How to Use a Car Battery Charger

Vehicle or car battery chargers are handy to keep around the garage. Some have the ability to offer a jumpstart, and in that case, they’re great for keeping in your trunk in case of an unfortunate and unexpected situation. With a jumpstart charger, you never need the aid of another vehicle if your battery dies. They work in minutes and sometimes only seconds, and can easily be stowed in the trunk of any car.

There are different kinds of car battery chargers. Automatic chargers shut off on their own once charging is completed. Some also work as maintainers to keep batteries at full capacity. Manual chargers need to be set by hand, but function similarly. Any of them will give your battery a full charge if used properly. The best car battery chargers can revive a depleted battery very quickly, especially jumpstart kits.

Safety First

You should make sure to wear protective eyewear in case sparks are emitted from the cables when they come in contact with the battery terminals. You should also wear gloves if you have any. Make sure everyone is clear from the battery before you connect the charger, especially children or pets. It’s important that you follow the steps below very carefully. If you get the terminals mixed up or if you do any of the steps in the wrong order, it could be dangerous. Below are the numbered steps for you to follow accordingly.

Step By Step Guide to Using a Car Battery charger

Step 1:

Connect the red cable to the positive terminal of your dead battery. It will be marked by either a ‘P’ or a plus sign.

Step 2:

Ground the black cable from the charger to a piece of metal somewhere away from the battery. It doesn’t really matter what you connect it to as long as it’s unpainted.

Step 3:

If you’re using a plug-in battery charger, then plug it into an outlet and turn it on. If you are using a portable jumpstart kit, simply crank it up after you have it properly connected.

Step 4:

If you’re using an automatic device, you can just wait for it to complete its charging cycle without tampering with any of the features or settings. Manual chargers will have to be adjusted by hand, but they’re quite easy to use. Most have three settings, trickle charge, rapid charge, and engine start. The difference between the modes only has to do with the amount of amps flowing to the battery. Slow or trickle mode takes several hours to complete and refills your battery slowly for the most juice possible. Rapid does this much faster, but with potentially less energy being absorbed by the battery. Engine start delivers a very high amount of amps to bring the battery back to life immediately.

If you need to jumpstart your engine, set your charger to engine start mode and switch it on. It may take several seconds or even minutes to juice up the battery enough for the engine to start. You can keep the charger connected to continue to charge your battery once the engine is running, or rely on your car’s alternator to do its job if it’s working properly.

Step 5:

Switch off the charger once it’s finished its cycle, and then unplug it from the outlet if it was plugged in.

Step 6:

Disconnect the cables in reverse order. Start by disconnecting the red cable from the positive terminal, and then remove the grounded black cable from the piece of metal on the car that it was attached to. After that put the charger away and you’re done!

Vehicle battery chargers can be purchased online quite easily. Once you’ve picked out one that suits your needs, keep its battery charged up if it has one. You’ll need to remove it from your trunk every once in a while and plug it into an outlet to make sure it has juice when you need it. If you have a jumpstarter but you neglect to keep it charged, it could be useless in an emergency.

Some jumpstart kits also include AC or DC outlets, or USB ports for powering up devices. This is a great bonus for assisting in a roadside emergency since if your phone and car batteries die, you won’t be able to call anyone or postpone any meetings for that day. Keep a good quality battery charger in your trunk and always keep yourself protected from being stranded.

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