How To Make Your Car Battery Charger Work For You

Disconnect battery cable

Car batteries die – it happens. It could be age, you could have a technical issue, or you may simply leave the car light’s on all night. If you do, you need to know how to utilize a battery charger to get your car back up and running again and these tips will help.

Getting Ready

First, you will need a new car battery charger and it can be a confusing space. These car battery charger reviews from Zena Racing will help you make a decision.

Depending on the car, you may need to take the battery out of the vehicle in order to get it to charge. If this is the case, take of the grounded terminal before you do anything else. Also, in order to avoid arcing, it is important to shut down all the accessories in the car.

When the battery is charging, you must ensure that it is in a well ventilated area. The battery terminals need to be cleaned prior to the start of this process. You must protect yourself while doing this; you do not want any corrosion to get into your mouth, nose or eyes.

To help with the battery acid, utilize a solution of baking soda and water. This will also keep airborne corrosion to a minimum. Make sure to keep your hands away from your face. Put distilled water in every cell; you want the battery acid to hit the level that the manufacturer says is appropriate. Do not put too much water in. If the battery has cell caps that can come off, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions when it comes to determining what you need to do.

Make sure you look over the directions on how to properly take care of the car, battery and charger. It is important to know what you should and should not do, and it is also important to take the information from the manufacturer to heart.

Get out your owner’s manual and look up the voltage of the battery. You must ensure that the switch for the output voltage selector is in the right place. If there is an adjustable charge rate for the charger, make sure you use the lowest rate before you do anything else. Furthermore, it is important that the charger cable clips have light connections.

Where To Put The Charger

You want to situate the charger a good distance from the battery. You do not want to put the charger right over the battery as it is charging; it could get damaged from the gases that the battery emits.

Never put the battery on the charger. Be careful to keep battery acid from getting on to the charger. Make sure you are in an open space before you use the charger so that there is proper ventilation.

Be Careful With DC Output Clips

Once the charger is off, you can put on and take off the DC output clips. You also want to take the AC plug out of the outlet. Take care to make sure that the clips do not come in contact with one another.

Follow the directions below to put the clips on the chassis and the batter.

If The Battery Is In The Car:

The battery could explode if there is a spark in its general vicinity. To cut back on the chances of a spark happening, there are a few things you can do.

First, take care with the AC and DC cables. Do not allow them to get in the way of the hot engine, the door, the hood or any other part of the car that could cause damage.

Beware of the pulleys, belts, fan blades and more that could harm you during this process.

Make sure you look at the battery posts to determine polarity. Typically, there is a bigger diameter around the positive batter post. Look to see how the battery connects to the chassis. Typically, it is the negative post that is connected. If this is the case, ignore the next step. However, if the positive post is connected, to to the step after that.

When the negative post is attached, take the red clip from the battery charger and make sure it is put on the positive post. Take the black clip and make sure it goes on the chassis or engine block; it should not be near the battery. Ensure that you do not put the clip on the fuel lines, carburetor, or anything else. Instead, attach via the engine block or the metal section of the frame.

When the positive post is attached, take the black clip and put it on the ungrounded, negative post of the battery. Take the red clip and make sure it goes on either the engine black or the chassis; you do not want it near the battery. As before, you want to make sure the clip does not go on the fuel lines, carburetor or anything else. Attach via the engine block or the metal section of the frame.

When you take the charger off, make sure the switches are all off as well. Take off the AC cord, take off the clip from the chassis, and finally, take the clip off the battery terminal.

If The Battery Is Outside The Car:

Remember that a spark can be dangerous and cause an explosion. To cut back on the changes of this happening, make sure you know what the battery posts look like. Again, the positive battery post is typically bigger in diameter. Put an insulated battery cable, about two feet long, on the negative post.

Put the red charger clip on the positive battery post. Move yourself and the end of the cable away from the battery. Once you have done so, put the black clip on the cable end. Make sure you are turned away from the battery as you connect.

When you take the charger off, do all of these steps in reverse. Make sure you stay away from the battery when you first break the connection.

Boat batteries have to be taken off on land. You must get a charger designed for boat batteries.


Will Hopstetter
Will is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United Kingdom. He holds a diverse background in automotive and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.