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How to Use a Portable Car Battery Charger (A Step by Step Guide)

Portable battery chargers help you provide a burst of power so you can start your car. Once it’s running, the engine will take care of the remainder of the recharge.

Here are some vital steps explaining how to use a portable car battery charger.

Step 1 – Safety First

You’re dealing with electricity, so use caution. Remove any dangling jewelry, pull back long hair, and roll up long sleeves or other loose clothing. Wear eye and hand protection, too. Always watch the location of the red and black clamps as you work. Touching them to the wrong surface can result in a shock.

Step 2 – Check the Car Manual

Before you hook up a portable car battery charger, make sure you know what voltage system you have. Most battery chargers use a 12-volt, negative ground system.  Check to see if the car has a remote jump starter embedded in the engine, as well as a positive ground if it uses a 6-volt system.  

how to use a portable car battery charger

Step 3 – Clean the Terminals

Another important step on how to use a portable car battery charger is cleaning the terminals. Corroded, dirty terminals inhibit the efficient flow of current from the battery to the charger cable and from the charger to the battery. Clean the battery terminals with baking soda mixed with water using a wire brush. You should thoroughly rinse the terminals after using the baking soda to neutralize any acid that has accumulated.

Step 4 – Connect Cables

In order to charge a flat or low battery, you don’t need to connect the car battery cables in the same order as when you jump start it. It is important to unplug the charger from the power source before doing this.

Ensure the connections are strong and good before connecting the negative cable.

Step 5 – Set Charge Rate

The different type of car battery chargers come with a selection of charge rates. Keep in mind that as the charge rate increases, so will the internal temperature of the battery and the slower your battery will function. In case of a hurry, you should charge the battery at a higher rate of 50 Amps. This is the maximum rate you should charge the battery at.   

how to use a portable car battery charger

Step 6 – Plug In, Turn On

As soon as you have connected the cables and set the charge rate, plug in and turn on the charger. Remove the vent caps to ensure explosive hydrogen gas does not build up in the batteries.

We hope this information on how to use a portable car battery charger helped you out with your battery problems. In order to charge your car battery safely, you should follow the above information when using a portable charger. If you still have any queries regarding how to use a portable car battery charger, you can let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

You May Also Like to Read: Common Car Battery Types and Car Battery Chargers

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