The battery on your vehicle will become flat after a long time of continuous usage. This is especially when all the electrical components on the car are turned on. The alternator or dynamo will not keep up with these power requirements and recharge the battery fully. In this case, you will need to disconnect it from its position and manually recharge it. Learning on how to use a car battery charger is an important technical knowledge that all car owners should have.
When the battery is doesn’t have enough current, it will fail to start, its electrical components will malfunction, and the entire system will become unreliable. It is vital to recharge your battery once you notice these problems creeping up to get ahead of them.
What is The Right Charger For You?
Getting the right charger makes the recharging process easier. It also ensures your battery is fully recharged within the time frame advised by the manufacturer. Most car battery chargers will recharge the battery over a long time with a small current supply. Here are some charger options to try out;
#1. The Basic Home Charger
This basic charger is simple to use and will reliably recharge your battery. It will first determine the battery’s state before recharging to ensure it supplies the right voltage. Its readings range up from a 220V alternating current to a 12V direct current. Homeowners can set them up easily on their battery, ensuring it is fully charged based on their current condition.
#2. Commercial Chargers
These chargers come fitted with a high and low switch. Car owners can thus decide the right charging rate depending on their analysis of the battery condition and the available power. It will range from 3 amps to 6 amps depending on the charging speeds preferred and the time available. Adjust the amp reading to ensure it aligns with your desired levels.
Using a Car Battery Charger on your Vehicle
#1. Selecting the Right Charger for your Battery.
First, determine the right charger for your battery based on its manufacturer’s specifications. These will be included in the car manual, or you can get them from the dealer. It will thus help you decide whether to use a fast-charging or normal charging charger. It will also help select the right wattage and amp levels while connecting the charger.
#2. Setting up the Charger
Connecting the charger correctly ensures it delivers the proper power supply and successful charging process. Here, you can choose to first remove the battery from the vehicle to create enough room for the connection. Alternatively, you can charge the battery while still connected to your vehicle. Setting up the charger is important in using a car battery charger as it ensures you don’t short-circuit the battery.
Firstly, clean the battery terminals of any dirt or corrosion. You can now disconnect the battery from the vehicle to begin charging. Secondly, disconnect the negative terminal on the battery – usually indicated by a black lead. Now, safely disconnect the positive lead from its battery terminal and ensure these leads don’t come into contact to prevent shocking. Finally, you can now connect your charger.
First, connect the positive clamp on the charger to the positive terminal on the battery. It is easy to identify and usually denoted by (+). Ensure it is firmly in place before connecting the negative terminal with the negative clamp. It is indicated by (-). You can now begin the charging process once these terminals are firmly connected.
#3. Deciding the Charging Rate
This step involves setting up the right voltage and amp reading on your charger. This will depend on the time you have and the condition of your battery. You can set the amperage low and recharge the battery at a lower rate. If you, however, want a fast charger, set the amperage high.
The charging time in most digital chargers is determined automatically. It will turn off immediately after the battery is fully charged. This is a great alternative as you don’t have to monitor the charging process.
#4. The Charging Process
The car battery charger will bring up a light to indicate the charging process. In most chargers, it will change depending on the stage in the charging process. If the battery was completely flat, the recharging time would be significantly higher. Turn off the car battery charger once the full battery indicator turns on.
You can now disconnect the car battery charger. First, disconnect the negative clamp from its negative terminal and later the positive clamp.
Precautions to Take
You have to take some precautions while using a car battery charger. Firstly, the battery releases hydrogen gas throughout the recharging process. When combined with atmospheric oxygen, the gas is highly flammable and can easily ignite. This is especially the case when you select the fast recharging option for the battery.
You should handle the battery carefully to prevent sparking to ignite the gas. The battery will not require recharging in most cases, and when it does, it is usually an indication that it is damaged and will need a replacement. In this case, consult your local mechanic and get the best replacement for your vehicle, and this problem will not persist.
Any vehicle owner should understand using a car battery charger. They are essential in everyday vehicle needs, especially when your battery keeps running flat. The problem might be prevalent in the winter when multiple car electrical systems are turned on, and the alternator cannot keep up with these power requirements. You can thus ensure your battery is always working well by recharging it.
As previously advised, a damaged battery will still run flat even after recharging. In this case, a replacement is the best option. You can now get peak performance from your battery through recharging.