How Long Does it Take to Charge a Car Battery? – Ultimate Experts Guide

There are different sizes and types of car batteries for vehicles. As a careful car owner, you need to know how long it takes to charge a car battery to avoid damaging it.

There is nothing worse than getting in the car on a cold morning and running out of battery. It’s especially frustrating when you’ve started it multiple times and the mechanic keeps saying there’s nothing wrong with it.

The good news is that when your car battery dies, there are several ways to recharge it. We know that time is of the essence and you are already wondering how long it takes to charge a car battery.

Unfortunately, the more a battery is discharged, the longer it takes to charge back to a full charge. And don’t worry a dead car battery can often be easily fixed. You just need a small investment of time money and the right effort. So stop by and read the information before you make an appointment to buy a brand-new battery.

Top 5 Reasons Why Car Battery Go to Flat

Before we can talk about the charging time of a car battery, we first need to know more about the reasons behind your car battery discharge. Many things can contribute to battery drain, but the most common are:

1. Continually Headlights On

Time to Charge a Car Battery

If your car battery is constantly draining, the first thing to do is check your lights. Many newer vehicles have headlights that go out after some time.

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However, if your car does not come with this tech, then you should turn off the headlight after its work, otherwise the car battery is completely dead.

2. The Alternator is not Functioning

how long does it take to charge a car battery

This small device sits near the engine and charges the battery while the engine is running. Alternators normally last for several years, but eventually, they fail.

An indicator light on the dashboard of most cars can warn the driver if there is not enough charge returning to the battery.

3. Extreme Temperature

how long to charge a car battery while driving

Extremely hot or cold temperatures can lead to the formation of lead sulfate crystals. If the car is left in such conditions for too long, the formation of sulfate can affect the life of the battery.

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In these environments, the battery can also take a long time to charge, especially if you only drive short distances.

4. Short Drives

how long does it take to charge a car battery

Your battery may be depleted prematurely if you take too many short trips. The battery produces the most power when starting the car.

You can use an alternator to recharge your car battery while driving to neglect this problem. The short drives make the battery keep dying or don’t last very long.

5. Corroded Battery Connectors

how long does it take to charge a car battery

The positive and negative terminals connected to the battery can sometimes become loose over time. These connections can also corrode.

If your terminals become loose or corrode, you may have trouble starting the vehicle because your battery is not properly transferring its energy. It could even stall while driving or damage the vehicle’s electronic components.

Jump Start the Car Vs Charge the Battery

Chargers and jump starters are useful tools when your car battery is dead. When trying to decide between them, it’s important to understand the limitations of each. Car battery chargers are the only option to charge a car battery fully.

how long does it take to charge a dead car battery while idling

If your car battery dies frequently and you need a device that will allow you to charge it over and over again, you should buy a charger.

A jump start only provides enough power to start a car. The power is not enough to keep driving. However, if you start driving immediately after starting, the battery will be charged.

Types of Battery Chargers

Depending on the type of charger you use to charge your car battery and the type of battery your car has, the charging time to reach a full charge will vary greatly.

  • Linear Charger

The linear charger is the simplest car battery charger on the market. It charges the battery from an outlet and is a plug-in charger. Although it is the easiest way, it is not the fastest.

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A linear charger requires minimal setup and power; However, it has a slow charging speed because it works with low amperage. It can take up to 12 hours to fully charge a 12-volt lead-acid battery with a linear battery charger.

This charging option charges continuously, which means no controller stops charging when the battery is full.

  • Multi-Stage Chargers

Multi-stage chargers are much more complex and feature richer compared to a simpler linear battery charger. The big disadvantage is that multi-stage battery chargers are much more expensive.

In addition, multi-stage battery chargers allow charging at much higher maximum currents compared to the average linear charger. Among the most complex is a multi-stage charger that can provide a current of up to 12 amps per hour.

  • Trickle Charger

Trickle or slow chargers work with a current of 0.8 to 4. You should not charge a dead battery because they works with low output power.

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A slow charger prevents a low battery charge if you connect it to the battery while the car is not in use. This is mainly for car storage and battery maintenance at the same time.

A Dead Car Battery Charging Time

In fact, it takes 4 to 24 hours to fully charge a dead car battery. The time required depends on the size of the battery and the number of amps it is charging. Typically 4 amps are the usual charging current for car battery chargers.

It takes about 10 hours to fully charge an empty 52Ah battery. But after connecting the charge for 1 hour, you can start your car. To better understand the charging time of a car battery, you need to find the Ah rating of your battery, then look at your charger and find the maximum charge rate.

Then divide the battery’s total capacity by your charger’s rating to determine how long it might take to charge.

Car Battery Charging Time While Driving

A car’s alternator is responsible for charging and maintaining the performance of the car’s battery. When driving, the alternator spins faster and produces more electricity. It typically takes 30 minutes to an hour to fully charge a car battery while driving.

The charging time is determined by the vehicle’s engine speed. To charge the battery, your engine needs at least 1000 additional rpm.

The faster you drive, the higher the revs will be. If you want to quickly charge your car while driving, try driving at higher speeds on roads with little or no traffic.

How To Extend Car Battery Life?

Let’s assume that by this point you have already charged your car’s battery and given the engine a spin. You will surely be relieved, but you may be curious as to how you can prevent your car battery from dying again.

Luckily, there are many ways to ensure your car’s battery is always charged. First of all, be careful after turning off the engine. Make sure all lights and electronics are properly turned off before packing it up for the night.

Also, keeping the battery clean and dry can help as this will prevent corrosion of the terminals. If the terminals are oxidized, the battery will take longer to charge because the current is not being conducted as well as it should.

Disconnect the battery, clean the top, and scrub the terminals with a toothbrush dipped in a mixture of baking soda and water. Remove the mixture by spraying cold water on the terminals, then dry the battery with a clean cloth to prevent future corrosion.

Top FAQs About How Long to Charge a Car Battery

How long does a dead car battery take to charge?

Well, the answer is not easy. Depending on your battery charger, it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to charge the dead car battery enough to start the car several times. However, if you want a full charge, it may take 10-24 hours.

However, remember that you do not need to fully charge the battery. This is about charging the battery enough to start the car and letting the alternator fully charge the battery.

How often does a car need to be started to keep the battery charged?

It is recommended that drivers start their car at least once a week to keep the battery charged. Engine idling helps keep the battery powered, but is often not enough to fully charge the battery.

The best way to keep your car’s battery charged is to drive it. Driving is a quick way to recharge your battery, and you should try to drive the car for about ten minutes at least once a week.

How long should it take to jump a dead car battery?

If your car is badly damaged and you need to take it to a mechanic, the battery may be the only way to charge it up and start it up again. The best solution for a temporary repair is to start your car.

It takes about 5 minutes to connect the jumper cables to the battery posts and charge the battery. As a general rule of thumb, after a jump start, it’s always a good idea to wait about two minutes to allow the car to idle a bit and allow the power to flow.

How often should you replace your car battery?

In general, a typical car battery lasts between three and five years, although its lifespan depends on a number of factors, such as driving style and battery maintenance, which can be longer or shorter.

Short “stop-and-go” journeys have a negative effect on the batteries and, if used frequently enough, can shorten their lifespan.

How do you charge a dead car battery?

If the charge level of your car battery is too low, you can try increasing the charge level with a battery charger. Using a battery charger is very simple. You must first make sure that the battery charger is turned off and not connected to the mains.

Now connect the positive cable of the charger to the positive pole of the battery. Then repeat this process connecting the negative battery charger cable to the negative battery terminal.

Once you’ve made sure they’re securely connected, plug the charger into the wall outlet and turn it on.

What kind of battery charger do I need for a car battery?

To find out which car battery charger is right for you, you need to know what amperage you want for your charger. Today there are many smart chargers that are easy to use and will automatically turn off or go into maintenance mode once the battery is fully charged.

Cheaper chargers often deliver more amps than stated on the packaging. Our recommendation is therefore to buy high-quality chargers from authorized manufacturers.

Final Thought

Now that you know how long it takes to charge a car battery, you won’t have any problems next time. Always remember not to leave your car’s electrical devices on when you’re not using them.

Also, keep your car running from time to time to avoid battery failure. Even if your car has an automatic headlight-off feature, it’s a good habit to make sure everything is off.

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