How to charge a car battery useful tips
Drivers are always worried about many issues related to the operation of the battery. When to charge? What to charge? Is it possible to do it in the cold? Do I need to remove the battery to recharge from the car? And many others. We’ll try to answer the most common ones.
When do I need to charge the battery?
All batteries can be conditionally divided into serviced and non-serviced. The very first, more than a century ago, appeared serviced, they have a lattice of lead-antimony alloy and in the process of their work they lose a lot of water. The most modern ones are completely maintenance-free, they use a battery grid of purified lead, often with the addition of other metals: calcium, silver, etc. Keep in mind that “maintenance-free” is a conditional concept that characterizes only the need to top up water. Completely maintenance-free models may not need such a procedure throughout their entire life cycle. But any maintenance-free car battery requires periodic monitoring of its technical condition, like other components of the vehicle. In particular, they still need to be recharged from time to time.
To assess the condition of the battery and not miss the time when it is time to recharge, you can use the simple method. Take a voltmeter and check the voltage level at the battery terminals without disconnecting it from the vehicle's electrical system. Normally, the open circuit voltage should be at 12.6-12.7 V. Note that it is impossible to carry out measurements immediately after stopping. It should take several hours, at least 8-10, only then the testimony will be reliable.
In serviced batteries that have plugs on the lid, it is recommended that you check the electrolyte density with a hydrometer. If the battery is charged, this parameter should be 1.27 g/cm3 ;. This indicator confirms that the power source can ensure the effective operation of the active substances inside and can give current in the required quantities. If the density is below normal, then the battery is partially discharged and it needs to restore energy. To do this, use a special charger. If the indicator is higher, this indicates a lack of water, since an increase in the concentration of acid in the electrolyte solution has a negative effect on the performance of the battery. In this case, distillate is added to the battery until the density returns to normal.
How to charge the battery if the car is used infrequently?
Not all car owners constantly use their cars. Sometimes most of the year they are in the garage for fun. Naturally, even in such conditions, the battery loses capacity, since no one has canceled such a thing as self-discharge. In such cases, chargers with storage mode are very popular. Their feature is that the battery remains connected to such a memory for a long time, and the battery is powered by small currents. This allows you to achieve constantly 100% charge. However, experts do not recommend abusing this. This method of maintaining the charge level can have a negative effect on the operating parameters of the battery, reducing its service life.
If you want to leave the car in the garage for a long time (for a period of more than a month), it is recommended that you first fully recharge the battery in the usual way-from the charger and disconnect the battery terminals from the vehicle electrical system so that the current does not leak. This will help to avoid deep discharges. Then, before use, you need to check the condition of the battery and, if necessary, repeat the charging process.
Is it possible to charge in the cold?
All drivers know that when the air temperature is outside, the car battery begins to experience difficulties, takes charge worse, runs out faster, etc. The optimum temperature at which, you should charge the battery, it is 0— + 25 ° C. Therefore, it is not recommended to charge the battery outdoors in the cold, it is better to first bring it into a heated room and warm it to room temperature. In this case, the battery will be able to recover completely and without risk to its functional state.
How can I charge the battery?
Here you will definitely need a charger. If as simple as possible, then this is a device that consists of a rectifier in the case, equipped with a plug for connecting to a 220V household network and wires with crocodile clips for connecting to a car battery. This device converts alternating current to direct, thereby triggering a reverse reaction inside the battery, that is, the battery does not give energy, but accumulates.
When choosing a charge, be sure to consider the following important points:
- Compatibility with different types of batteries: liquid type WET (classic lead-acid construction), maintenance-free versions AGM, GEL and others. Choose a device taking into account which battery you are going to charge it with, since not all memory devices are suitable for working with all types of car batteries.
- Maximum charging current. This parameter must be selected based on the value of the nominal capacity of the battery (current should not be lower than 10% of the capacity). It is better to buy devices with a small margin of starting current, as well as with the ability to adjust this indicator.
- Voltage. Everything is extremely simple here, if the battery has a rated voltage of 6/12/24V, then you need to select a charger with the same level of rated voltage.
What should be the optimal charge mode for a car battery?
This question worries a lot of people, since if improperly charged, there is a great risk of spoiling the battery and, instead of restoring, getting an unsuitable power source for further operation. The charging mode should be selected taking into account the real state of a particular battery. Experts give the following recommendations:
- If, when evaluating the voltage at the terminals, the NRC value was 12.3 V-this indicates an insignificant discharge, but such a battery may already have problems with starting, especially at sub-zero temperatures. If the battery is in this state for quite a while, then to restore it, you should use the charge mode with a constant voltage and low current-about 1 A. Gradually, the current will increase as the operating parameters of the starter battery are restored.
- If the voltage drops below 10.5 V, this indicates a deep discharge of the battery. If such a discharge occurred suddenly, then the battery can be restored by the charger, setting the current on it at 10% of the nominal capacity of the charged power source. The process usually takes several hours.
- For automotive batteries that have been used for a long time in a state of chronic undercharging and slowly "died", it is recommended to choose a charge mode with a minimum threshold current value and constant voltage. It will be a lengthy process, but in this case it is impossible to rush, so as not to bring the battery to a complete failure.
In any case, if you want the battery to work, do not start the situation, as it will be difficult to restore a deeply discharged sulfated battery. And sometimes it’s completely impossible. Monitor the condition and level of battery charge, recharge regularly; it is especially important to pay attention to this on the eve of winter and before long-term storage.
If you do not yet have a suitable battery charger, then in the online store 130.com.ua you can buy a charger for a car battery in Kiev, Odessa and Kharkov. We have devices of different designs with a diverse set of functions, for solving any problems and at an affordable price.