It is said by people with regards to many a thing: do not just ram it in there. And, that is indeed true for many things, from knives on food and to things like chargers and plugin devices.
Yes, we would like to think that we know a bit too much when it comes to our devices (and maybe we do) but there are a good number of cases where this is not the case. And, as convenient as shoving things can be, dangerous situations are near and dear and it would serve us best to get away from them. Case in point, a car battery charger.
Think you know them? Well, read on the article to see where you can improve and maybe brush up on things you might not have considered how to use a car battery charger.
Okay, basics of the basics when it comes to terminology: jumpstart. Yes, the same term used for starting up an engine is the same term (and approach, in a way) to startup or hookup a car battery charger.
On the whole, when it comes to using a car battery charger, we need to safely and securely improve the process we jumpstart the charger to battery connection. If we or you can accomplish that, that is pretty much it. Without the “jump”, it may often than not lead to a “spark”.
And no, a “spark” is not a great word when it comes to these things. What comes with a “spark” can either be dead (a mild situation) or alive as in fire (a very bad situation).
So, while we know the principle that is needed, the rest of this article will cover a safer (and cleaner) set of methodology that can serve to help you in the long run, if you are interested.
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Prepping A Car Battery
All right Here is the easy (but no less important part) of the process. Check it out:
1. Investigate your car battery manual and your car battery charger. The standard issue of car batteries will be a 12-volt rating for their system. The charging voltage or rates will vary and they can fluctuate depending on the temperature sensitivity.
2. An area that is well opened or well ventilated is encouraged. Just when we were talking about temperature sensitives! In all seriousness though, this is important to charging because of leaks of hydrogen gas dissipate, due to the sulfuric acid that comes the batteries use. It helps that the area is relatively free of materials that cause a fire or is poisonous. Adding to advice, do not forget to remind yourself of wearing extra protection or eyes and other vital areas where gas can cause damage. And do not forget to shut down accessories connected to your car like phone chargers and other equipment.
3. Get to know your battery and its terminals. Batteries have ports that are termed as terminals (shameless laugh) and have energy polarities associated with them (wires too). These polarities are labeled positive (+) and negative (-). The wires associated with them are also labeled with red and black. The black wires are connected with negative (-) polarities and red wires are connected with positive (-) polarities. Please disconnect the negative terminal and positive terminal, respectively. Proceed to remove the battery from the vehicle.
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Plugging In A Car Battery Charger
In this part, it is important not to rush in as it deals with items and processes that can greatly aggravate the situation if not observed well. No rush, take your time. That said:
1. The battery terminals need to be cleaned. Given that you have protective gear already in place, proceed to clean up any corrosive material within the battery terminal. Experts often go to utilizing or using water-based baking soda solutions in order to get this job done. Best to heed their advice. Add in a brush and a cloth to be extra safe (even if you have gloves on).
2. Distilled water (clean water) is to be poured enough to the battery cells. Ensuring this step is accomplished provides a safety precaution towards the dispersion of compounds like hydrogen and its gas.
3. The car battery charger should be away from the battery (if lines permit). The distribution should be side to side but a distance needs to be there in case “sparks happen” (not the good kind).
4. The charger should be within the right amount of voltage. Referring or deferring to manuals is then needed for this. In case of doubt, it is best to start out with a lower setting (even the lowest), if tolerated.
5. Connect charging clips to terminals. The first clip should be connected to the positive (+) end and the second is connected to the ground or negative (-) end. Take extra precaution as you go through these.
6. In an outlet, plug in the charger. Along with the charger itself, a three-pronged grounded plug will be there. This plug should appropriately go into a three-pronged outlet.
7. Let the charger do its thing and wait for a full charge. Again, referring or deferring to manufacturer manuals helps in determining the appropriate charging rate.
8. Disconnect the charger by unplugging. This is crucial and should be the first step in unplugging.
9. Reverse the order when it comes to the clips. The order is reversed when removing the clips you plugged into terminals. So, the grounded (negative) clips should be removed first, and then the positive clips.
10. The (now) fully charged battery is connected back to the vehicle.
11. The cables are then applied in standard order. The positive terminal should be reconnected first and followed by the negative terminal.
Whew. That may have been a doozy, but necessary. All in all, this should help you out when it comes to knowing how to use a car battery charger. Safety counts and with this, it can count for a very long time as a car user.