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How to charge a car battery

23rd July 2020

Wondering how to charge a car battery? Or how long it takes to charge a car battery?

More often than not, if your vehicle does not start because of your battery, it's likely the battery is flat rather than a serious problem. Car batteries can become flat for a number of reasons - such as forgetting to turn off your vehicle's lights, if your vehicle hasn't been driven for a long period of time or if there is a fault.

As a quick fix to a flat battery, you may have to jump start the vehicle. This involves two jump leads, another car with a charged battery and transferring the battery charge from one vehicle to another.

However, although jump starting the battery is great to get you back on the road again, it's wise to learn how to charge a car battery at home to keep it in good condition. That's where our handy guide has you covered.

How to recharge a car battery

Firstly, you'll need to establish what kind of battery your vehicle has. This is to determine if your car's battery has start/stop technology, or whether a more conventional charger is needed. You should be able to find this in your vehicle handbook, or you can contact your local Merityre Specialists branch for further guidance.

Next, there will be lead terminals coming out the top of your battery, and clamps that connect them. If these are dirty or corroded, it's important to clean these before recharging the battery.

Disconnect the car battery - disconnect the negative lead first (which is usually black) and reconnect it last to avoid any nasty shocks. Loosen the clamps to undo the terminals, negative first, and move them to one side. Also, it's important to remember that by disconnecting your car battery, you may also need to reset your radio, dashboard settings and anything else that is controlled by your battery.

Next, connect your charger, keeping it as far from the battery as possible. Connect the clamps of the charger to the terminals on the battery. Make sure you match positive to positive, and negative to negative. Then, plug in your charger and begin charging.

How long does it take to charge a car battery?

Typically, it can take between 4 to 24 hours to charge a car battery from flat. However, this depends entirely on a number of factors - such as how many amperes the car battery is charging with, the size of the battery and the type of battery.

Once your battery is charged, unplug the charger and disconnect the clamps from the terminals. Reconnect your battery to your vehicle, positive first and negative last, and you're good to go!

Car batteries from Merityre Specialists

However, in some instances, your battery may be suffering from more serious problems. If this is the case, you may need to have your battery replaced. Here at Merityre Specialists, we provide a comprehensive battery check - as well as stocking a wide range of car batteries for all popular car fitments. For more information, visit our car batteries page now.