Car batteries give your car’s engine the huge amount of electricity it needs to start. Once that is done, the alternator in your car will work to charge the battery as you drive. One thing that many people don’t realize is that it takes time to charge a battery. If you don’t drive your car long enough or often enough, each time you start the engine, the battery will have less and less power. So, how long do you have to drive your car before the battery is fully charged? How fast your battery charges may depend on how fast you drive. Read on for answers to these and other questions that people often ask about car batteries.
Do car batteries charge while idling?
The battery will still charge in a car with the engine running but at a much slower rate than if you were driving. This is because new cars have a lot of extra electronics that use up a lot of power. Guess what part is in charge of powering these extra systems. Your alternator is the problem. If your car is just sitting there idling, it isn’t making many RPMs, so it will take a lot longer for your battery to charge. How long? We’re talking several hours. Instead of leaving your car running in your driveway, you should just take it for a spin.
How Long To Charge A Car Battery Driving?
It’s a real pain to have a dead battery. I once had a Mercedes whose battery kept going dead. I had to jump-start every other morning. On the other hand, the alternator would quickly charge the battery.
Most cars will charge a dead battery after 30 minutes of driving at highway speeds without using any electrical features like lights, air conditioning, or windshield wipers.
In this post, we’ll talk about quick tips for charging a battery while driving and the risks that come with it. We’ll also talk about how to check the health of your battery and alternator, as well as what you need to know before you disconnect your battery.
Battery Charging Quick Tips
A dead battery is annoying, and it always seems to happen when you’re in a hurry. I know. I’ve been through it for a few months now. Here are some tips that will help you jumpstart your car as quickly and safely as possible from another car.
Before you try to jump-start your car, connect the jumper cables to the batteries and run the engine of the donor car at 3000 rpm for about 5 to 10 minutes. This will help charge your dead battery and make your alternator work less.
- Turn off everything that uses electricity on both cars before you try to jump-start them. This includes heated seats, air conditioning, a heated rear window, lights, wipers, infotainment systems, etc. Leave the cars connected and running above idle for a few minutes after you jump-started them.
- After removing the jumper cables, drive your car at highway speeds while turning off all electrical devices (or as many as possible). If you can, try not to do the jump-starting process at night, since you’ll need to drive with lights on.
- When you turn off your car after driving for 30 minutes, the battery should be fully charged. But if the problem is caused by the battery or another part, you may have the same problem. So, if you can, park your car so that you can get to the battery if you need another jump start.
How long should I drive for after a jump start?
Will giving my car a jump start it again? After you jump-start your car, you should drive for at least 30 minutes (in normal driving conditions, not in heavy traffic) before stopping to give your battery time to charge
How to jump start a car in 10 steps
It’s a terrible feeling to get in your car on a cold winter morning, turn the key, and hear the starter motor groaning but not being able to start the engine.
This could mean that your battery is dead, but if it’s just flat, all it may need is a jump start to get going again.
How to jump start a car with jump leads
Using jumper cables is the most common and effective way to get your car started when the battery is dead.
What do I need to jump start a car with jump leads?
- A second car with a battery that is fully charged. Don’t use a hybrid or electric car because it could hurt the car.
- A good pair of jump leads. At the RAC shop, you can buy a set of jumper cables.
It’s important not to take chances when jump-starting a car.
First, look at the owner’s manual, and if you’re not sure what to do, call RAC Breakdown at 0330 159 1111 and we’ll be glad to help.
Check for damage. Don’t try a jump start if either of the batteries or the jump leads look like they’ve been hurt.
Take off any rings or other jewelry made of metal, and make sure that nothing metal touches the battery’s terminals.
Ten steps to jump start a car
- Before you start the car with a dead battery, make sure that all electrical systems and devices are turned off (lights, radio/CD, sat-nav, etc.) and, if possible, lower the driver’s window.
- Park the second car as close to the broken-down car as you can without them touching. This will make it easy for the jumper cables to reach from one battery to the other.
- Make sure the engines of both cars are turned off, take the keys out of the ignitions, and open the hoods (or trunks, if the battery is there).
- Connect one end of the red jump lead to the battery’s positive terminal. Most of the time, a red plastic cover with a plus sign (+) will be on the positive terminal. To get to the terminal, pull the cover back.
- Then, connect the other end of the red jump lead to the positive terminal of the good battery on the second car.
- Connect the negative end of the good battery to one end of the black jump lead.
- Then, connect the other end of the black jump lead to a good earth point on the car that won’t start, like a solid metal part of the engine.
- Now, try to start the car that was hit. If you try to start it a few times and it doesn’t work, it might be a bigger problem than a dead battery. In this case, call the RAC at 0330 159 1111 for professional help.
- If it does start, let it run for about five minutes.
- Turn off the car that broke down, remove the negative jump lead, and then make sure the engine starts up again. Cut the rest of the jump leads.
Thank you for reading!