Can You Overcharge a Car Battery? What Are the Causes?

Car batteries have a tendency to last a extended time, so most individuals really do not have much expertise dealing with them. Some individuals buy a battery charger to support in circumstance of an unexpected emergency, but they are not positive how long to cost the battery or if it is possible to overcharge it. Regrettably, it is attainable to overcharge a car battery, and carrying out so can hurt it. That explained, it is really exceptional, so maintain looking through as we look into how it can come about.

Overcharging a Car Battery

Most automobile batteries are guide-dependent, with truthful resistance to overcharging. Likewise, most battery chargers use a trickle cost, and it would consider a prolonged time to trigger any injury. Most individuals employing a battery charger are trying to get better a dead battery and will take away the charger as soon as possible, so there is minor danger of overcharging.

Can You Overcharge a Car Battery? What Are the Causes?
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What Are the Main Causes of an Overcharged Battery?

Faulty Voltage Regulator

1 of the principal motives that a battery can get to an overcharged point out is a defective voltage regulator. The voltage regulator controls how much power the alternator produces. If it detects that the battery demands far more energy, it will turn on the alternator and change it off again when it is not required. If it fails, it could trigger the alternator to keep on to operate or are unsuccessful to operate at all. A constantly running alternator will overcharge the battery, whilst a single that doesn’t run will trigger the battery to get rid of cost regularly.

Improper Charger Settings

Most automobile battery chargers are effortless to use, and a rapid look at the owner’s handbook will get you heading practically right away. Most people want to get the battery heading once again as shortly as possible, and deciding on the improper location will only make it just take lengthier. Nonetheless, if you have the battery out of the auto and program on charging it gradually in a garage or comparable area for an extended period of time, it’s essential to make positive you have all the settings appropriate to avoid overcharging the battery. Typically, you set overnight charges to a reduced trickle demand.

Can You Overcharge a Car Battery? What Are the Causes?
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Bad Battery

In most instances, a negative battery will cease keeping a cost and regularly die, specifically as the climate will get cold. However, some batteries can start to split down internally, foremost to an overcharging predicament.

Signs My Battery Is Overcharging

The Battery Is Hot

If the sides of your battery truly feel sizzling following driving for at the very least 30 minutes, there is a very good chance that your battery is overcharging. It must feel amazing to the touch at all instances when working generally.

Can You Overcharge a Car Battery? What Are the Causes?
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You Can Smell Acid

An overcharging battery will boil off acid, which generates a distinct fragrance. You may detect a peculiar scent when you are working close to the battery.

Dropping Fluid Levels

Most vehicle batteries have caps on leading that you should get rid of to verify the fluid ranges and best them off with h2o as needed. If you locate yourself topping them off usually, it can be a indicator that your battery is overcharging.

Can You Overcharge a Car Battery? What Are the Causes?
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Resting and Running Voltages Are Incorrect

When your automobile is not running, the voltage throughout your terminals ought to be about 12.six volts. A a lot lower benefit can suggest that the battery is not charging accurately. With the auto operating and motor revving, the voltage should reach about 14.2 volts. If there is no boost or it goes beyond fourteen.2 volts, there is a very good possibility that your voltage regulator is poor.

Curved or Swollen Sides

If you observe that the sides of your battery are curved or swollen, it’s a positive indication that it’s overcharging. Curved and swollen sides suggest the direct plates inside the battery are breaking down. It also indicates gases are building up and generating strain, possibly top to an explosion of harmful substances.

Can You Overcharge a Car Battery? What Are the Causes?
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Can I Fix an Overcharged Battery?

Unfortunately, when you overcharge a battery and hurt the inside lead plates, you can't restore them without having fully rebuilding the battery. The only thing to do is to get it to an auto store and substitute it with a new one. You will also need to make an appointment with your mechanic to locate out why the battery overcharged, so it doesn’t come about again.

Tips for Charging a Car Battery

  • Always read over the owner’s manual carefully and choose the correct settings for your car battery.
  • Try to charge the battery at room temperature for better results.
  • Make sure to charge your batteries in a well-ventilated area.
  • Low-charge settings take a long time to work but reduce the risk of an overcharge.
  • Keep the battery terminals clean.
  • Use a smart charger that will help detect the right time to turn off the power to prevent overcharging.

Related Read through: How Long Can a Automobile Battery Sit Unused? What Aspects Into It?


Thankfully, overcharging isn’t a massive issue with most home battery chargers, as prolonged as you really do not set it up to demand in the garage or basement and then overlook about it. Most overcharging difficulties result from a malfunctioning voltage regulator that allows your car’s alternator to overcharge the battery constantly as you push. We advocate checking your battery right after a extended push to see if the sides feel hot, which is a indicator of overcharging. If you notice any deformities or bulging, you will need to have to routine an appointment with a mechanic instantly to have the difficulty looked at, and you will very likely need to have a new battery.

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