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When And How To Use A Trickle Charger

Charging your car battery does not mean that you need to charge it very fast.

The fact is charging requires the use of a high amount of amperage and that in turn can result in off-gassing or it could even cause your battery to explode.

The good news is you can use a trickle charger to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Twin Benefits Of Using A Trickle Charger

A car battery trickle charger offers two major benefits. The first benefit is that it will charge your battery relatively slowly. The second benefit is it provides steady charging.

It is also unique in that it uses low amperage. This means that it is able to charge your battery slowly whenever the battery discharges its energy. Some models are designed to remain connected to your car battery for long periods.

These models will not cause a battery explosion or battery damage even when they are connected to your car battery for long periods. More reading on the best car battery chargers.

Use For A Long Time

Use A Trickle Charger

Trickle chargers can be left on your vehicle for lengthy periods in order to recharge your car battery. It will slowly add the charge to the battery and will in this way prevent your car battery from losing its charge.

It makes sense to use a trickle battery instead of relying on driving your car around to charge the battery.

For one, the alternator in your vehicle cannot produce high enough amperage and second, your car battery will probably remain low on charge even if you drive the car to work or for short bursts.

Alternators are also not designed to charge a dead battery. This is the main reason why you should use a trickle charger to recharge your battery.

When To Use A Trickle Charger?

Trickle charging works well when you have to put your vehicle away in the winter and also in emergencies.

Your car battery will be connected to the trickle charger and that ensures that the battery won’t lose its charge even when it is not being used often.

If you want to use a trickle charger, then you must decide between using a manual charger or an automatic one.

The former is not the most advanced type of trickle charger whereas the latter is a very advanced type that can switch on and then switch off depending on whether the battery is well charged or low on energy.

Learn How To Use A Trickle Charger

Before you actually use a trickle charger, it is important that you spend some time becoming acquainted with how to use it.

It won’t be very useful if you are not sure how to operate it. There is however not much to operating the trickle charge.

To operate it, you should have the following which includes a car battery, and the trickle charger as well as a couple of alligator clips and a power cable.

Safety Tips

You must ensure that before you connect the charger that your vehicle is parked in a well-ventilated area.

This is because when you charge the battery, a certain amount of hydrogen gas will be emitted and if the area is not properly ventilated, then you risk an explosion.

Switch Off Car Lights

Once you are certain the area is properly ventilated, you should then switch off the lights of your vehicle and also ensure the ignition is off.

In fact, you should even take out the car keys from the ignition and also make sure that your charger is not plugged.

Next, you need a proper ground location and once you have found that, you can then attach the negative terminal of your trickle charger.

Make absolutely sure that you do not ever use the negative terminal of your car’s battery as that could easily result in an explosion.

Connect The Cables

Now, you need to connect the cables and make sure the cables have the right amperage and voltage.

Using the alligator clips you should attach the red clip to the positive cable and that in turn should be connected to the positive terminal of the car battery. The negative cable needs to be connected to the ground location.

Ensure the negative cable is attached securely before plugging your car battery.

Turn On The Charger

The final step in terms of connecting trickle charges for cars requires you to turn on the charger. However, before doing so, you need to ensure that all the recommended settings are proper for both car battery and trickle charger. 

After switching on the trickle charger, be sure to check the amperage meter. A high amp reading indicates that your battery is low on energy and if the reading is low, it indicates that your battery has enough charge.

In the latter instance, you can turn the trickle charger off and then reconnect your charger.

Know The Differences

Most if not all trickle charges work in the same way. They deliver an electric current to the batteries in order to ensure the cells are able to consume energy and regain their charge. 

There are however some trickle chargers that work a bit differently. Some may use gentle charges to over or undercharge your battery.

The cheap ones distribute constant currents irrespective of how well or poorly charged your battery is.

How Long Will It Take To Charge The Battery?

The trickle charger takes about twenty hours to recharge your battery


If your battery is completely discharged, then the trickle charger takes about twenty hours to recharge your battery. Of course, how much time the charger takes to recharge your battery depends on various factors?

These factors are the last time your battery became discharged and also the level of discharge. Other factors that determine the amount of time taken to charge your battery include the charger’s output current and the efficiency of the battery recharge. 

30-amp Battery

If you are using a thirty-amp battery and it has a charge of just 60, then your trickle charger will take an hour to recharge your battery.

If you are using a two-amp battery with a reserve capacity of 60, then your trickle charger will take up to twenty hours to recharge the battery. It all depends on the kind of battery you want to recharge.

The modern trickle charger is quite well designed and so there should not be much problem recharging your battery. Even so, there are instances when it could overcharge your battery.

If this happens, then the consequences can be quite serious as it could easily lead to battery damage.

One way of preventing this from happening is to use a battery regulator. The battery regulator is designed to lower the risk of your trickle charger overcharging your battery.

About George Bradley

George is an enthusiastic blogger and an auto mechanic expert whose mission is to provide the readers with the best tips, guides, and recent events in the automotive industry. He has been involved in researching on various topics that are essential to the car owners, especially when it comes to an understanding, maintaining and handling their vehicles.

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