In most cases, motorists rarely need to charge their car battery at all. When the car is on, the alternator charges your battery and gives it enough power to sustain various components inside your vehicle. However, there are cases where your battery is getting old (typically after five years of use) or may forget to turn off your headlights.
Knowing how to recharge your battery at home is a very useful skill to have. It saves you the inconvenience of having your vehicle towed for a simple problem that you can fix at home. Here's what you need to know when charging your car battery.
1. The type of car battery you have
There are two common types of batteries used in vehicles; namely wet cell batteries and lead-acid batteries. Wet cell batteries have easily serviceable components, and they provide more options for you to properly maintain the unit. Most vehicles use wet cell batteries because they can be specifically modified for many different purposes.
Make sure you note down your battery's voltage reading by checking the label or the vehicle's manual.
2. Benchmarks for car batteries
Before you begin looking for a car charger, you should know the standard performance levels of your car battery. A fully charged battery should be able to keep your headlights on for about eight hours, and your power windows for about half a day without being charged.
You can use these benchmarks to ensure that your battery is actually in good shape.
3. Selecting a car battery charger
There are many different car chargers in the market. When shopping, you need to select one with enough charging capacity for your battery. Most car batteries hold about 48 Ampere-hours of charge. Use this as a guide to select an appropriate unit. Avoid car chargers that offer only fast charging options, because a fast charge can potentially damage your battery plates.
Digital car chargers are useful options because they monitor how much charge has entered your car battery in real time. Once the unit is fully charged, it will automatically turn off.
4. Setting up the connection
Make sure you have enough access to your car battery and its terminals. You may need to unscrew the battery and take it out of the vehicle. This is a relatively simple process, as long as you remember where all connectors go when reinstalling the battery.
Make sure the battery terminals are clean before you attach the charger. The positive of the battery goes to the positive end of the car charger, and negative to negative. Plug the charger into a power source and turn it on. Monitor the gauge levels on your charger to ensure that the car battery is adequately charged.
For more information, contact your local car and marine batteries supplier today.