How to charge a car battery

Friday 9th October 2020

how to charge a car battery

Wondering how to charge a car battery correctly? Or how long it takes for a car battery to charge? Our guide to charging batteries has you covered with everything you need to know.

Firstly, it’s important to understand why you might need to charge your battery. Your car’s battery can become flat for a number of reasons – such as forgetting to turn off your vehicle’s lights, if there is a fault with the vehicle or if the vehicle hasn’t been driven for a long time. Often, car batteries can also die faster during the colder months – learn more about why this happens from our detailed guide.

As a quick fix, jump-starting the battery is likely to solve the problem. This involves using another car which has a charged battery, two jump leads and transferring the battery charge from one vehicle to the other. Although jump-starting is a great quick fix to get you back  on the road again, learning how to charge a car battery at home is always helpful.

How to recharge a car battery

  • Check your car’s battery – initially, you need to establish what type of car battery your vehicle has, and if your car has stop/start technology – which would mean a more conventional charger is needed. If you’re not sure what type of battery your car has, consult your vehicle handbook – or contact your local Formula One Autocentre.
  • Clean lead terminals – if dirty or corroded, it’s important to clean the lead terminals coming out the top of your battery and the clamps that connect them.
  • Disconnect the car battery – when it comes to disconnecting the battery, disconnect the negative lead first (which is typically black) and reconnect it last. Loosen the clamps to undo the terminals, ensuring to choose the negative first, and then move them to one side.
  • Connect your charger – ensure to keep the charger as far away as possible from the battery. Connect the clamps of the charger to the terminals of the battery, making sure that you match negative to negative, and positive to positive as you go. Then you’re ready to start charging your car’s battery!

How long does it take to charge a car battery?

Usually, it will take around 4 – 24 hours to charge a car battery from flat. However, it’s important to remember that this will depend on a variety of factors – including how many amperes the car battery is charging with, the type of car battery and the size of the battery.

As soon as your car battery has finished charging, you can unplug the charger and disconnect the clamps from the terminals. At this point, it’s now safe to reconnect your battery to your vehicle – remembering to connect positive first and negative last.

If you’re not sure on your battery’s health, book in for a free battery health check at your local Formula One Autocentre now.  

Price Promise

We simply WON’T be beaten on price! Check out our Price Promise

We simply WON’T be beaten on price!

Check out our Price Promise

Family Owned

Formula One Autocentres are a family owned company providing value, care and service locally for over 50 years

What people are saying about us...

  • My nearest place often over looked but wish I'd used you sooner as superb all round.

    - Paul, Bristol (St. Philips) - Sep 11, 2020
  • I needed to book my MOT fairly urgently so being able to book online without phoning and picking my time slot was really helpful. The MOT was done at the specified time and the car was ready for me to pick up when I arrived. The F1 member of staff spoke to me about the advisories on the MOT and explained some options to me. All very helpful and informative and professional. Couldn't ask for a better service really. Many thanks.

    - James, Southampton (West Quay Road) - Sep 13, 2020
  • Very helpful and polite staff, always explain well what needs to be done and why

    - Chelmsford - Sep 9, 2020
and there’s more >>

Service you can trust

4.5 Stars on Trust Pilot
Motor Industry Code of Practice