How to Recharge a Battery

Summary

    – Step 1: Recharge the battery with a charger

    – Step 2: Start your battery with another vehicle

    – What to do if your car still won’t start

A battery can be discharged in several cases:

    – You have not used your car for an extended period.

    – Your vehicle is parked outside in icy weather.

    – You have left the headlights on.

    – Your battery is worn out.

Recharging a battery is within everyone’s reach, provided you have a battery charger in your possession or another vehicle at your disposal.

Types of batteries

Two types of batteries are generally used:

    – Batteries with maintenance: tend to disappear, transparent with two indicators (minimum and maximum) that allow checking the level.

    – Batteries without maintenance: sealed, to increase their life, a specific battery charger with a maintenance function must be used.

How a battery works

The operation and constitution of a battery are the same, whatever the type: it must deliver volts (lighting, alarm) and ampere (starting).

The capacity of a battery is expressed in ampere-hours (Ah). For example, for 24 Ah, the battery can deliver 24 amps in one hour.

Note: Inside, a battery consists of several accumulators connected in series. Each one produces a few volts, so it takes several per battery to deliver the volts needed to run a car.

Causes of battery failure

Here are the 3 main problems with battery charging :

    1. Sulphation: If a battery is allowed to discharge, lead sulphate crystals will accumulate on the plates. The battery loses efficiency because of this layer on the lead plates.

    2. Stratification: If a calcium battery is discharged by half, layers are created (acid on one side and water on the other).

    3. Drying: if the battery is charged with a higher voltage than its own, it is overcharged, and its water evaporates. The plates are no longer immersed in a homogeneous liquid, which impairs the function of the battery.

Special chargers can solve these problems with unique functions.

1. Recharge the battery with a charger.

A battery charger is a handy device that allows you to recharge your battery when it is discharged. Some chargers models can give a second life to your battery if it is worn out. However, if your battery is completely worn out, a battery charger will not be able to do anything.

To recharge a battery with a charger, install your car in a ventilated area.

Caution: do not smoke near your car.

Engine and ignition off :

    Connect the clip of the charger’s red cable to the “+” terminal of your battery.

    Connect the clip of the charger’s black cable to the “-” terminal of your battery.

    – Connect the charger to the mains.

    – Wait until all the compartments of your battery are slightly bubbling, which takes several hours (minimum 10 hours).

In the case of a battery with maintenance: check the water level and top up with demineralized water if necessary.

2. Starting your battery with another vehicle

Connect the cables

If you do not have a charger, another vehicle is required to recharge your battery.

    – Position the 2 cars next to each other, head to tail, without touching each other.

    – Leave the car with the battery running with the engine running, turned on and turn off everything that consumes electricity, such as the car radio and headlights.

    – Connect the black cable to the ” – ” of the service battery and then to the ” – ” of the battery to be serviced.

    – Then, connect the red cable to the “+” of the service battery and then to the “+” of the battery to be serviced.

    – Wait a few seconds, then try to start the car.

This operation will not recharge the battery; it will give the breath needed to start. It’s the action of driving afterwards that will create electricity stored in the battery (if it is not worn out, stratified, sulphated, etc.).

What to do if your car still won’t start?

Then disconnect the cables in this order:

    1. the red clamp of the broken down vehicle ;

    2. the red clamp of the breakdown vehicle ;

    3. the black clamp of the broken down car;

    4. the black clamp on the recovery vehicle.

Caution: Always make sure that the clamps do not touch each other!

Drive for at least 20 minutes.

If your car still does not start

Your alternator may be defective. Since it is used to recharge the battery when your engine is running, the symptoms are the same for a car that does not start.

Using the voltmeter, test your battery. If it shows the correct voltage, the alternator or other electrical problem is causing the malfunction.

Hope the above helps you out. If you are unsure, please bring your car to a professional garage for a diagnosis.

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