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How Long Does It Take to Charge a Battery?

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By Alex Neely on November 12, 2021 in Safe Driving

Let’s kick it off with an important distinction: flat batteries vs dead batteries. Auto Trader describes each, “Flat batteries have just used up all their charge and can be jumped from another battery or push started and will continue to work properly once charged by the car’s alternator…Dead batteries will not take a charge and therefore cannot be jumpstarted.” If your battery is dead, be sure to dispose of it correctly.

How to Charge a Car Battery

If you’ve got a flat battery on your hands, let’s talk charging. Charging a car battery can be done with a portable car battery charger. It’s a pretty simple process – connect the charger, adjust volts and amps, turn on the charger, disconnect, and voila!

Before jumping into action, be sure to check out your owner’s manual to read about anything specific to your vehicle. It’s important to make sure you don’t smell rotten eggs (a sign of a battery leak) or see corrosion (will likely make it harder to charge the battery).

How Long Does it Take to Charge a Battery?

The trusty folks at Consumer Insurance Report tell us, “Generally, it should take about 1 hour to charge a battery at 50 amps. However, it may take longer if your charger isn’t compatible with the battery or if there’s some underlying defect with the battery itself. In those instances, it could take up to 5 hours.”

If you’re looking to determine how long you’ll need to reserve to charge your ride’s battery, be warned that it varies based on the number on your amp charger. Logically, the higher the number, the faster the battery should charge. Although you might have a need for speed, remember to stay safe when using higher amp chargers because there’s more risk of overcharging the battery and, in turn, overheating it.

What Should Car Battery Voltage Be?

Wondering what normal car battery voltage is? The sweet spot is right around 12.6 volts when the battery is resting. Whenever you turn the vehicle on, it’s normal for the voltage to drop, however, it shouldn’t go below 10 volts.

How to Know When It’s Time for a New Car Battery

Obviously, you want to try to charge the battery first and save you some cash money. However, that’s not always an option. Our blog covers why batteries fail, failing battery symptoms, how to determine if you need a new battery, charging a battery, and tips to extend your battery’s life.

We’ll hit the highlights of that blog below.

Signs that may indicate a failing car battery:

  • Slow-to-start engine
  • Dim headlights
  • Check-engine light
  • Corroded battery terminals
  • Cracked or swollen battery case
  • Backfires
  • Rotten egg smell

How to extend your battery’s life:

  • Clean the battery terminals
  • Avoid extreme temperatures
  • Drive regularly
  • Avoid short trips
  • Don’t use accessories when the engine is off
  • Warm up your car before you turn on accessories


Speedy wrap up time. When using a 50-amp charger, it should take around 1 hour to charge your battery. Charging a battery is as simple as connecting the charger, adjusting any necessary settings, powering on the charger, and BOOM done.

Now you’ll be charging your battery like a pro in no time!

Alex Neely is a Data Analyst at Say Insurance. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics with an emphasis in Actuarial Science. His experience is in Statistical and Financial Analysis. Alex enjoys applying his analytical background to the Say team to help guarantee the best experience for our customers.