How To Recharge a Car Battery
Test your car battery before replacing it for an affordable maintenance task. A dead battery can be frustrating, but thankfully there are several ways to recharge a battery, at home or at your local auto parts store. If your battery continues to die, it may be time to use a VIN lookup free tool to find a replacement battery or alternator. Here are the main ways to recharge your car battery:
- Jumper cables
- Portable battery charger
- In-store battery charging
Jumper cables allow you to safely connect your dead battery with a battery in another vehicle. Turn off both vehicles before attempting to connect jumper cables, and follow all the necessary instructions on connecting cables. Once they are connected, turn on the vehicle with the live battery for approximately 10 minutes.
Portable chargers work in a similar way, but instead of a secondary lead-acid battery they receive their charge from a 110-volt wall plug or a lithium ion battery. Follow the instructions to boost, charge or trickle charge your battery with a portable charger.
Your local auto parts store has a free battery testing and charging service. Take advantage of this convenient service to avoid investing in your own charging tools. Battery testing will help you establish whether your battery is still working or if it needs to be recycled.
How To Properly Remove Vehicle Batteries
Even the best car batteries need to be replaced. Whether you’re taking your battery out to recycle it or to transport it safely to an auto parts store for recharging, follow these instructions to stay safe while handling your battery.
First, never work with a battery with bare hands. Car batteries contain lead plates and corrosive acid, so always wear gloves and safety glasses when working around an automotive battery. Grab a wrench to remove the cable clamps from your battery. Inspect your battery for signs of corrosion. You may need to use a corrosion cleaner or a homemade mixture of water and baking soda to clean the clamps. Never attempt to clean corrosion while the battery is still connected.
Always remove the negative battery cable clamp first, making sure not to touch the positive terminal with your hands, the negative cable or your wrench. The negative terminal is usually marked black or gray, or unmarked. The positive terminal is marked red and usually has a plastic cover over it to protect it from accidental connections. Once the negative cable is removed and safely to one side, you can disconnect the positive terminal with your wrench. Use caution when removing the battery, checking for leaks, cracks or swollen sides.
How To Ensure All Battery Connections Are Secure
If you’re concerned with the connections of your battery, there are a few steps you can take. First, check that the terminals are free from corrosion. Second, check that the cable clamps are securely tightened over the battery posts. Finally, consider using petroleum jelly or specialty battery terminal grease to improve the conductivity of the cables and posts. Learn more about proper battery maintenance and shop for a battery charger for car online or at your local auto parts store to prevent a dead battery.