If you have lost or damaged your scooter battery, this temporary charging solution should keep you rolling until the replacement arrives.
After ordering a replacement, read the specifications on your battery. Find out your battery’s voltage and match a charging device with the same voltage. Choose a slow charge to avoid potentially damaging your battery and monitor the battery at all times. If the battery starts to get hot, disconnect it immediately as it could overheat and explode.
In order to charge a battery, you will need DC power (Direct Current power) from some source. You can adapt a charger to charge your battery from the source available.
- 1 Four Ways To Charge A Scooter Battery Without A Charger
- 2 How To Charge A Dead Scooter Battery
- 3 How to Make a 12 Volt Battery Charger
- 4 Safety
Four Ways To Charge A Scooter Battery Without A Charger
There are several sources of DC power that you can use to charge your device. You can then connect the power source to your battery to charge it.
It would be helpful to have a multimeter. A multimeter is a device that measures the electricity flowing through a device or from a power source.
Depending on the type of the battery, you can charge the scooter battery with one of two devices:
If you have any cordless tools, that charger is likely to match your battery well.
Check to see if the battery and charger are compatible by comparing the voltage. The charger and the battery should have the same voltage. If the charger voltage is lower than the battery, it will take longer to charge, but it can still work.
You will need to adapt the charger to connect it to your battery. You would do this by taking the charger apart, stripping the wires, and connecting them to your battery. You will use electrical tape to attach the wires to the battery terminals.
Yes, this is likely to permanently destroy your charger.
Do not leave this rigged-up charger unattended. This is a very dangerous way to charge a battery as there are no charge controllers in this direct connection. This means that the battery can easily over-charge. When a battery overcharges it can heat up, and as soon as it starts to heat up the battery is breaking down.
Heat is the number one enemy of batteries. As you are monitoring the charging battery, disconnect the wires if the battery starts to heat up. Some heat is normal, but it should not be hot. Some batteries will explode if they get too hot. If you accidentally touch both ends of the wires, you can electrocute yourself.
This should only be attempted if you are familiar with safe electrical work and the situation is dire, aka the battery must be charged right now.
A variable charger is capable of charging batteries with a range of voltages.
A variable charger allows the user to select the output voltage, find the voltage of your battery, and set the variable charger to match the battery’s voltage. Connect the positive and negative terminals to the variable charger and allow the battery to charge. This is the safest way to charge a 12-volt battery if you have access to the terminals.
If you are unable to remove the battery in your device, this method will not work.
Solar chargers are available in many different voltages.
Solar trickle chargers are often used to charge small batteries in things like scooters, golf carts, and boats to keep them from draining while the owner is away.
Solar chargers can be purchased to match the voltage of your battery, and they provide a very small amount of electricity to keep batteries topped off.
Some scooters charge the battery while the vehicle is in operation. If this is the type of scooter that you are trying to charge, a trickle charger may be able to give you enough charge to start the scooter.
If you are dealing with a dead battery or a device that does not charge the battery while it is running, a trickle charger will not provide enough charge for regular use of your scooter.
Car Jump Box
Car Jump boxes are made with a lead-acid or lithium-ion battery connected to positive and negative terminals. These boxes are charged with a wall charger or solar hookups.
If your jump box has a slow charge feature you can connect the positive and negative terminals of your battery. You may have to use tape or another non-conductive solution.
If you attempt this solution, start by charging the device for just 15 minutes then check to see if you have a charge.
Some of these boxes have 12v or 120v outlets and USB connections as well.
A portable jumper box comes in handy very often. I have used ours as a portable power supply during longer power outages to charge phones and even to power the crockpot. These jumper boxes are available for under $100 dollars and well worth the investment.
How To Charge A Dead Scooter Battery
You can charge a dead battery with matching voltage in DC power, but be careful not to overcharge or overheat the battery as that can cause permanent damage to the battery.
Match the Charger
Most scooters are equipped with a small 6 or 12-volt battery. If you are unsure, check the printing on the battery to determine if it is a 6 or 12-volt battery and find a source of DC power to supply the charge to the battery.
