How to Use a Car Battery Charger

Car Battery Charger

If you’re on the Denver roads or at home and you find that your car battery has died, don’t panic – you can use a portable car battery charger to give the battery a boost and get you safely to your destination. It’s relatively straightforward to use a battery charger, but it’s important that you follow the directions closely so you don’t accidentally damage the battery or injure yourself. The service team at Transwest GMC has everything you need to know about how to charge your battery using a portable car battery charger in the guide below – check it out!

Prepping the Car Battery Charger

The first step in charging your car battery is to remove it if necessary. Your owner’s manual will tell you if you have to take out the battery to charge it, since it depends on your vehicle in question. If you do have to remove the battery, you’ll likely find it in an easy-to-access place. However, if the battery is located under the fender, in the trunk, or under the seat, you might need additional tools or assistance from a professional to take it out.

What Are the Types of Car Battery Chargers?

The next thing you should do is decide what kind of portable car battery charger best suits your circumstances. There are three types of charger, each of which serves a different purpose:

  • Charger: A charger uses a low-amp charge to bring the battery back up in around 24 hours, although it depends on the output. If you frequently take long trips or go off-road, it’s a good idea to keep a portable charger on hand just in case something happens to your battery. Be careful not to overcharge your battery when using a charger–keep a close eye on the charge level!
  • Maintainer: A maintainer will provide continuous power to your battery without overcharging it, so you can keep the battery going if you want to leave your lights on or listen to music. You can even buy a solar-powered maintainer if you want to keep your battery topped off while you’re driving on an off-road trail!
  • Restorer: When a car battery runs low on power, it starts to build up lead sulfate crystals, which can prevent the battery from ever reaching a full charge again unless they’re gotten rid of. The purpose of a restorer is to detect battery sulfation and use a desulfator to restore the battery to its former charging capability.

How to Charge Your Car Battery

Once you’ve removed the battery (if necessary) and gotten ahold of the right type of charger, just follow these general instructions to charge the battery back up:

  • Attach the charger’s positive cable to the battery’s positive terminal.
  • Attach the charger’s negative cable to the battery’s negative terminal.
  • Adjust the charger to its slowest charge rate.
  • Then, power on the charger and set a timer.
  • When you’re ready to disconnect the charger, make sure it’s off first.
  • Then, detach the cables.

How Long to Charge a Car Battery

In general, how long does it take to charge a battery back up to full? It depends on a few factors, including the output of the charger in question and the condition of your car battery. A battery with a voltage of less than 11.85 and a charger that supplies a 5-amp charger takes about 12 hours to charge your battery. However, a charge rate of 10 amps can fully charge a battery in around 6 hours. These estimates are based on car batteries with 400-500 cold-cranking amps–the number of cold-cranking amps will also affect your charging time.

Keep Your Battery in Top Condition at Transwest GMC!

If you’d rather that a professional remove and charge your battery, you can schedule a service appointment right from our website! You can also contact our service center with any questions, or for more information on the services we offer to the community in Brighton and beyond.

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