How to Use a Trickle Charger

A trickle charger for your car is designed to be left on your vehicle battery for a few hours to recharge the battery when it goes dead. The trickle charger slowly adds charge to the battery while preventing the loss of charge that normally happens. The way the trickle charger recharges your battery prevents damage. When using a trickle charger make sure you follow all the instructions to keep yourself and your vehicle safe.

How To Use the Trickle Charger

The trickle charger uses a battery regulator so that the charge going into the battery is about the same as it would be if the vehicle was running. If a battery is charged too fast or is over charged it can damage the battery. First you will set the amperage and voltage that match your battery on the trickle charger. Also check all the switches and buttons on the trickle charger and set them for your battery before connecting the trickle charger to a power source.

Ensure the Vehicle is Ready

Your vehicle needs to be in a well ventilated space to use a trickle charger. It should be sitting outside or under a carport. The vehicle needs to be where it won’t get wet. If the day is nice, you can put the vehicle outside. Using a trickle charger can produce excess hydrogen gas. If the excess gas is allowed to accumulate inside an enclosed area like a garage, it can explode and cause a fire. Make sure your ignition is turned off and the key is removed.

Find a Good Ground Location

You will be attaching the black cable of the trickle charger to a grounding location on your vehicle. The best place is a bare spot of metal on the vehicle frame or a large bolt that is attached to the engine block or chassis. If you can’t find any of those places, you can use any metal area that is free of dirt, grease, and grime. Never use the negative terminal of the battery as it could cause an explosion or fire.

Attach the Cables

Now you are ready to attach the cables of the trickle charger. Take the red alligator clip and attach it securely to the positive post on the battery. Take the negative or black alligator clip and attach it to the best grounding place you found in the step above. Make sure both connections are good and secure.

Turn on the Charger

Once the connections have been done and you are sure they are secure, plug in the charger and turn it on. While the trickle charger is plugged in never touch the two alligator clips together. There should be a place on the charger where you can read whether it is charging or not. Some have a dial and some have a digital read out. The readout will read higher on a dead battery and lower or 0 on a fully charged battery. If this meter reads low, your battery may not need charged or your ground connection is not good. Turn off the charger and reconnect the black alligator clip more securely. Turn the charger on again. If the charger will not charge after a few minutes, your battery is completely dead. If it begins charging, keep it on the vehicle until the meter reads that it is full. Most trickle chargers will turn themselves off when the battery is fully charged.

Using a trickle charger for you car is the best way to charge up a dead battery. By using the trickle charger you will put back the charge at the same rate as when the car is running. By using the trickle charger you won’t overcharge the battery or charge it too quickly which can cause damage. Some trickle chargers can be left on the car for a few days without harm. Others can be left on for months. Check your trickle charger’s manuals to see which kind yours is.