You can use a variable charger if you have access to one, or you can find a charger for another device that matches the voltage of your battery.
Many devices use 12-volt chargers:
- Cell Phones
- GPS Units
- LCD Screen Displays
Check the specs printed on the charger to see if you have an older charger that matches the voltage of your battery.
These chargers can be connected to the battery and provide a charge after being plugged into a wall outlet. You can use a charger with a lower voltage to charge your battery, but it will take longer to charge.
When your battery is completely dead, it is helpful to do a long slow charge to bring the battery back to life. Dead batteries can sometimes respond better to longer lower power charging. Fast, high voltage charging may not be accepted as well by highly damaged batteries or older batteries. If the matching voltage is not charging your battery, try a lower voltage over a longer time.
Connect the Power Source
The same way you connect two cars to jump-start a dead battery, you will connect the positive and negative points on the charger to the matching posts on your battery.
Ideally, you have a device that is designed to be connected to a battery and has labeled connection points. If a traditional charging device is not available, you can use a multimeter to check which wire is positive and which is negative.
Mark the wires and carefully attach the power source to the battery. Never touch the positive and negative at the same time while the charger is connected to electricity. In addition, never leave a battery unattended while charging, especially, when it is charging with a charger not authorized by the manufacturer.
Monitor the Battery
Measure the charge of the battery with a multimeter. A 12-volt battery should read 13.3 volts when measured by a multimeter set to read DC volts. (The symbol on your multimeter looks like two solid parallel lines.)
You should also monitor the battery housing for any swelling. Battery cells often swell before they explode. The swelling is caused by heat and the components inside the battery cells dividing and expanding. A battery that has become swollen is no longer safe to use.
How to Make a 12 Volt Battery Charger
With an understanding of how electricity works, you can adapt a charger that you have to charge a 12-volt battery.
Find a Power Source
Start by finding a charger that charges at 12v DC power.
Read the specifications on all the random chargers that you have laying around until you find one that charges 12 volt DC.
Laptop chargers may work here, and they have some safety features built-in. Be careful as chargers vary. Confirm the voltage by testing the charger with a multimeter.
Check chargers for old GPS units, phone chargers, clocks, or other small appliances. Adapting this charger to charge your 12-volt battery will destroy the charger, and it will no longer be used for its original purpose.
Strip the Wires
First, cut off the original connecting end that connected the charger to its original device. Then, keep the end that plugs into the wall. Finally, strip the wires inside the plug and separate the two.
Determine Positive and Negative
You will need a multimeter to determine which wire is positive and which is negative.
Once you have determined the positive and negative wires, mark them so you do not forget.
It is very important that you get this correct or you risk destroying the charger, destroying the battery, and possibly blowing a circuit where you have the charger plugged in.
Connect To Battery
You can connect the wires directly to the battery terminals, but it may be easier to use if you connect the wires to a set of jumper cable clips.
You can cut the jumper cable in half and attach the negative wire to the black clamp and the positive to the red clamp.
This makes this charger much easier and safer to use.
If you choose to connect the wires directly to the battery terminals, be careful never to touch positive and negative at the same time as that will result in electrocution.
Monitor While Charging
While you have the battery connected to your charger and the charger plugged into the wall, you need to be in the same room monitoring the battery.
When a battery is overcharging, it converts the extra energy to heat, and that heat will quickly break down the components inside the battery.
If you notice that your battery is getting warm, disconnect the battery. Too much heat can cause the battery to swell and break through the plastic housing.
Batteries that start to swell should immediately be disconnected from the power source and discarded as a swollen battery is too damaged to be useful.
As mentioned before, these methods should only be used in an emergency.
If you find that you have misplaced the charger for your scooter, you should order a new one before testing out these hacks. If this is not possible, you should visit an auto part store and buy a variable charger that can safely charge 12-volt batteries.
The best way to charge a battery is with a battery charger. There are safety features that percent these chargers from overcharging batteries. Overcharging can result in fire or chemical burns, and handling bare wire with bare hands can easily result in electrocution.
Always double-check that a wire is not connected to electricity before handling it, and wear gloves whenever possible.