How To Charge Your Car Battery

Charging your car battery is an important aspect of vehicle maintenance. Your battery’s power can run low for of a number of reasons including age, a fault or leaving the headlights or other electrical features of the car on for a prolonged period. If you don’t feel up to disconnecting and charging the battery yourself then consult an expert.

Steps To Changing Your Battery

  1. Park on a flat, level surface with the handbrake on and the keys removed from the ignition. Some newer models automatically activate the central locking once the battery is removed so ensure that you have the keys on you at all time and not on the dashboard. Car batteries contain strong, corrosive acid so make sure you have gloves and goggles on at all times.
  2. Before charging your battery, make sure you have all the booklets for the electrical features of the vehicle. Sometimes radios and built in satellite navigation systems forget stored information and settings upon the battery being removed from the vehicle.
  3. Open up the bonnet and secure it using the bonnet stay.
  4. Find the battery amongst the engine and other mechanics of the car. Sometimes the battery could be in the boot of the car or even under the driver or passenger seat. Check your manual for more information on how to locate your battery.
  5. Remove all of the protective plastics and clips from the battery cover so that you have easy access.
  6. If you have the resources available, label or take note of which cable is which so that there are no accidents in the next few steps.
  7. Like most electrical appliances, it’s important to disconnect the negative before the positive. Doing this in reverse can cause damage to the car’s electrics.
  8. Loosen and disconnect (still wearing your protective equipment) the negative cable clamp. In most cases the clamp itself will be marked with a (“-“) minus symbol. Once disconnected, move the clamp itself away from the battery.
  9. Repeat the steps above with the positive (“+”) clamp.
  10. Remove any screws or clips keeping the battery in place if it doesn’t slot out. Disconnect vents that may be attached to the battery and carefully lift it out of the vehicle. Car batteries are a lot heavier than they look and can cause more damage than you think if dropped on a foot. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you can’t lift it.
  11. Ensure that the charger you have is suitable for the model of your car. Fit the battery charger’s red clip to the positive post and the black clip to the negative.
  12. Connect the battery charger to the mains and check that the clips are all securely in place. Now switch on the power. A green light should show to notify you that it is charging (depending on the model).
  13. Once charging is complete, a second light will be illuminated (depending on the model). Switch off the power and starting with the black lead. Place the freshly charged battery back into its place in the car.
  14. Connect any clips and vents to keep the battery in place.
  15. Reconnect the positive first and then the negative clamps, ensuring they are clipped as far down the battery posts as possible.
  16. Your car can now be started again.

If this step by step guide still feels you feeling a little out of your depth, simply call your local Protyres centre and get one of our experts to do that for you.

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About the author

Dean Richardson

Dean is a Regional Director for Protyre who is also responsible for the running of our Protech Academy. The Protech Academy is a centre of excellence where the Protyre team learn the latest mechanical knowledge and skills, gain qualifications and develop their expertise to share with our customers at their local garage. The Academy is also designed to help us stay ahead of the ever changing automotive market by ensuring we have the best skills available to deal with advanced driver assist systems, hybrid/ electric vehicles in addition to all the new technology finding their way into our vehicles. During Dean's career he has worked for some of the biggest names in the fast-fit and mechanical aftermarket and as the man responsible for developing our people and their mechanical skills he is ideally suited to help provide advice in the latest in car technology and ongoing maintenance of your vehicle no matter how new or old it maybe.

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