How to use a battery conditioner or trickle charger

Although they work differently, setting up battery conditioners and trickle chargers are virtually the same:


Although they work differently, setting up battery conditioners and trickle chargers are virtually the same:


Make sure your car is parked in a well-ventilated environment, turn off the ignition and remove the key.


Select the appropriate power settings for your battery using the device’s controls – most use 12 volts.


Scrub any corrosion that’s on the posts of the battery with steel wool to ensure a better charging connection.


Ground the charger by attaching it to a metal part of the engine or chassis to reduce the risk of an electrical surge. On newer cars there may be jump posts specifically for this, it’s worth checking your vehicle handbook if you’re unsure.


Take the red clip and attach it to the positive terminal on the battery.


Connect the black clip to the negative terminal on the battery. However, on a modern vehicle the battery negative should not be used as this may bypass the battery management sensor. Again, always consult the vehicle handbook


Your charger should be turned off and now plugged into the socket.


Turn on, charge and make sure there are no sparks or heat given off.


Check with the manufacturer to see how long you can leave the product charging your battery.


Are battery conditioners and trickle chargers safe?

It might seem strange to leave something hooked up to your battery for an extended period of time, but these devices are designed to be used in this way.


However, it’s worth checking with the manufacturer how long their products should be left switched on for.


The heat from charging can also lead to off-gassing – the release of an extremely flammable gas that’s unsafe to breathe – so you’ll need to restore your battery in a well-ventilated environment.


You should make sure you charge or condition your battery in a dry environment as well. Check your vehicle handbook to see if the conditioner or trickle charger is suitable for your battery.


If you’re planning on leaving a car unused, it’s not just the battery you’ll need to look after.


Take care of your tyres – avoid creating flat spots by inflating your tyres to the maximum recommended pressure. Consider carefully rolling your vehicle so that uneven wear doesn’t develop on the tyres if left for many months.


Give the car a clean – ensure the environment doesn’t damage your paintwork with a thorough clean and wax.


Park in a suitable place – parking in a sheltered, safe space will not only protect your car from adverse weather, but deter potential thieves from vandals.


Arrange breakdown cover – if your car doesn’t start when it’s needed, you’ll want to be able to call an expert to get on the road again and quickly.


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