Hook up trickle charger
It slowly adds the charge to the battery and does not allow for the normal depletion of charge that batteries commonly have. There are differing opinions of how long a trickle charger can be left on a battery and for that reason, different types have been manufactured. Some trickle chargers can be left on a battery indefinitely. These would be used on a vehicle that is not used all the time or is stored away for the winter or the summer.
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A trickle charger built specifically for this is left on in the event that the vehicle is needed in an emergency or other unexpected situation. It keeps the battery from being depleted from non-use.
How to charge a motorcycle battery - RevZilla
How to Use a Trickle Charger Trickle charges employ the use of a battery regulator to regulate charging rate and prevent overcharging, charging your vehicle's battery at a rate similar to the rate at which it self-discharges so as to maintain full battery capacity.
Charging at too fast of a rate or overcharging can cause damage to the battery. Using a trickle charger is very easy.
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Most trickle chargers consist of a simple box where the "guts" of the charger reside , a power cable and two alligator clips. Before connecting everything, be sure to set the voltage and amperage appropriate for your battery. Check the switches and buttons on the charger box and set them prior to connecting the charger to a power source.
Ensure Battery Is Ready for Charging Before you begin attaching your charger, it is important to ensure that all safety precautions are taken. First, it is important that your vehicle is parked in a place free of rain, and well ventilated. The charging process can produce excess hydrogen gas, and if allowed to concentrate in an enclosed structure, an explosion or fire can occur.
When and How to Use a Trickle Charger
Make sure the ignition of the vehicle is turned off and the key is removed, and that your charger is unplugged. Locate a Suitable Ground Location Finding a suitable location to attach the negative terminal of your charger is the key to safe and effective completion of your trickle charger circuit. Ideally a spot of bare metal on the frame, or a large bolt attached to the chassis or engine block should be used, but if one cannot be located, a section of the frame that is free of excessive dirt, grime and oil will suffice.
I also replaced my crappy multimeter than can't measure DC amps and can only measure DC volts to the nearest whole volt why do they even make these?!? The amp reading for the battery after a day's charging is unless I'm reading it wrong 40 mA. This seems insanely low - certainly explains why the car is unable to do anything, even central locking. When connected in series with the charger, the amp reading stayed pretty constant, when connected on its own with the charger disconnected, the amp reading was dropping quite fast losing something like 0.
This also looks like additional confirmation that the charger is working. You can connect an ammeter or a voltmeter in current mode in series between the charger and the battery - this will tell you if a current is flowing through the circuit - and so whether the charger is at least attempting to charge the battery.
Locate a Suitable Ground Location
Before we get into how to charge a car battery at home, you need to know how to prepare to charge the battery. It is very easy to get a good shock if the battery does have some juice. Before you even get started, if you have to remove the battery from the vehicle to charge it, be sure you have the tools for the job. Some batteries are easily accessible; however, some are under or in the fender and some may even be in the trunk or under the seat depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
Be sure all accessories are off and the lights, including the interior light, are off. If you have anything on, it could cause the battery to arc while you are working with it. Once you get down to the battery, remove the negative or ground cable first. This is always the black cable unless someone replaced the cables with the wrong colors.