How Long Does It Take To Charge A Car Battery?

It can often be a frustrating process to get a grip on car vehicles and their specific charging patterns with safety as a priority. This is most especially the case when you need a ride or want to get the job done in the most effective and efficient way possible on the occasion that you need it for.

If you have ever had the experience of having been reeled in or pushed through by people because your battery could not start properly, then you all know what is being talked about here.

And, even worse, ever had a dead car battery and really did not know how you need to go about things when it comes to jumpstarting the engine?

Well, in this article, you will be guided and accounted for when it comes to car charging and car batteries and most specifically, on questions regarding how long does it takes to charge a car battery—real important for a lot of people.

Let us just go and hit you with some truth points right here: how long it takes for a car charger to charge a car battery varies depending on whether the car has a dead battery, voltage range adjustments and essentially, temperature sensitive fluctuations that may occur based on the type of materials these car batteries are made of.

But a rough estimate is around 12 hours. Wow, quite a whoosh of information right? Well, yes, it is a boatload of stuff running through that answer but it is an appropriate answer with regards on how long to charge a given car battery.

Given that answer, you really just have to take heed of each factor and you can get your own estimate as to how you personalize and customize your charging times appropriate and justified for you.

But, if you are interested in getting a deep dive into the details (the devil is in the details, as they say), then be sure to scroll down further as this article can give you a breakdown as to how this all shakes out to give you a perspective on this question or ask car battery experts like Mark Neal from BatteryManGuide, because they are well known and reliable people when it comes to battery information.

Real Talk Question No.1; Is Your Car Battery Actually Dead?

First off, when it comes to charging your dear car batteries, please do secure and gather information on whether the car battery is dead. The state of “dead” is different from being undercharged or overcharged. Dead car batteries are batteries that will not push through their engine process until you jumpstart.
Okay, so what is a “jump start?”.

It is a term often used when indicating a process by which you give enough of a “charge” to a given dead battery strong (and safe enough) in order to get the battery cells (that are dead) in motion, again.

All right, all right, genius. How does one jumpstart the car battery so I can move on to knowing the length or duration of charging my car batteries?

Well, for a proper jumpstart to work, you most likely need these things that are mentioned now:

1. Your dead car battery (and your car)
2. A spare car (say your friend’s) with a charged car battery
3. A set of cables to attach to terminals

Oh, and you might want to do this process in a well-ventilated place (in the case of gas leaks) and having the two cars near each other (hey, those cables can only go so far, you know what I mean?).

That said, you can now attach the cables in their respective positive (+) and negative (-) terminals, starting with the positive first (to the charged car battery and then to the dead car battery) and negative last (same as with the positive terminal setup).

After charging, you remove them in the order that is reversed to the order you put them in. Make sure to turn off appliances connected to the cars while doing this.

The “jumpstart” should take about two minutes for the charged car to transfer a charge and then another two or three minutes for the dead car battery to receive it. Take as many (safe) repeats as needed to get the process done and have someone supervise and monitor, if at all possible.

Real Talk Question 2: Do Amperes and Voltage Range Determines How Long To Charge?

So, the first question really dealt with the car battery. This question, however, deals much more on the aspects attributed to the charger of the car as opposed to the former.

And the determination of how a charger can help in lengthening or shortening the charging process is an important consideration to make with regards to the overall duration of how long a “charge process” in a car can be made in summary.

This said, what are some aspects to a charger that we can look at to help us understand how they affect the overall charging rate. Firstly, though this aspect is about chargers, we must take note that cars usually have a voltage system of about 12 volts.

And they are usually like that when it comes to standardization. That means, if you have a charger that has, say, a 40-ampere distribution, you can charge a battery charge level but a slow and steady charger of about 2-ampere distribution is potentially safer in terms of keeping a car battery at a sustainable level (safer and less dangerous).

Okay, let us take into account some sample observations between amps and charging rates to car batteries:

At 40 amps…

You will get (as stated above) a quick and overall more efficient charge. This kind of charging rate will transfer over to more convenient jumpstarts, especially when in the midst of traveling. Problems can occur, of course, when you have the risk of overcharging when it comes to rates like these. These can damage the battery overtime when not monitored properly.

Cases of overcharging are common enough and most experts add in the recommendation of now only getting chargers at the 40-ampere range but also that it be a “smart” charger. This indicates that the charger has a more advanced and integrated microchip system to become automatic enough to understand when a “fully charged” state is achieved (even without you monitoring).

