Many people would love their car batteries to have a prolonged lifespan. Well, this comes with accurate measures and practices during the battery's usage and charging. The batteries used in cars include Starting, Lighting, and ignition Batteries (SLI), Lithium-ion batteries, lead-acid batteries, among others.
The safety and correct charging practices guarantee a long battery life. Most people are not aware of the dangers of lousy battery usage. Among them are charging your car battery overnight, using an incorrect battery charger, and so forth. These practices tend to reduce your car's battery performance, and eventually, the lifespan of the battery is shortened.
This is the most frequently asked questions by car owners and car drivers. One may wish to leave their car battery charging overnight because of many reasons. He/she might be having a trip early in the morning, or there is power rationing, so they want to utilize the available power at that time. Convenient as they might seem, these practice has a detrimental effect on your car battery.
The dangers of charging a car battery overnight are highlighted below:
?Explosion- Leaving your car battery overnight means that the battery will overcharge. Temperature builds up inside the cells of the car battery and what follows is an explosion. These batteries tend to overheat and cause a fire.
If the car battery is sealed, the accumulation of hydrogen and oxygen gases causes the car battery to burst.
?Damage of the battery- Overcharging a car battery causes excessive gassing. The electrolyte becomes hot, and both hydrogen and oxygen gas are generated. Besides, the electrolyte could evaporate, leaving the plates exposed. The plates eventually corrode and get ruined.
?Stress on the car battery-Most car batteries suffer from stress when dwelling at a full-state-of-charge. When charging the car battery overnight repeatedly means its recoverable capacity will reduce. This reduces the life expectancy of the car battery. Most heat builds up as it nears 100% charge owing to fast charging.
However, you can delay the degradation of the car battery when charging overnight. An essential practice is limiting the time spent at full charge. You can follow the tips below:
- Have a committed charging routine manager. Plugin the battery charger hours before you sleep, depending on battery charging speed and battery level.
- Use a slow charger, avoiding fast charging. This will help reduce charging heat and time spent at full charge.
- If you must charge your car battery overnight, opt for a smart charging cable that cuts off power automatically at full charge. By so doing, the degradation of the car battery is minimized.
- To reduce heat while charging, car batteries are to be charged where heat is dissipated.
- Remove any car battery casing before plugging in. The casing traps heat and slows down cooling.
Most cars will charge a completely discharged battery after forty-five minutes of driving. This is possible when the car is not using electrical components such as wipers, lights, and air conditioning, if available. Generally, it is not easy to accurately determine when a car can run to charge the battery. It depends on many factors, including the car's speed, engine horsepower and weather conditions, the battery's health, and so forth.
If your car battery is connected to your car, the battery drains faster, especially if it is equipped with an alarm system, onboard computers, radio, and climate control settings. Most car battery manufacturers recommend that a car should be driven and not lest idle.
A car is also equipped with and alternator or generator which maintains the battery and not charging it. Research shows that if you drive for short trips, you shorten your battery's life as the battery never fully charges.
Besides, if you travel on a highway, the car battery will take approximately 30 minutes before being charged. Driving in the city might take long, about an hour before the car battery is recharged.
If the battery is healthy, recharging it using the vehicle alternator is considered safe. All you need is to drive the car using as little electricity as possible, all heating and cooling functions off, radio is off and lights off during the day. The alternator will send as much energy into the battery as possible.
How do you use a car battery charger?
There are different car battery chargers, including trickle chargers, fast chargers, and trickle chargers. A battery charger delivers current into the rechargeable car battery. The rate of charging largely depends on the size and type of battery being charged.
The average capacity of a car battery is about 48 amp-hours. A primary charger uses 2 amp to charge the battery. A wide range of chargers with different rates is available from 2 to 10 amps. The battery charger is plugged into the battery to commence charging.
Before connecting the charger, check the electrolyte level and top up if necessary. If the car has an alternator, it is advisable to disconnect the battery terminals. Remove separate cell caps for ventilation. Clamp the positive lead from the charger, which is colored red, to the positive battery post. Clamp the negative lead, usually black, to the negative terminal.
The charger is plugged into the main socket and switched on. You will know that the battery is being charged as you will see the indicator light. When the car battery nears a full charge, the cells bubbles and produces gas.
After charging the car battery, please please switch off the mains and safely unplug the charger before removing its terminal clips. If you do not follow this process, then it may result in clips sparking, which can ignite the gases given off during charging.
Ensure that all the electrical circuits are switched off in the car when the battery is reconnected.
It is not safe to charge your car battery overnight as it damages the battery. Replacing a damaged battery will cost you significantly. To avoid all these extra costs, follow your battery manufacturer on the car battery's usage and maintenance. Select the correct charger for your car battery. Once you adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines, extended battery life is guaranteed.
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