How Do You Use a Battery Charger?

How Do You Use a Battery Charger?

Charge your vehicle's battery by reading the instruction manual for the charger, attaching the charger to the battery, setting the switches, plugging in the charger, waiting an appropriate time and disconnecting the charger. Most chargers shut off automatically.

  1. Read the manual

    Each charger is slightly different. Take time to familiarize yourself with the charger you are using. Make sure you know the purpose of the various switches and dials.

  2. Attach the charger

    Attach the charger to the battery, with the red lead to the positive post and the black lead to the negative terminal. Most chargers work with the battery installed or removed from the car.

  3. Set the switches

    Set the charger to match the voltage of the battery. Choose the charging rate. While a higher rate provides a faster charge, the slower rate is usually better for the battery if you have the time.

  4. Plug in the charger

    Insert the power plug into a household outlet. Check the dial to ensure the battery is charging.

  5. Wait for the battery to charge

    Make sure your battery charger shuts off automatically. If not, consult the chart in the owner's manual for the amount of time to charge your battery.

  6. Disconnect the charger

    Unplug the charger from the outlet, and disconnect the leads from the battery terminal. Close the hood, and attempt to start the car. If the battery did not charge, it may require replacement.