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2007 Hyundai Elantra: recharging battery after a jump

can you recharge your car battery by driving after a jump start?

Yes, but a battery charger is best way to do it. If you are in the US most Auto Zone stores will test your battery to see if needs replacement.

A deep charge overnight with a charger is best, but if you take a couple hour road trip it will do.


drove for an hour and a half yesterday, it started today, drove 45+ minutes today. hope it works. thanks for the answer, yosemite!


Do you know why you needed a jump start? Driving for an hour or two will definitely recharge the battery providing the alternator is working, but it won’t fix a faulty battery or a short circuit or wiring/lighting problem that’s draining the battery when it shouldn’t.

it sat unused for about 8 days in high heat, and an interior light may have been on also. the battery, alternator and starter tested okay by AAA. had to have it jumped 2 days in a row, i think because after the first time, i was told to let it idle for 20 minutes, but then the second day i drove it around 60 mph for an hour and a half. same thing for about half hour the next day. so far so good. i was told on the phone by AAA that you need to actually drive it for at least half hour to get it charged, and saw some people online say to drive it longer, preferably on highway. does that sound right?

By the way, the battery is only 2 years old.

Any battery regardless of age can become damaged and need replaced by discharging too many times.

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Batteries tend to hold about 40 amp-hours of charge. The max charge rate is around 10 amp, so plan on 4 hours of freeway driving to fully charge a discharged battery. I don’t recommend jump starting btw. Either getting one, or giving one. It produces voltage spikes in the electrical system & can damage the car’s computer circuity. Best way (in terms of protecting the car’s electronics & keeping the battery in good shape) is to disconnect the battery negative, then charge the battery at the 2 amp rate for 10-20 hours with a battery charger. Given what you’ve said above, if were in your situation I’d fully charge the battery with a battery charger, then have a shop do a load or conductance test. I’m thinking your battery is not functioning at the 100% mark. If it is 5 years or older, don’t bother with the test, just replace it.

Does disconnecting the battery’s negative cause more problems than it avoids? On my 1999 Civic, a radio code needs to be entered. On newer cars it seems there can be a great many more serious effects of unhooking the battery, and non-DIY interventions needed to get the car working normally again.

Do battery chargers really provide that much hazard to today’s cars?

No need to disconnect the battery imhop. But yes certain cars have varying effects of batteries being disconnected, the best advice is to use a product that retains the brains, via 9 vlt battery or whatever, memory saver for cars.

You should be fine for now. Make sure all lights are off when you park. If you don’t use the car for several days and it won’t start, get the battery and charging system checked. If they are OK, then you may have a parasitic electrical loss, and should get that evaluated.

Depends on the car & the battery charger’s design. I’ve charged the battery on my Corolla without disconnecting the battery w/out any difficulties. I start with the battery charger unplugged, then connect the leads to the battery, then plug the charger in. I remove the charger in the reverse order. But that just means that particular charger is compatible with that particular car when used in that manner.

With an unknown (to me) car, and an unknown battery charger however, I wouldn’t risk the computer circuitry by charging the battery without first disconnecting the battery ground.

That’s how I use mine, too. And my present one won’t power up if its leads are on the wrong battery posts. At least, that what its instructions and indicator lights say. But I don’t intend to test that feature!