How to Properly Charge a Car Battery

Have you ever had your car battery go dead, leaving you stranded in a parking lot or on the side of the road? If so, you know how frustrating that can be. Fortunately, there is an easy way to jumpstart your car and get it running again.

All you need is another vehicle with a good battery and some jumper cables. The question then becomes: how long do you need to idle the car for charging the battery?

Let's take a look.

The short answer is that you should idle your car for at least 30 minutes after jumpstarting it. This will give the alternator enough time to recharge the battery and ensure that it has enough power to start your engine again when you turn it off.

It's important to note, however, that this is just a general guideline. Depending on the size of your car's battery and other factors, it could take longer than 30 minutes for your battery to reach its full capacity.

If possible, it's best to drive your car around for at least 10-15 minutes after jumpstarting it; this will help charge the battery faster than idling alone will. Driving gives the alternator more of an opportunity to charge up the battery while also helping keep other parts of your car well-maintained (such as brakes, tires, steering system, etc.). It's also important to note that if your car has been sitting idle for an extended period of time (more than two weeks), then it may take even longer for the battery to fully charge up—in which case driving around for 30 minutes or more may be necessary.


Jumpstarting a dead car battery is not as difficult as one might think—all you need are some jumper cables and another vehicle with a good battery. Once you've successfully jumpstarted your car, however, don't forget to idle it (or drive around) afterwards in order to give the alternator enough time to recharge the battery back up.

As a general rule of thumb, aim for at least 30 minutes of idling; but if your car has been sitting idle for too long or if other factors come into play such as large batteries or extreme weather conditions, then driving around for longer may be necessary in order for your vehicle's electrical system to return back up normal levels again.

By following these simple steps above, you'll have no problem bringing life back into those dead batteries!

If you're looking for an even easier way to charge your car battery, check out our post on the best car battery chargers below: