How to Hook Up a Trickle Charger

by Marissa Robert

It is irritating to wake up on a cold morning and discover that your battery does not have a sufficient charge to turn the ignition in your car over. It's a pain if you need to remotely charge a laptop or a cell phone as well. Trickle chargers can be a lifesaver, particularly if you do not have access to someone else's car to jump start yours. They also help if you do not have access to electricity and need to charge a cell phone, PDA or laptop. They're easy to use, even if you have no mechanical knowledge.


Check that the voltage and amperage of the trickle charger are appropriate for charging your battery. Some are designed for car batteries, and some are designed for laptops or cell phones. Be careful not to use one that overloads your batteries.


Set your trickle charger to charge. Some chargers have switches to set them, and some have buttons. Some might not have anything to set at all. If your car came with a trickle charger or you bought one specifically for your laptop, it might not have any way to change settings on it.


Connect your trickle charger to the battery. Some chargers have alligator clips that allow you to attach it directly to the battery. Clip the black side to the negative terminal and the red side to the positive terminal if you're charging a car. If it has a12-volt cigarette lighter connector, plug it into the cigarette lighter or the 12-volt outlet in your car. Plug any cell phones or laptops into the appropriate outlets.


Power the trickle charger. Some require a wall outlet to charge your battery, and some have a solar panel that needs to be placed in direct sunlight. Your battery should start charging within a few minutes, unless it is damaged and needs to be replaced.

Items you will need

About the Author

Marissa Robert graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English language and literature. She has extensive experience writing marketing campaigns and business handbooks and manuals, as well as doing freelance writing, proofreading and editing. While living in France she translated manuscripts into English. She has published articles on various websites and also periodically maintains two blogs.

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