The battery remains cloaked by the hood of the car. Just like most others, you might not even know what’s going on under there. Having an idea of how long it usually takes will help you know when things are going wrong under there. Let’s enhance your intuition on calculating that.
How Long Does It Take to Charge a Car Battery While Driving? | The Facts You Need to Know
You are, probably, damaging the battery if you tend to remain in a charging position for a fixed number of hours. There’s no absolute number that can be firmly presented as an answer. Rather there’s some considerations and calculations that are to be known deeply.
- Does It Need the Recharge?
Okay, what’s the reason behind your intention of charging the battery? A wild guess is a battery is dead and you’re unable to start the engine. But wait a minute. Did you figure out the cause of this halt? Let’s figure out the root of this unexpected break by answering these questions.
- Is it long that you’re using this battery?
A rugged battery should not require any recharge within the first five years of service. If you’re using the battery for long since, normally, this old guy requires some boost.
Even the battery is not completely dead yet, you should check the terminal voltage of the battery. Ideally, these car batteries are of 12 V. But when you connect a multimeter across the terminals, 12 to 12.6 V reading indicates that the battery is in a perfect working state.
- When you did fully charged it last?
If you’re driving in normal circumstances, the frequent recharge is not needed. But some car owners stated that the batteries require a frequent recharge. Recall the date when you last recharged. If the battery shows the tendency to store charge for a short period, you may need to replace the battery.
- Did you leave the battery unused for long?
You may not believe that a car battery decreases one percent of charge daily when not in use. That’s why, an average car with some basic features can sustain a charge for one month. But in some power-hungry higher-end cars, the period can be only two weeks. Then the battery has to be recharged.
- Did you accidentally leave any electronics running for a while on battery power?
As you know, the electronics in your cars are battery-powered. This includes radio, lights, indicators, or any add-ons installed for modification. If you accidentally leave these running, the battery will be dead soon and then a jump start or a recharge is the savior.
All it means is, you are using an old battery and didn’t recharge it for a while or you didn’t use the battery for a couple of weeks or months, the battery needs a recharge. In other cases, the battery is faulty and a recharge won’t give you that benefit.
Determining the Charge Time for Your Battery
Once you’ve determined the cause of the drainage of the charge in your battery, it’s the time to think about the method of recharge and, of course, the time required in those processes. There are two basic ways by which the battery can be charged.
Recharge While Driving
The battery charges whenever the engine is running. This process is designed in a manner that the alternator will be charging your battery regardless of the car is being driven or not. If you leave the engine at the idle position in parking, the battery will be charged eventually. But this process is a bit slower.
Another way is to start the car (if the battery is completely dead, you can try a jump start it) and then drive it. If you want a full recharge, you need to drive it for one and a half hours at 1000 pm. In this time, lights and radio have to be turned off and try not to use the indicators randomly.
Recharge by a Battery Charger
A car battery charger is a good option if you want overnight, safe recharge. When you jump start your car, it creates an aftershock for the battery. But when you’re using a charger, this chance is mitigated and thus longer life of the battery is ensured.
You can find many varieties of battery chargers. These chargers are designed in such a way that after switching with a power outlet, it charges the battery safely. Nowadays you’ll find solar battery chargers too.
The basic form of battery charger is a linear charger that can charge a 12 V battery within 12 hours. These chargers commonly use 2.7 amp to store charge in the battery. But the multistage chargers (the more expensive option) use 50 amp and safeguard the battery from overcharging, which can make it faster.
Connect trickle chargers when the battery is not in use. This charger uses .8 amp to 4 amp to slowly charge the battery. Once connected, this charger can remain to charge for months. It’s a good choice while you leave the vehicle for a hibernation.
Hopefully, now you know whether you need to recharge the battery or not. Whichever process you choose, let the safety come fast. In some chargers, you need to open the cell cap. While doing so, don’t touch anything with bare hands. It’s better to have gloves or clean the surface with basic solutions.