Charging your car battery


If your car won't start we've got tips on how you can recharge your battery and get going again.

charging a car battery

How to charge a car battery

Your battery's main purpose is to get the engine started. When your engine sounds sluggish or it's not catching at all, most times a discharged battery is the culprit. We've got some tips on how to charge a car battery so the heart of your car stays pumping.

Does your battery need to be charged?

If you turn your key and … nothing happens, it's likely you've got a discharged battery. To avoid being caught out there's some ways you can tell your battery might fail before it does:

  • Your engine takes a while to start
  • The check engine light comes on
  • The battery looks bloated, it's leaking or it's got low battery fluid (if possible).

Depending on the state of your car battery it could pay to do a quick recharge. If the battery looks a little worse for wear, it may be time to get a new battery.

Charging a car battery

Follow our tips on how to use a car battery charger:

  • Check your battery for wear and tear and check the battery fluid is topped up (if possible). If the battery's damaged – get a new one, rather than a charger
  • Different chargers work on different batteries. Find your battery type and you'll know what battery charger to get
  • If possible, turn off all electrics and lock the vehicle
  • Follow the manufacturer instructions. Some chargers need the battery removed to work, others just need cell caps removed. Even if you've charged a battery before, follow the instructions to keep everyone safe

Once the charger is connected it can take up to 24 hours to fully charge a flat battery.Modern smart chargers have a light to indicate when the battery is fully charged.

Jump starting your car

If you're stranded and need a jump-start you can call Roadside Assistance to get going again. It can pay to have a professional come out who can diagnose if it's a flat battery or something more sinister.

Take home tips on charging a car battery

  • Always check your battery is clean and without leaks, cracks and bulges. Simple car battery maintenance can keep your battery in good condition
  • Choose the right battery charger for your battery size
  • If your battery is looking worse for wear, get a new battery
  • Follow manufacturer instructions, even if you've used a battery charger before

Remember, it can take a full 24 hours to charge a flat battery. Modern smart chargers have a light to indicate when the battery is fully charged.

Related topics

Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.