A drained battery can occasionally plague us. Sometimes it's due to carelessness such as forgetting to turn off the headlights or it could be because of some malfunction in the car's electrical system. Whatever the cause, a drained battery does not necessarily have to be replaced. It can be made useful again through a car battery charger.
- Buy only a car battery charger that is compatible for your car's battery. Have your car user's manual and read about the appropriate car battery charger to buy. In most cases, battery chargers with 1 to 30 amperes will be sufficient. You might want to consider buying a battery charger that is capable of trickle charging. This will especially be useful if you will be charging a car battery for days at a time. Chargers that do trickle charge will minimize severe damage to the batteries by loading only small amount of electrical currents; so disconnecting it from the battery will not be necessary.
- Turn everything off. Always be on the safe side to avoid accidents. Turn the car's engine off first before doing any battery charging. Aside from that, a running engine will almost always conflict with a charger which could result to inadequately charged car battery.
- Disconnect the battery. The next thing that you will need to do is to disconnect the car battery from the car's electrical system. Do this by pulling out the cable connectors found at the terminal posts of the car battery. Bear in mind to unfasten the negative one which is typically a black cable first followed by the positive one which is a red cable.
- Connect the battery charger to the car battery. Make sure that the battery charger is not plugged to the power strip yet before doing this step to avoid accidental electrocution. The next thing to do is to finally hook up the battery charger to the car battery. Notice that there are markers for positive (+) and negative (-) on the car battery's terminal posts. Now, grab the battery charger and hook up the red-colored positive cable first to the terminal post with the marker for positive (+). Next is to hook up the black-colored negative cable to the terminal post marked with negative (-).
- Charge your car's battery. Before turning on the battery charger, make sure that the positive and negative cables were hooked up to the correct terminal posts. The car battery may explode if incorrect connection of cables were done. Once you are certainly sure, you can now finally switch on the battery charger. If the charger you have comes with a gauge, then you should see the progress of the battery charging process. If what you have is the older model however, then it would be safe to leave it charging for no more than a day.
As with most electrical equipment, when handling car batteries and chargers one should always keep in mind safety measures to avoid injury or damaging the equipment itself. Read through your car battery charger's manual as well as sections in your car's manual that deal with the batteries.