Condition Of The Alternator
Running the car to charge your battery only works if your alternator is in optimal condition. If you have a bad alternator, the engine might be running without charging the battery. At this point, a low battery charge combined with a poor alternator might make it impossible to even start your car.
Also, you might notice a battery warning on the dashboard, and see your headlights dim. However, its possible to jumpstart a car with a bad alternator, although its just a temporary solution. If your alternator is bad, youll have to replace it and check your batterys charge afterward, since it could all just be a consequence of the alternator.
How To Avoid The Risk Of Explosion During Charging
During battery charging an inflammable and explosive gas is produced. What is important, the gas is produced both during charging with a rectifier, e.g. in a garage, and during driving, when the battery is charged by the alternator. For the reasons mentioned above, bending over an engine with a cigarette or illuminating the engine chamber with a lighter is a very bad idea.A problem may also appear if the battery is overcharged. If you are using a damaged or improper rectifier, which is not equipped with protective electronic measures against overcharging, and you forget to unplug it, it may lead to electrolyte boiling over. This may occur during driving, if the voltage regulator is damaged. Fire can also be caused by a short circuit, which may occur if you fail to correctly connect the charger, or upon trying to start the car by pushing it or using cables.
What Is The Car Battery Charging System
Each of the Individual cells will have a positive electrode and a negative electrode floating in a pool of electrically charged and ionized electrolytes. If its a lead-acid battery, sulfuric acid will be one of its main components.
But that is just the battery and not the whole battery charging system, which has many different components than just the battery.
The charging system essentially allows you to keep the battery charged for as long as the cars engines are running. This is important since if the batterys charge is not maintained constantly, it will run out so quickly youll end up motionless in the middle of a highway.
That is why they say never to keep the cars headlights turned on when the engines are not running. Its because the headlights will suck up a lot of charge from the battery. And in the absence of a proper charging system, the main component of which is the motors, the battery runs out almost instantly.
So what is the car battery charging system? It essentially consists of several parts. The main ones are the alternator, the motor, the wirings, the electronic control unit or the ECU, the regulator .
Also Check: Battery For Garage Door Opener
How Is A Car Battery Charged
Can A Completely Dead Battery Be Recharged
Many people are often faced with the problem of a faulty battery that will not seem to bring their cars to life. A dead battery is a problem that is not always easy to fix, especially if you are in a rush. So, can a completely dead battery be recharged?
There are a few ways to recharge your battery, though the phrase completely dead is a bit more difficult to assess. If your car does not start because of a completely dead battery, your only option might be to get a jump start from another car and purchase a new battery in the near future.
In this article, we will discuss how you might be able to recharge a dead battery and how to spot signs that might mean your car battery is dead. We will also talk about how you can get help from Mach1 Service, a technologically savvy company that can provide the fastest service possible.
Recommended Reading: Tesla Model 3 12v Battery Replacement
Maintaining An Electric Car Battery After Not Driving
Electric cars and hybrids have 12V batteries , like standard vehicles, but they charge differently. The most common way to do this is by pressing the start button to turn it on, which will automatically operate a charging system which in turn gives the battery more power.
If youre concerned about how much charge the auxiliary battery in your EV has, you should start the vehicle up at least once a week for 10 minutes each time for a sufficient recharge.
At the same time, you should check the status of the main onboard battery to see whether it needs charging. Even though you may not be driving, lithium-ion batteries in EVs can gradually lose the capacity to hold a charge over time, and you may see the effects of this in the form of loss of range/percentage.
Should your car need charging, make sure this is done through a designated home charge point or public station. While each EV comes with EVSE that includes a Type-2-to-3-pin cable for charging from a mains socket, this can overload the outlet and potentially be dangerous.
Remember: Check your vehicles handbook before choosing to maintain the 12V battery by plugging into your domestic mains socket.
Thinking of switching to an electric car? Moneyshake brings the market to you, showing you the best lease deals on the latest EVs.
Getting Ready To Charge
Before we get into how to charge a car battery at home, you need to know how to prepare to charge the battery. It is very easy to get a good shock if the battery does have some juice. Before you even get started, if you have to remove the battery from the vehicle to charge it, be sure you have the tools for the job. Some batteries are easily accessible however, some are under or in the fender and some may even be in the trunk or under the seat depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
You May Like: 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Battery
Can We Charge A Car Battery By Driving Around
The car battery is a very useful component. Starting system, it can start the engine with just a button. And the starting system works electronically, so it requires electrical energy from the battery.
If the battery is dead, the starting system cannot function. That keeps the engine from starting via the starter feature, and you need to pull the vehicle to start the engine.
The problem is, the dead battery issue is almost experienced by car owners.
The question is, can the dead battery be recharge by driving the vehicle? isn’t a car has a charging system?
It is the right thing, that every vehicle has a charging system. And the function of the charging system is to recharge the battery.
But the problem is, the alternator needs voltage to create magnetism. If the battery voltage is empty, the alternator cannot generate electricity.
To be clearer I will explain this in detail.
Battery Charging Process in Vehicle
So the charging system uses an alternator to convert rotational energy into electrical energy. Just like any other generator, the alternator uses a coil and a magnetic field. But in the alternator, the magnetic field is not obtained from the permanent magnet but from the coil.
In this condition, the alternator can be used to recharge the battery.
So whether a dead battery can be recharge by the alternator?
It depends on the battery. If the battery has no voltage then the alternator cannot generate magnetism, so electricity cannot be generated.
Figuring Out The Real Problem
Remember, unless you know the reason your battery died even though your vehicle starts and runs after you recharge the battery, something in your electrical system may be causing the problem. Expect your battery to run down again . If your battery soon weakens or gives out, consider removing it and hauling it down to an auto-parts store. Many will test the battery for you, and you can pick up a new one while you’re there. Alternatively, jump-start your vehicle and get it down to a repair shop. You either have a bad battery or an electrical-system issue you’ll need the help of a technician to solve the problem.
Get a Fresh Start with These Car Batteries from Amazon
Optima Automotive Battery
You May Like: How To Change Battery On Mercedes Key
Set The Rate Of Charge
- Choose a charge rate before connecting your battery charger to the battery.
- Simple chargers dont allow different rates of charge, but many models do. Charge rate is expressed in amps, often starting at 2 and topping out 10.
- Pro tip: Unless youre in a rush, choose the slowest charge rate first. Slower charging is easier on the battery and makes overcharging less likely, especially if you dont have a volt meter and are charging blind.
Robert Maxwell for Family Handyman
Electric Cars: Man Reveals How He Was Fined After Charging Car
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Electric cars are quickly becoming more common on UK roads, with thousands switching their old petrol and diesel vehicles for EVs. December saw battery electric vehicles claim their largest-ever monthly market share, of an impressive 32.9 percent.
You May Like: Battery Disconnect Switch On Or Off When On Shore Power
Why You Can Trust Us
Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.
We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.
Interesting Facts About Chargers And Charging Times
Many high quality chargers are compatible with various types of battery and switch off automatically when charging is complete. Intelligent chargers gradually shut down as the charge level increases and limit the current automatically. In this way, a good sate of charge can be ensured even with long standstill times and low outside temperatures. In case of doubt, consult the description of use by the manufacturer of the device. Proper and regular use of battery chargers can therefore increase the reliability and the service life of the battery.
Even though there is no risk of overcharging with the use of a high quality charger, the battery should not remain connected to the charger for more than 24 hours. A full charge is usually achieved by charging overnight.
In maintenance mode, batteries can be kept at a high charge level even with long vehicle standstill times. Even after a deep discharge, some chargers enable at least partial reconditioning of the battery.
Important: Even though the connection and operation of the charger is not complicated, several points should be noted. Charging a car battery differs in several aspects from the charging of a conventional battery. The operating instructions for the charger provide all the necessary information.
