How To Charge A Car Battery

If your car has been left sitting idle for a while or you’ve left your lights on overnight, you may come out to find your battery has drained to the point where it can no longer start the car. When this happens, it can ruin your whole day and leave you in desperate need of a jumpstart or battery charger.

Find out how to safely charge your battery and ensure it stays at peak operating efficiency.

Why Is Having A Good Car Battery Important?

From helping start the car to powering the ever growing number of electrical systems while the car is off, car batteries are very obviously important. But what you may not realise is how important the car battery is even while the car is running. Once the car is started up, the alternator takes over as the primary energy source for all car electronics – even charging the battery. As different electrical systems switch on, off and require different amounts of power, this can cause spikes in required electricity – which would put excessive strain on the alternator. This could damage the alternator components or other electrical devices and stop your car from working as efficiently as it should.

To stop this from happening, the battery acts as a middle man to smooth out spikes and provide additional electricity where needed. This keeps the current steady and ensures that the voltage is stable. From the start of your journey to the end, your car battery is working hard to ensure your ride is uninterrupted.

How To Charge A Car Battery

When it comes to charging your battery, there’s more than one way to go about it. The most common way to charge your battery is to simply drive your car around. As you drive, the engine powers the alternator – in turn powering the electronics in your vehicle and charging your battery. If your battery is too low to start or you just want to charge a battery at home, you can use a battery charger that is plugged into the wall (or has it’s own battery pack for remote charging). Battery chargers come in lots of different types, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. In recent years, smart chargers have grown in popularity for their ease of use and set and forget nature.

When charging a battery, safety is the number one concern. Overcharging a battery can cause it to become damaged internally (leading to a shorter lifespan) or cause it to leak fluids or catch fire – leading to possible damage to you or your car/property. A regular battery charger just keeps charging until it’s turned off – which can lead to over charging. A smart charger goes through a number of different charging stages (some have up to eight stages, but all have at least three).The charger starts by providing a big charge when the battery is low, and slowly tapering off to a trickle or pulse when the battery nears full charge. A good quality smart charger can be set overnight without the fear of damaging your property or hurting yourself.

Whenever using a battery charger of any kind, always pay attention to the manufacturer details to make sure it’s suitable for your vehicle, and for directions on how to correctly use it. 

If your battery still doesn’t hold a charge, even after charging it with a dedicated charger, it may be time to have it replaced. You may be tempted to replace your battery with the cheapest one available, but this may not be in your best interest. A good quality battery will last longer, and save you money in the long run. Learn more by reading our blogs Should I buy a cheap car battery and Car battery myths vs facts.

Need Your Battery Replaced Or Serviced?

Like most components in a car, repeated use, age and general wear and tear will eventually stop your battery from holding a charge, even if you charge it with a battery charge or being charged while driving. Australian Mechanical has a state of the art workshop to help diagnose electrical faults in vehicles, as well as your battery. We can recommend and install new batteries, as well as test them to see if they just need a charge, or require replacement.

Contact Australian Mechanical today and arrange an appointment and have your car serviced.

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