How to charge a frozen car battery

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How to charge a frozen car battery
Quickly thaw and charge your frozen car battery so you can get on your way. (closeup of jump leads image by Katrina Miller from

There's nothing worse than leaving for work to find that your car battery is frozen. When the temperature outside drops below -10.6 degrees Celsius, it can cause the fluids in your battery to slow and freeze. Sometimes, parking in a garage or carport will help prevent this because they help keep the heat closer to your vehicle. Luckily, thawing and charging your frozen battery is an easy task. However, it is recommended that you use protective eyewear while handling the battery cables.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Protective eyewear
  • Power blanket
  • Jump leads

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  1. 1

    Check the battery case for cracks. Thaw the frozen battery before proceeding. Use a power blanket to thaw the battery before trying to jumpstart your car. A power blanket is used to thaw things that are frozen outside, such as the ground or parts of your house.

  2. 2

    Turn off anything that doesn't need to be running in the vehicle you will be using to jump the dead battery. Make sure that the radio, heater, air conditioner and any other accessories are not running. Put on protective eye wear.

  3. 3

    Start the car that you're using to jump the dead battery. Leave it running for two or three minutes. Check the positive and the negative terminals on both batteries to make sure they are not cracked or damaged in any way.

  4. 4

    Connect the positive cable to the positive terminal on the dead battery. The positive cable is coloured red. Connect the other positive onto the positive terminal on the good battery. Connect the negative cable, which is black, to the negative terminal on the good battery. Connect the negative cable to the frame or engine block on an unpainted and clean spot. This is done to prevent sparks or an explosion.

  5. 5

    Do not wiggle the cables if there is a bad cable connection. Disconnect the negative cable that is attached to the engine block. Check all other connections to be sure they are fitting tightly. Reconnect the negative cable to the engine block or frame.

  6. 6

    Keep the running car turned on for about five more minutes to let the dead battery recharge. Start the car with the dead battery and let it idle for a couple of minutes to let its battery recharge.

  7. 7

    Remove the jump leads, starting with the negative terminal attached to the engine block. Remove the second negative cable, followed by both positive cables.

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