If your car is going to be sitting without being driven, is in storage or has been declared as SORN, then you may need to use a trickle charger to keep the battery charged. Trickle chargers are a type of battery charger that slowly charges a battery over a period of time. This article covers all you need to know about trickle chargers and how to use them.
What are trickle chargers?
Trickle chargers are low-current devices used to recharge batteries. It is a slow charger that adds a small amount of charge to a battery over time. Trickle chargers are designed to be left connected to a battery for long periods of time, and are often used to maintain the charge on a battery that is not used frequently.
How do trickle chargers work?
A trickle charger is a low-current charger used to maintain the charge on a lead-acid battery. It slowly adds charge to the battery over time, keeping it from discharge.
Some trickle chargers have an adjustable current control, so you can set it to the level that is best for your battery. Others have a non-adjustable current level and will work automatically.
Trickle chargers are usually left connected to the battery for long periods of time, so they need to be designed for safe operation. Many trickle chargers have an LED indicator that shows when the charger is connected and working.
Is it safe to use trickle chargers?
Yes, trickle chargers are safe to use if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and check how long the charger can be kept on for. Make sure to disconnect the charger when the battery is fully charged to avoid overcharging and damaging the battery. Some trickle chargers in the market are automatic, meaning they will shut off once the battery is fully charged.
Trickle chargers are usually left connected to the battery for more extended periods of time, so they need to be designed for safe operation. Many trickle chargers have an LED indicator that shows when the charger is connected and working. Most trickle chargers can be used with either an AC or DC power source. AC trickle chargers are more common because they can be plugged into a standard household outlet. DC trickle chargers are usually used in cars and trucks.
Most trickle chargers have a built-in current regulator to prevent overcharging and will shut off automatically when the battery is fully charged. Many also have a built-in voltmeter to monitor the battery voltage.
How long do I trickle charge the battery?
Depending on the state and size of the battery it can take 24-48 hours for a trickle charger to fully charge a battery since most charge at a rate of one to two amps. Some smart trickle chargers can even be left for weeks or even months at a time, but we recommend you always check with the manufacturer instructions first.
How to use a trickle charger?
Most trickle chargers will come with instructions on how to use them.
- Choose the correct power settings for your battery using the device’s controls – most devices use 12 volts.
- To ensure a better charging connection, scrub the battery posts with steel wool to remove any signs of corrosion.
- Take the red clip and attach it to the positive terminal on the battery and connect the black clip to the negative terminal on the battery. Check the vehicle handbook to ensure these are the right connections.
- At this point, you should check that the charger is switched off and plugged into the power source.
- Once it is turned on, keep an eye out for any sparks or heat.
What is the difference between battery conditioners vs trickle chargers?
A battery conditioner is a type of charger that is specifically designed to prolong the life of your battery. It does this by maintaining the battery at a certain level of charge, which prevents it from being overcharged or drained. A trickle charger, on the other hand, is a type of charger that is designed to slowly charge a battery over a period of time.
What is a smart trickle charger and how does it work?
A smart trickle charger is normally more expensive than a standard charger. It does however offer benefits to help justify the extra expense. A smart charger will generally offer a multi-stage cycle that analyses, charges, protects and repairs batteries. This can help the user recover deeply discharged batteries, maintain and desulfate batteries internally and maintain peak charge levels without the risk of overcharging. The analysis cycle can also alert the user if the battery is found to have internal faults and is no longer usable.
On the other hand, if you find that your battery is flat and you need a replacement, you can get an upfront price and a mechanic to come right to your doorstep with ClickMechanic.