as it will do a better job charging your battery. However, if you are quickly trying to start the car, you will want to use a higher amperage.

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

Once the battery is charged you can turn off the charger, then unplug it from the wall. Next you will disconnect the cables in the opposite order in which you attached them. Negative (black) clamp first, the positive (red). Your battery should be all charged and you should be ready to go.

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