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Time to Charge a Car Battery: How Long Does It Take?

  • Car Talk
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 6 minutes

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A dead battery is a nightmare for every car owner. Most of the time, a dead battery is probably the reason why your car won’t start. Car batteries supply the power needed to start the engine. After then, the alternator recharges the battery as you drive. Recharging a battery takes time, which many people overlook. Most of the time, the car automatically recharges the battery when you drive the car. However, sometimes a car battery can become discharged for many reasons. Maybe it’s time to charge your car battery.

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How long does it take for a car battery to charge? 

A normal-sized car battery can be fully charged in 2 to 4 hours with a 20 Amp charger, and with a 4Amp charger, it takes around 12 to 24 hours. You can also jumpstart your car’s battery using another vehicle. If you can get it started, idling is also an option for charging the battery. The size of the car’s battery and the power output of the charger has a significant impact on the charging time.  A battery will take longer to recharge the more depleted it is. Usually, it takes several hours to recharge a battery effectively. A battery can take up to 12 hours or longer to recharge if it is almost entirely depleted. However, you can add up to 100 miles of range in 30-35 minutes for many electric cars with a 50kW rapid charger. 

The size and kind of your car battery are other factors determining the time required to charge the battery. For example, it takes longer to charge a larger car battery. 

Around 4 Amps is the most common rate for automotive battery chargers. A 52 Ah battery would require roughly 10 hours to charge from empty to full, but you could probably start your car in that time. 

Find out how many amps your car battery charger produces by looking at it. Your car’s battery charges more quickly at high amps. However, for long-term battery maintenance charging, a low ampere is preferable. 

How much time does it take a car battery to charge while driving? 

It usually takes anywhere from 30mins to 1 hour and above, depending on the battery’s capacity. 

Factors that affect charging speed 

  • Size of battery. 
  • State of battery 
  • Max charging rate 
  • Max charging rate of charge point 
  • Environmental factors 
Credits: Mike Mozart on Flickr

Types of car battery chargers

Manual Battery Chargers 

Regardless of the battery’s charge status, manual chargers charge the battery to which they are connected. They don’t cycle or go off on their own. 

Automatic Battery Chargers 

Once the battery is fully charged, automatic battery chargers will halt charging and switch to maintain mode. As a result, battery life and safety aren’t affected as much by automatic charges as they are by manual ones. 

Trickle Chargers 

A battery can have a trickle charger attached for a day or two. Unlike float chargers, they lack a sensor to detect when or if a battery is charged. However, they will continue to transmit current until unplugged, just like manual chargers. 

Solar Chargers 

Solar chargers draw energy via solar panels and convert it into the usable current to charge the batteries. It’s fine to leave solar chargers on cars for more than a day or two at a time. But using a solar charger may result in overcharging. In these cases, a charge controller is recommended for additional protection from overcharging. 

Which car battery charger should I use? 

The car battery charger with appropriate amp rates should be the preferable option. Many smart chargers available today are user-friendly and turn off or enter maintenance mode as soon as your battery is fully charged. 

Cheaper chargers often supply more amps than, say. So our recommendation is to buy a high-quality charger from an authorized manufacturer. The good quality chargers will save your car battery and minimize the risk of damage to your car battery. 

How long does trickle charging a car battery take? 

Trick chargers usually run at around 2 Amps. Therefore, it can take at least 24 hours to get your battery up to a minimum sustainable charge level, depending on the battery’s condition. 

The trickle chargers maintain your car battery’s health and keep it from running out of charge. This type of charger usually requires a long time to charge your battery fully and will automatically switch off when full charge is reached. 

Charging times with different Amp chargers 

The amount of power that various car battery chargers provide varies; this will significantly impact how long a car battery needs to be charged. In addition, of course, different types and sizes of batteries require varying amounts of time to charge, but a typical automobile battery can take about 62 Ah at times. 

  • 2 Amp charger: 24 to 48 hours 
  • 4 Amp charger: 12 to 24 hours 
  • 10 Amp charger: 3 to 6 hours 
  • 20 Amp charger: 2 to 4 hours 
  • 40 Amp charger: 30 minutes to 1 hour 

Charging at 50 amps is fast, but it has its consequences. Stay safe! 

A 50-amp charger is fantastic. But exercise caution. The battery runs the risk of overheating at that rate.  Higher amps can result in faster charging times. Issues are more likely to occur if the charger is left on after the battery is fully charged. Whichever charger you choose, you should always remove it as soon as the battery is fully charged again.  By using a slower charger, you can eliminate this risk. A 10 or 12-amp charger completes the task securely and expediently. 

When should I change the car’s battery? 

It is time to replace it if the battery does not hold a charge. 

Signs of a faulty battery 

  • The engine is slow to start 
  • Headlights and dashboard lights seem dimmed 
  • Corroded or worn-out connectors 
  • Worn-out battery case 

Precautions to take while charging the battery 

  • If the battery becomes hot to the touch while recharging, then immediately stop charging. 
  • Repeated fast charges on a battery might overcharge it and shorten its service life.

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