In this article
You May Like: Mach E Battery Replacement Cost
If Your Car Battery Is Above 12 Volts Go For A Drive
In general, if the battery is showing between 12 and 12.4 volts, its safe to recharge it using your vehicles alternator. That means driving around using as little electricity as possiblestereo system off, lights off , and all heating and cooling functions offto make sure that the alternator is sending as much energy into the battery as possible. Youll also want to keep your vehicle above idle as much as possible, as higher revolutions will pour more power into the charging circuit. Aim for at least a 30-minute drive to get the battery back to a safe level for your next start.
Charging A Car Battery
When the alternator isnt up to the task, or when the battery is drained to the point where it isn’t capable of starting the engine, the other way of charging a car battery is to use an external charger.
Car battery chargers run off AC power and provide 12V DC at relatively low voltages, which is the best way to charge a completely dead battery. Charging a dead battery with an excessively high voltage can increase the off-gassing of hydrogen, which can, in turn, result in a hazardous situation where the battery might explode.
You May Like: Ups Battery Backup 24 Hours
Best Car Battery Chargers
A car battery charger can restore a depleted battery or maintain a battery you dont frequently use. Weve studied and tested several of the best car battery chargers so we could suggest the fastest, most reliable models.
A quality charger can extend car battery life if used properly. Keeping your battery regularly charged prevents sulfation a process where lead sulfate crystals build up on the surface of a battery, rendering it inoperable. If you need something to jumpstart a dead battery, look for one of the best jump starters.
There Are Positives And Negatives To Having A Car Battery
While they power your car, allowing you to get from A to B, batteries can also cause a bit of hassle when they start acting up. But if you put in the effort to look after your car battery, itâll return the favour and keep you going for as long as it can.
Car batteries are particularly at risk of draining during cold weather, and when theyâre unused for a long period of time .
A healthy battery stays out of your mind, as it should, but an unhealthy one can cause you a lot of issues. Putting in a small bit of effort now can save you time and money in the long run.
Weâve got some top tips to help make sure your car battery stays alive and well.
The RAC advises that most batteries last up to 5 years, but just like the luggage carousel at Gatwick Airport, itâs a case-by-case basis. Some batteries can fail after as little as two years, depending on the conditions theyâve been kept in and how the carâs been driven. Itâs worth looking into changing your car battery if itâs been acting up lately, or if itâs edging towards its fifth birthday. The winter months are the most challenging for car batteries, so getting yours sorted in advance will have you one step ahead of the crowd.
Read Also: Ritz Carlton New York Battery Park
Remove The Charger Once Charging Is Complete
After your charger has run for its desired duration and the charging process is complete, you can remove the chargers connecting cables from your car battery. In some instances, the charger may have a meter or indicator telling you when it is safe to do so.
To safely remove the charger, make sure to power if off before touching any of the other controls on the unit. Only after the charger has been shut off is it safe to remove the cables. Once powered down, remove the positive cable first, followed by the negative.
After removing the cables, dont forget to replace the cables on the terminals for your car battery. Again, make sure you reconnect the positive cable before replacing the negative, and be sure to use your wrenches to screw on any nuts or bolts as needed. If you removed the car charger entirely, you will need to set it back into its tray and replace the hold-down clamp.
Once reconnected, you are finished. Thats all there is to it!
How Long Does A Car Battery Last Without Driving
An idle battery can go from fully charged to completely dead in a little under two months. Your battery will die even faster if it’s older than three years or wasn’t fully charged the last time you drove it. One thing that’s not good for your battery is taking a lot of short driving trips in a row. There’s nothing wrong with tackling a bunch of errands, but if you’re constantly starting and stopping your engine with only a few minutes of driving in between, it will drain your battery pretty quickly. Try to take a 30 minute drive on the highway at least once a week to give your alternator the time it needs to fully recharge your battery. Find more tips on .
Also Check: Battery Powered Self Propelled Lawn Mower