Can i Trickle Charge a Battery Without Disconnecting It?

I hear a common question from people who use their trickle chargers for charging their car batteries.

Can i trickle charge a battery without disconnecting it? This is what people ask me.

You might get this doubt because in olden days it was recommended to remove the battery completely from the car before charging it. This old information might lead to confusion regarding the usage of your trickle chargers.

So what is the right way of using a trickle charger? Can you trickle charge a battery while it is connected?

This article below answers all your questions regarding the usage of trickle chargers.

Firstly, what is a trickle charger?

You might know about regular chargers and maintenance chargers. But what is this trickle charger?

A trickle charger is a charging device that charges a battery at low amperage.

You may not use your vehicle regularly, and in that case, your car battery undergoes a certain rate of self-discharge continuously. This trickle charger charges your vehicle’s battery at a rate similar to the rate of self-discharge, thus maintaining the full capacity of the battery.

Hence the charge delivered to the battery is equal to the self-discharge level of your battery.

Although this kind of charger can be left on the car battery for a long period of time, it should be disconnected once the full charge has been completed to avoid the issue of overcharging.

A trickle charger removes the necessity of regular low battery issues and charging issues by constantly topping up the battery charge. This gets rid of unexpected battery issues which might extremely trouble you during the times of urgency.

Can you trickle charge a battery while it is connected?

Can i trickle charge a battery without disconnecting it? If this is your main question, the answer is Yes.

If you use a conditioning trickle charger, you can charge a battery without disconnecting it from the vehicle. You can simply use the trickle charger, by connecting it to the car battery without the need of disconnecting it from the vehicle.

The regulated voltage from the trickle charger would not harm your battery or your vehicle. It is considered safe as long as you follow all the necessary precautions while performing the charging process.

Always remember to disconnect the charger once the battery gets full, as might lead to the issue of overcharging. But most of the modern trickle chargers come with an auto shut off feature that prevents overcharging.

Process of using a trickle charger with a connected battery

 1. Firstly it is important to remember that your vehicle’s ignition mode should be kept turned off. Doing this prevents serious shocks and other accidents during the charging process

 2. Now its best to follow the chargers user manual while performing the charging process.

 3. Set the trickle charger to the correct voltage before connecting the charger to the battery.

 4. Now attach the clamps in the correct order to the battery. Attach the positive clamp to the positive terminal which is usually red in color and attach the negative clamp to a grounded point. You can clip it to the engine chassis.

 5. Turn on the charger and the charging process begins. Your trickle charger begins to charge your battery slowly at low amperage. After the finishing of charge, disconnect the clamps from the battery in the right order.

Precautions while trickle charging your car battery in the vehicle

 1. Park your car in a ventilated area. Enclosed areas should always be avoided to prevent unnecessary accidents. Also, make sure that the vehicle ignition is turned off.

 2. Select a suitable ground location such as a metal frame or a bolt of the chassis engine to attach the negative terminal.

 3. Attach and remove the cables in the right order. First, connect the positive terminal and make the negative connection later. While disconnecting, remove the negative terminal first followed by the positive one.

 4. Read your charger’s manual correctly before starting the charging process.

 5. Monitor the trickle charger continuously to ensure that the battery is being charged correctly.

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