Getting in the car and finding that the ignition key does not respond is a really frustrating experience, especially if we are in a hurry. Whether it’s because we left the lights on or because it discharged for some other reason, all of us who drive have had to go through the situation at some time. To solve it quickly, the ideal is to learn how to charge a car battery. If we have the necessary elements, we can solve it in a few minutes.
How to charge a car battery step by step
The car’s battery retains its charge thanks to the excess energy of the engine. It is designed to last five years without being replaced or recharged. However, leaving the lights on, the radio, the beacon, a blown fuse, or a short circuit can cause it to lose its charge prematurely.
In those situations, knowing how to charge it can save us from waiting for a mechanic and save us some pesos. It is simple by following some very basic tips and having some elements at hand.
If we believe that it still has some charge remaining, we can try the classic method of looking for someone to push it, in contact, with the gear in second and release the clutch and accelerate when the vehicle picks up some speed. If it starts, you have to keep it circulating for at least 20 minutes.
However, this is not useful if the device died. What follows are other steps.
Get a car battery charger
So, the first thing we have to do to resuscitate our battery is to find a charging source, which can be the battery of another car. For this, we are going to need a pair of jumper cables.
The other option is to have a car battery charger. There are many people who carry one in their toolbox, it is super easy to use and can save us a lot of trouble.
locate the battery
If we are going to resort to the help of another vehicle, it is important to see in the engine of our car on which side the battery is: in some it is on the left and in others, on the right. If we place our rescuer on the wrong side, we will end up doing acrobatics with the cables.
You can read: How long does a car battery last: tips for changing it
Now yes: a step by step with some recommendations to avoid damage.
- We place the car with the good battery as close to the dead car as possible (without touching). If we are using a charger this step can be skipped.
- We check two important things: that the engine is off (even with a dead battery) and, if we’re using another car as a source, that both batteries have the same number of volts. Let’s also see that headlights, windshield wipers, radios and other accessories are turned off. This is important so there are no leaks preventing the car from starting or anything being damaged by power surges.
- We opened the hood and unrolled the jumper cables. Next, we connect a red clamp to the positive pole of the discharged battery, and the other end with the red clamp to the positive pole of the good battery. It is very important not to cross the cables while they are attached to the two poles, since charging and discharging generates a flammable gaseous emission that could cause an explosion..
- Next, we connected the black clamp to the negative pole of the charged battery and to a solid, non-painted metal piece with a ground wire on the car with the dead battery.
- We check the connections and then start the car with the working battery. We wait five minutes and then start the other vehicle so it can charge its battery.
The ignition is the moment of truth. We share a guide to do it in the best way:
- We start the engine. If it doesn’t start when we try to turn it on, we wait a while longer to give it more charge. We repeat the process until we achieve it.
- Once we managed to get it up and running, we removed the cable for car battery in the opposite order that we used to place it. The sequence should be as follows: first we remove the clamp from the ground contact of our car. Then, black and red of the “solidarity” car. And finally, the red from the previously dead battery. Again, it is essential not to cross the cables so as not to generate a spark or damage to the battery.
- Leave the car’s engine running for at least twenty minutes.
Some additional recommendations
In addition to following these tips, the ideal is to take into account some other recommendations, which never hurt:
- Alternator: once we achieve the recharge, we must make sure that the car’s alternator works correctly. If not, we should go to the nearest garage and fix it as soon as possible so we don’t have the same problem over and over again.
- Battery for diesel car: It is important to know that diesel batteries are not the same as those used by gasoline models. These are devices specially designed to deliver high currents in short time intervals, since cars of this type need more power to start up. This also means that they are less susceptible to failure during discharge and more resistant to extreme temperature changes. The main difference with gasoline is that they need lower starting powers and their batteries are smaller in size and weight.
- Wrench or clamp: the key or clamp we need to remove the battery depends on the car battery brands and its models.
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