If you are reading this in your car at 8:30 AM, it is probably best to call your boss or a taxi. If you have a few spare minutes and are willing to work hard, we may be able help you get your car back on its feet.
Why do car batteries go flat?
Do you know the expression “prevention is better than cure”? When it comes to dead car batteries, this is definitely true. A dead battery almost 90% of the times is due to driver error. It’s often something very simple.
If you do not:
- You can leave any electrical equipment on while your car isn’t running.
- The air conditioner can be used even if the car isn’t running
- Do not maintain your battery in a proper way
- Do not leave the car running for too long
These aren’t all the reasons that a battery could die. There are also a few reasons that a battery might die from an auto-electrical cause.
Failing or faulty alternator
- An electrical problem that draws power from the battery while the car isn’t being used
- If it is particularly cold, the battery’s ability to produce current will be reduced by the lower temperature
- If you can avoid these things, you will be ahead of the game and get to work on-time.
- Step by step instructions on how to charge your car’s battery
- Let’s get to the point: how to charge your vehicle’s battery if it doesn’t have enough power to start your car.
It’s important to note that every car battery is unique – each one has its own location, access, maintenance, etc. Always check your vehicle manual and ensure you adhere to any vehicle-specific guidelines. You might be able download a digital copy of the handbook from the manufacturer’s website if you cannot find it.
Step 1 – Safety first
We all know that safety and health seem to have taken the fun out of life. It’s not fun when a car battery is charged and explodes. This is why safety must be taken seriously.
You should ensure that you work in an area free from naked flames, sparks and smoke. Clear away clutter and any unnecessary tools. Take off any jewelry. Before you start working in the engine bay, make sure to put on safety glasses and gloves.
Step 2 – Do a quick battery safety check
Even though it doesn’t have any moving parts, there are many things that could go wrong with a car’s battery. You don’t need to be an expert to spot potential problems.
- Start with your nose
Is the battery smelling like rotten eggs or rotten fruit? If it does, the battery is likely leaking or cracked. Your lead acid battery could be dangerous if this happens. Sulfuric acid is actually battery acid. It can be inhaled or touched and can cause severe health problems. To get professional assistance if your battery is damaged in any way, use our easy-to-use quote-finder.
- Is the battery warm to the touch?
It could indicate that the battery case is too hot or that the terminals are too hot. Before you charge the battery, remove the bonnet.
- Are there any corrosion issues with the battery terminals
The ‘terminals’ of a battery are the metal stumps to which the leads attach. Due to the nature of the terminals, and the reaction they have with the air around it, they can become crusty over time. Although it is not dangerous, you need to clean the terminals before you begin. You can remove stubborn buildups with a sandpaper pad.
Step 3 – Disconnect the battery from your vehicle
Car battery charging requires that the battery be removed from your vehicle. This is often quite simple.
First, remove the positive cable from your positive battery terminal. The battery will clearly mark the negative and positive terminals. It is important that you do this in the right order. You can also remove the negative cable by removing the positive one. To loosen the clamp bolt and to wiggle the terminal free, you will usually only need a small wrench.
After you have removed the cables, you will need to remove the battery from its tray. Although this is different for each vehicle, it involves usually releasing the battery from the clamp that holds it in its place.
You can lift the battery out once it’s been released. You’ll find it heavier than you expected, so be careful lifting it.
Step 4: Connecting the car’s battery charger
The instructions for each model of battery charger are different, so make sure you read them carefully. Even years of experience won’t make you a better charger user manual.
Find a safe and clutter-free area that is well-ventilated to start.
First, plug the charger into your computer and make sure it is turned off. Next, connect the positive cable to the charger and the positive terminal of the battery. Next, connect the negative cable to the battery’s negative terminal via the charger.