Maintenance Useful tips

How to Charge Your Used Car Battery?

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When a car refuses to start you will need to recharge the battery. Mostly, once you have installed a new battery it will require no recharge for a minimum duration of five years, but only if you have taken good care of the car. If there is a repeated need to recharge batteries very often then it means: either the battery is of inferior quality or you are not caring for the car as it should be. The care becomes more stringent as they are aged. Most car batteries have a charge indicator that will reveal the health of the battery. When the indicators shows yellow or clear light you should get ready to recharge the battery. Below are some simple ways in which you can recharge the battery of your used car:

•Trickle Charger: The trickle charger is a device that serves electricity to your car’s battery from an external power outlet in a very slow and steady manner. There is no need to recharge the car’s battery fast. The slow charging is a better option. The slower you charge the batteries, the charge holding duration is also longer. So, once you charge with a trickle charger the charge will remain longer than usual. This device comes with an electric cord having a plug and two jumper cables having alligator clips.

•Battery Terminals Cleaning: When charging the battery you should check the state of battery terminals and clean those. Do not touch the terminals if they are covered with a sort of whitish powder. This whitish powder is dried form of sulfuric acid and it can burn your hands if touched with bare hands. You can use some sandpaper pads to wipe the sections around the terminals. Some car owners also use a wet cloth that has a layer of baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate). Rub hard to clean the terminals and make sure they are ready to receive the charger wires.

•Removal of Cell Caps: Some battery models have small caps. Before you use the charger, these cell caps should be removed. The cell caps are located either on the top of your battery or under yellow strip that can be peeled on or off based on the needs. If you notice cell caps in your battery, remove them prior to charging. If these caps are not removed then the gases released while charging will not be able to get away into the environment.

•Attaching Charger Cables: You should turn off the engine before using the wires or cables on the battery terminals. The charger will typically have two wires. The red wire should be connected to the positive terminal (which is labeled as POS terminal). Another wire remaining should be connected with the negative terminal (that is marked as NEG). While charging, make sure that both these wires do not ever touch each other. If touched, these wires will cause a spark that will ignite the hydrogen gas surrounding the battery’s section. This small mistake could lead to nasty burns or even explosion.

•Turning on the Charger: After you have connected both the terminals perfectly, connect the charger with an electric outlet. Turn on the switch to let the power flow. The battery will charge itself. You should leave the charger overnight for complete charging. When you wake in the morning turn off the charger and check the reading on the battery. If you get a reading of less than one ampere you can switch off the power outlet.

•Checking the Battery: Post charging you should check whether the battery works or not. You should use a Hydrometer for the purpose and measure the amount of electric energy contained in the fluid. Now, turn on the engine. If the engine does not start, consider replacing the battery immediately.
Charging the battery should follow a step by step process as mentioned above.

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