If this is your first time to observe a charging session, you will want to put safety at the top of the list, especially when battery shelf life is of concern. How does a car battery charger work at the most basic level—we give a layman’s answer in the piece below.
We also cover on some info about the type of chargers for batteries you may wish to invest as prospects.
So, How Does A Battery Charger Work? –Is It Beneficial For Your Car?
First of all, many batteries are volatile by their very nature–this is important to note when you need to use a battery charger for your car.
Not to bore you with a brief explanation, but most batteries contain “gas” that is primarily hydrogen, and this compound reacts in response to many temperature-sensitive climate conditions.
Here are some examples of scenarios you will want to be wary of when it comes properly attending to the battery of your car:
• Starting the battery of your vehicle can cause explosive problems.
• Jump starting the battery of your car can cause explosive problems.
• Shorting out the battery terminals of your car can cause explosive problems.
So, as you read the sampling process of charging your car battery below, please do take note of your environment as well as the components of your car batteries throughout the process (stay safe!):
1. You Got To Pick The Appropriate Charger
• Make sure your charger is compatible with the car battery in your possession.
• To make a better estimate, you can opt to look over the manual of your car battery for specific information.
• You will want to look for pre-cautionary information or specific warning labels so that you will know what not to do (at all times).
• AND, ONE MORE THING
• PLEASE DO MAKE SURE that there is no car battery charger in the plug and that switches for power outlets are “off”—can not stress this enough.
2. The Terminals and The Cables
• You will want to remove the (usually in red color) positive (+) and negative (-) connector cables (often in black color) from their respective battery terminals,
• It is a recommendation by experts to remove the negative (-) cables first, with the positive (+) cables as a follow-up.
• You may now connect the red, positive (+) cable to its respective positive (+) terminal and the same goes with the black, negative (-) with its negative (-) terminal.
3. Pace Of Charging And Voltage
• During the charging process, you can choose between a rather slow trickle process of charging or a rather fast and quick process of charging.
• You are going to get good results with either one, but trickle process of charging is often a recommendation due to safety concerns with quick charging.
• Regardless, you can always refer to any manual regarding options and setting configurations that are available for the optimal pace of charging for your car battery.
• Believe it or not, some chargers contain a shutdown mechanism to keep them from overcharging, which is always useful for beginners or experts alike.
• But, if you are not one of the lucky ones to get a “smart” charger like this, then you will need to adjust well a specific period to observe your charging pace.
4. Wrapping Up And Keeping It To The Basics
• You will want to keep your charger and terminal cables together and put it all in one area or place as the battery is in the process of charging.
• Once the battery can reach full charge, do adhere to safety measures by turning “off” and unplugging the respective charger—we often forget far too often.
• As for your connector cables, you will need to start with the different process when you remove them; you can start with your black, negative (-) terminal wires then proceed to your red, positive (+) terminal cables.
All in all, this will not be a challenging (or dangerous!) process if you take it slow, with trickle process charging and everything in between—remember, safety first!
Can You Leave A Car Battery Charger On Overnight?
Leaving your charger and your car battery overnight is probably not a good idea—in some cases, you can do it, but those are exceptions, not the rule.
Remember the problems with batteries and temperature? –they are notorious for sending an array a litany of problems.
In particular, two climate conditions can wreak havoc to all kinds of batteries, your car battery including:
• The cold climate, which can bring forth a gradual decline of voltage or state of charge for a cell leading to an eventual state of discharge—even battery “death” if you can believe it.
• The warm or hot climate, which is usually less problematic for batteries unless you are talking about over-charging and going beyond the acceptable range for maximum voltage—generally around 13.0 to 15.0.
So, ideally, you will want to avoid going to the extremes with the two above conditions—less you want a battery that does not last as long.
Also, do you recall the topic of specific chargers being “smarter” than others? –smart chargers can save you a lot of time and help you to avoid overcharging.
You see, batteries usually possess an ideal charging process for charging, which makes up three processes:
• The bulk stage (up to an 80% surge)
• The absorption stage (gradually or incrementally raising beyond 80%)
• The float stage (keeping that 100% to level that is tolerable)
Smart chargers, hence the term, observe the above process with almost pin-point accuracy—consider more intelligent chargers if you want overnight charging.
Do You Need To Disconnect A Car Battery Before Charging?
No, you do not necessarily disconnect those power lines from the cars engines, if that is what you are asking.
But it is safer to get a platform (of sorts) for your charging sessions unless you are an expert on this subject matter.
Remember, the question of “how does a charged car battery work” can also differ depending on the skill of the person doing the deed—stay humble.