How to Use a Battery Car Charger

Views 1 Like Comments Comment
Like if this Guide is helpful
How to Use a Battery Car Charger

Waking up to a dead car battery is not fun. Luckily, a battery car charger can save the day by getting the car started again. Chargers take varying amounts of time to do this, with some taking minutes and others taking all day. There are several different kinds of chargers, such as a jump starter and a 12-volt charger. The process might seem simple, but taking precautions are important to avoid damaging the car, the battery, or the charger.


Preparing to Use the Car Battery Charger

Before attaching the battery charger, turn the car off and open the bonnet. Locate the car battery terminals and clean them with baking soda and water. If there is much corrosion on the terminals, scrub it off using a wire brush. Take care to wear safety glasses while doing this. Check the amount of water in each cell. If it is low, add distilled water until the cell is full according to the battery manufacturer.


Charging the Battery

Place the charger as far away from the vehicle and battery as possible. Look on the battery to determine the voltage and set the charger to the same. If the charger has an adjustable rate, but no voltage listed, start charging the battery on the lowest setting. Connect the red (positive) clip to the positive battery terminal, denoted by a '+'. Connect the black clip (negative) to the chassis. However, if the ground wire to the battery connects to the positive terminal instead of the negative, connect the negative clip to the negative terminal and the positive one to the frame.


Plug the charger in or turn it on at this time. Follow the instructions included with the battery charger since different manufacturers include directions that might not be the same. When the user turns the charger on, it starts charging the battery. Batteries can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 16 hours to charge, depending on the amount of charge and acid left in the battery.

Using a 12-volt Charger vs. Jump Starter

There is a big difference as to how a 12-volt automatic charger and jump starter work. The jump starter does not fully charge the car's battery but is useful in a pinch. It is one-time use, which means the driver must charge it after using it to start the car. A 12-volt car battery charger charges the battery using the home power outlet.



12-Volt Charger

Jump Starter

Portable charger



Charges battery




1.25-225 amps

Up to 500

Time to charge battery

30 minutes to 16 hours

Within minutes


If the driver does not charge a jump starter regularly, the internal battery loses its charge. Drivers should check the jump starter monthly and ensure that they charge it after use. Charging the jump starter takes 12 to 36 hours, depending on the charger brand.


Noting the amperage of the car battery charger is important. This measurement determines how fast the battery charges. A lower amperage means that a car battery could take 16 hours to charge if the battery lacks a charge. Higher amperage means the battery charges fast, but this can damage the battery, which is why many chargers offer different amperage settings. Following the specifications outlined by the manufacturer for charging the battery ensures a lesser chance of explosion.


How to Buy a Car Battery Charger on eBay

When it gets very cold outside, or your car's battery is old, having a car battery charger on hand is necessary to avoid being stuck at home with a dead battery. The sellers on eBay offer many different car battery maintainers and chargers. Instead of buying just one charger, you should consider having both a portable charger to keep in the car, and a 12-volt car battery charger to keep in the garage. You can find both types of chargers by simply typing the search terms into the box at the top of most eBay pages.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides