Is It Beneficial To Charge A New Car Battery Before Installing It In A Car

Posted in Car Batteries | Asked on May 25, 2010

Let’s assume the person buying it does mostly short trips, so it might be awhile before a long highway drive happens in which the alternator would charge the battery really well. So do these short trips charge a brand new battery enough, or is it better to put it on a charger first?

I’m figuring most batteries sit around for months between the time they’re manufactured and the time they’re purchased.

Thanks!

There are 10 Answers for "Is It Beneficial To Charge A New Car Battery Before Installing It In A Car"

  1. William W says:

    A preliminary charge is recommended to bring it up to a full charge.

  2. ken k says:

    just slap it in there/those batteries are good right off the shelf

  3. Harold says:

    They are usually good off of the shelf. As for short drives, it takes about two minutes to recharge what eas used to start the car. So if the drives are longer than that don’t worry. If they are shorter than that-walk.

  4. Mikaela P says:

    There is no need to charge a new battery. It has a factory charge already. Just install it right away. Even a short trip or long trip as long as your alternator is in good working condition, it will charge your battery. Hope this help!

  5. Mike says:

    To the other answerers: aren’t you forgetting about the self-discharge that happens as those batteries sit around on the retail shelf for months? It may have been charged after it was manufactured, but it will have lost a lot of that charge by the time you buy it.

    Personally, since the battery will probably have been sitting around for six months or more, I’d charge it first if I had the time and charger.

  6. LeAnne says:

    I have personally never had any problems simply installing a new battery and driving away.
    However, if you’re concerned, charging it up certainly won’t hurt and it may even make the alternator’s job a little easier.

  7. SLS4x4 says:

    You should be good. Yes batteries do lose charge though so it wouldn’t hurt to charge it right off the shelf.

    It will save your alternator a little bit of work.

  8. Wayne Campbell says:

    While it is a good idea in many cases to charge certain batteries before their initial use (cell phone, laptop, cordless drill, etc.) to help get the maximum life out of them, this is not necessary with car batteries.

    A new car battery sitting on a shelf in an auto parts store will last for quite a while. The biggest factor (constant factor, there are obviously other variables) that contributes to the deterioration of a car battery is repeated cycles of draining and then charging.

    You’ve probably seen those Optima Yellow Top batteries? Those are called Deep Cycle batteries because they are specifically designed to be drained then fully charged on a repeated basis without significantly hurting the life of the battery.

    The only time you really need to worry about charging your battery (assuming all else is well), is if you have an application where the vehicle is going to sit for a long period of time – say for a few months. For example, if you have a Mustang that sits in your garage over the winter, make sure you have what’s called a trickle charger, or a Battery Tender (these are different than a normal battery charger) on the battery to maintain full voltage and ensure long battery life.

  9. LT says:

    What most people don’t understand… and if I get thumbs down I’ll know you don’t know…. put a charger on a battary that has a full or almost full charge on it … it will over charge and will do damage to the battery. If any charger is put in a car new off the shelf, just put a trickle charger only on it. so unless the battary does not have a charge on it to be able to start the car… well its you money not mine.

  10. dmbasdoorknb says:

    yes