The difference between the battery and the alternator is that the battery provides the power for the vehicle’s electronics when the engine is turned off, whereas the alternator provides the power for the accessories when the engine is running. The alternator is also responsible for charging the battery. In case, the battery is constantly being depleted, chances are that the alternator is not working, and needs replacement as soon as possible. However, you might still need your car to get to where you are going, without getting the chance to replace the alternator. Here is how to go about the charging process by other means.


Use jumper cables to recharge your dead battery using the live battery of a running car. Connect the jumper cables of the good battery and the bad battery, positive to positive and negative to negative. Run the engine of the well-charged car, by placing the car in parking mode, and gently stepping on the accelerator. After a few minutes, try igniting your engine. This should work well enough to allow the disconnection of the jumpers without your car’s engine stalling.

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Use a portable battery charger. For this to work, ensure that the portable charger is at full power. Join the red clip to the positive battery terminal with a + sign next to it. Attach the black colored clip to the negative terminal.  Give the set up time to work. Depending on the potency of your charger, they might vary from 45 minutes (for a 10 AMP charger) or higher.

Use a fixed charger. Portable chargers might be hard to come by, but chances are, you can get your hands on a charger that goes into a building’s power outlet. If the charger is not equipped with an adequate long cable, you can use power extensions, if the weather is calm and dry. Connect the red clip of the charger to the positive terminal of the battery. Then you can repeat it for the black clip to the negative terminal of the battery. The charger’s LED will turn green, to indicate that the battery is entirely charged.

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Improvise by making your own trickle charger. You will need a device with a 12-volt direct current output, strong wires, a multimeter and two clips. Power up the device and use the multimeter to determine the positive and negative power outlets. Label the findings appropriately and attach wires appropriately, ensuring the red wire is attached to the positive outlet as well as the red clip which goes to the battery terminal labeled +. The black wire is to be attached to the negative power feed, and the black clip, which goes onto the battery terminal, labeled -. Give the set up about 12 hours to charge the battery completely.