At 2 amps…

Well, compared to a higher rate off charging, “slow and steady” is often an appropriate level of description when it comes to this. This can take then than a very, very reasonably long time for your car battery to charge (as much as 24 hours, bro!) to reach an acceptable state.

Often, this is not only associated with “slow and steady” but also termed as a “trickle” type charger. If we could joke about it, we can also refer to it as a “tickle” charger (right, that was bad, sorry).

Moving on, this is obviously not so much a good choice for someone traveling and going on to the location to location. This is more for a reservation based charge and at a conservative rate (to boot!). Again, experts seem to agree that despite 40 amps and 2 amps, a safe bet is to go with a “smart charger”.

At 4 amps…

This is good not so much for traveling nor for a long time reservation, but a balanced rate of charging. This is ideal for smaller vehicles like motorcycles or motorbikes and other smaller designed batteries. In many ways, especially in ampere range, this is not dissimilar to a trickle charger or slow charger.

In terms Again, there seems to be no dispute among experts that the type of battery charger investment should be for the “smart” kind. It is a balanced charger and serves a bridge between the different charger current ranges.

So, between these ranges, it is important to check out these possibilities and scenarios on considering where to get a really good charger or you can make a homemade car battery charger on your own. Remember, a charger (especially a smart type) can really go a long way to help the charging process in terms of efficiency.

So, never underestimate the power of a very, very convenient accessory.

Real Talk Question No.3: Determinations On Overall Car Battery Charging


Okay, so we’ve reached the rundown. As stated way above, the overall charging rate of your car batteries can be greatly affected when two co-factors meet: a dead battery and the ampere – voltage range relationships between a car and car batteries. Why are they important and is there a third co-factor?

Again, a dead battery is essentially in a discharged state and so it will have to take a jumpstart to get the battery cells working through the engine system again. This is important because a discharged battery can corrode over time and may never even jumpstart again.

And again, a car battery charger can affect a car battery charging rate because, in most standardized products of car batteries, their voltage range remains constant. This is important because a high charging rate charger can run the risk of overcharging and a slow charging rate charger can run the risk of undercharging.

But, what about the third co-factor? This is referred to as a “temperature sensitivity” and it has to do with, first and foremost, the temperature of both chargers and batteries. But, more so, it has a lot to do with the temperature of the car batteries themselves. Specifically, we have to address the important information that can be taken with regards to the material that a car battery that a car battery has. So, under this co-factor, you can list down temperature sensitivity of car battery material.

Of particular note is the temperature that a battery can endure when it comes to recharging. This is especially true when you do not have a “smart: type charger that can monitor temperature sensitivities for you. When such a situation is placed, monitor temperature is placed at a paramount priority.

In this sense, a longer discharged battery will have a rough time going through recharge and will be extra sensitive to new currents of energy (yes, the temperature is a real thing). This, in potential, can lead to the battery having a rather hot temperature upon charging and in that sense, one should be able to stop charging just to stay on the safe side of the operation.

In this co-factor, it is important to focus on reading voltage rate. In this case, experts have recommended the use of a voltmeter to get an accurate, more precise reading on temperature fluctuations. This is important when it regards to what is referred as an “open circuit voltage” or the rate at which the charge is continued or in the process of continuing.

It is thus, recommended, for users to know the state of their car batteries from their last charge-up (this could be from ranges of 0, 25, 50, 70 and 100 percent charging)—put the proper amount of amperes for the right type of charging state. QUICK NOTE: A 12.2 voltage reading on the voltmeter is usually at 50%.

Also, materials matter because of the new science and upgrades batteries are using to help bring more convenience to this charging.

Among materials to be aware of in terms of car batteries are these:

Lead-Acid
Gel
AGM (Absorbent Glas Mat) Technology

Though temperature readings and temperature awareness (hence the recommendation for well-ventilated rooms) is more important, the type of materials used to can bring about changes in terms of how well a battery fills up or tolerates through charging cycles.

In particular…

Lead Acid Types are the standardized types of batteries that people buy. They charge right but has the potential for getting leaks out quickly.

Gel types are recommended as better to lead-acid types as they do not use a sulfur liquid formation (lead-acid does). The problem is that it is also sensitive to overcharging.

AGM or Absorbent Glass Mat types are often touted as a better form of this charge five times faster than the relative models stated above. They are quite helpful in terms of use in marine operations because their charging tolerance can be taken to “deep cycle” processes, which marine operations rely upon.

Overall, to bring the point across, “how long does it takes to charge a car battery” is a question will be determined, most likely, by these factors. So, keep them in mind. And to keep safe.

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