How Long Does It Take To Charge a Car Battery

There may be instances that your car’s battery got discharged because you haven’t used it for a long time. You may have accidentally left a light on which caused your car battery to drain.

​I purchased both a portable jump starter and a car battery charger. It is better to have these tools for emergency purposes.

 Also, someone might be in need of them and I could lend them a helping hand. In fact, I bought a car battery charger for my wife, too, and taught her how to use it. I also recommend to my customers to get one, especially when they have cars that they don’t use for a long time or when it’s winter season.

There are two ways to restore your car’s battery charge. You can either jump start it and drive it for a few minutes if you need to use it right away. Otherwise, you may use a car battery charger to recharge if you don’t plan to use your vehicle yet.

Let’s explore the timelines and see how long the process takes. We’ll also discuss some factors related to charging your car’s battery.


Factors That Affect the Car Battery’s Charging Time

car battery charge

Jump starter versus Car Battery Charger

A jump start provides up to 200 amps of power needed to jumpstart a dead battery. The car battery won’t fully charge, so you need to drive it for a few minutes so the alternator can fully charge the battery.

If you use a car battery charger, it may take an hour or more depending on the type of charging that you choose.



You can adjust the amperage of your car battery charger depending on how dead the car battery is and the speed of charging.

If the battery is dead, opt for slow charging with lower amperage. This method is to keep your battery safe and long-lasting. Lower amperage means slower charging. The slower charging means longer charging time.


Slow Charging vs. Fast Charging

Fast charging is recommended if your car’s battery recently died when you accidentally left the lights on. Slow charging is recommended for a car battery that has been stuck up for a long time. Slow charging may require you to leave the car overnight.

Safety Measures When Charging Your Car Battery

Safety Measures

When your battery has already gone dead, you need to replace it.

Although your alternator charges the battery when you drive, it will cause stress on your engine and damage it. It is best to replace the battery once it has died. Also, if the car battery is dead, you’ll end up having to jump start or charge the car battery every time you need to use your car.

When using a car battery charger, the charger should be on a solid and stationary ground. Use the full length of the cables and keep it away from the car battery. You should also be in a well-ventilated area.

Never use fast charging if you intend to charge your car’s battery overnight. Opt for slow charging and lower the amperage. This practice is safer and makes your battery last longer. Check if the battery has been fully charged using a voltmeter. Most car battery chargers have built-in readouts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does it Take to Charge a Car Battery?

Charging Time

When you use a low powered car battery charger, it may take 3 hours to overnight charge it depending on how dead the battery is. Fast charging may take up to an hour.

What is The Difference Between Voltage and Amps?

Amperes is the amount of electricity flowing in a current. In the case of a charger, it is how much electricity that goes through the battery to charge it. Voltage is the amount of potential energy. Potential means it is at rest. Voltage is the amount of energy in a device.

What is The Difference Between a Jump Starter and a Car Charger?

Both of them recharges the battery. The difference is that a jump starter gives out higher amps to jumpstart the battery and start it.

With a car charger, you need to let it charge an hour or so to fully recharge the battery and allow it to start.

Can I Use a Car Battery Charger to Jumpstart a Dead Battery?

No, a car battery charger is meant to charge the battery. You can charge it, but you cannot guarantee that it will start. Use a jump starter for that purpose.

Can I Charge All Types of Car Batteries?

No. Check the type of your car battery before charging it.

There are two types of batteries: Wet-cell batteries which contains sulfuric acid, and Valve-Regulated Lead Acid Batteries which are maintenance-free.

VRLA batteries also come in Gel Cell or Absorbed Glass Mat. Gel Cell batteries cannot be charged.


Your car’s battery is the heart of your vehicle. Without it, your engine and other electrical components of your car won’t function. It is important that you properly maintain the battery. You can do this by cleaning it, inspecting it, and checking electrical components that may cause it to drain.

car battery

There are still some rare instances that your battery may get drained. That is why it is important to purchase a car battery charger for emergency purposes.

Always practice safety precaution when using this device. If you are not confident, always ask a car expert to do it for you.

Do you have further questions about charging a car battery?

We’d love to hear additional tips, feedback, and suggestions from you. You can also share with us your experiences about car maintenance. Don’t forget to share this with your friends!

6 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take To Charge a Car Battery

  1. Amanda Drew says:

    Thanks for pointing out that if your battery is dead then you can damage your engine and need to jump start to the car whenever you want to use it. I think that I accidentally left my lights on a few too many times (plus my car is old), so my battery is shot. I’ll have to get a new one. But, I wonder if there’s someone who would buy by used battery or something so that I’m not just throwing it away.

  2. Chad Gray says:

    Hey David – does the age of the battery effect the charging time needed? Also can charging too long be hazard? (getting too hot, etc)? The old boat has a battery that has been in there for years and we always leave the charger on it overnight to a few days at the beginning of the year. Thought has crossed my mind that we may come back to a barn on fire.

    • David Walker says:

      Hi Chad! That’s a good question! Yes, the age of the battery affects the charging time. Think of it this way, as your battery ages, its potential diminishes. Therefore, overcharging will push it to its limits and may cause it to explode. I suggest you keep watch over it. I hope this addresses your concern.

  3. Penelope Smith says:

    This is some really good information about auto batteries. My battery is a little old, and I worry about it losing its charge. So, I liked that you pointed out that it would be smart of me to know what the difference is between voltage and amps. That does seem like it would make a huge difference when picking a charger.

  4. Malia Davis says:

    Thanks for mentioning that not all car batteries can be charged and that you need to check it first to be sure that it is able to. We checked ours, and it can be charged. My husband just called and said that he thinks his car battery is dead. I think he’ll be able to find someone at work to help him jump start it, but I’d rather just get a new battery so that we don’t have to charge it to often. We’ll have to start looking around for a company that could help.

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