Is it normal to hear sounds from a car battery that’s being charged? Should you be concerned?
If you think otherwise, think again. You should be concerned. Noise from the battery can lead to an explosion or damage to the battery.
Read on to find out why you may have noises from a car battery and how to fix them.
Do Car Batteries Make Noise when Charging?
You may have noises from your car batteries as you charge them.
This is not normal and could indicate an issue with the battery, charger, or alternator that should be fixed right away to avoid damage to the battery and an explosion should there be a spark near the inflammable gases.
Find out here for steps to take when you hear noises from the battery.
Car Battery Making a Bubbling Sound – Is this Normal?
There shouldn’t be any loud bubbling sound when charging a flooded or wet lead acid battery.
This bubbling sound signals the release of flammable hydrogen gas from the battery that can explode when ignited by a spark.
Check the recommended charge current (may be inscribed on the battery side or battery manual) for your battery capacity (Ah) and make sure that the charging current used is within the limits.
Make sure to that the charger voltage settings match those recommended by the battery manufacturer too.
Why a Car Battery may Make Noises During Charging?
If the car battery makes noise during charging, it may be because of:
1. Failing Alternator – overcharging of the car battery
A faulty alternator can overcharge a car battery which may give off a hissing sound. This is the sound of gases being vented from the battery.
To check if this is the case, use a digital multimeter set to read DC voltages to check the voltage output of the alternator when the car engine is running.
Place the multimeter leads across the battery terminals to do this. The recommended output voltage from the alternator should be in the 13.5-14.5VDC range.
A higher reading can point to a failing alternator with probably a faulty voltage regulator.
2. External charger may be set to charge a battery with different chemistry than connected
Do you have an AGM battery but the settings selected on the battery charger are for a GEL battery? Is it a 6V battery but the charger settings are for a 12V battery?
Confirm that the battery type settings suit the connected battery type to prevent overcharging of the battery.
Noise Car Battery Makes Under Charge – Is It Normal?
It is not normal that there’s a noise from a car battery during charging. In some cases though, there might be a hissing noise, a sign of an issue with the charging process, and probably the car battery being overcharged. Read on to find out why this might be happening.
What to Do?
Should you hear a hissing noise from the battery:
1. Immediately disconnect it from the charger if using an external charger or switch off the engine if the battery was being charged off the car alternator.
2. Is the battery in an open space? If in a closed space, open the windows so that any inflammable gases that may have built up dissipate.
3. Do not switch on any accessories or appliances that give off sparks, or light a cigarette around the battery as there might be an explosion.
4. Check the car battery voltage. It should be in the 12.6-12.7VDC range when fully charged.
5. Arrange to have both the car alternator and battery tested (load tested). This is necessary as replacing a car battery with a new one when the underlying issue is not fixed will lead to damage to the new battery.
If the battery and alternator check out fine, you should be able to continue using the battery.
Do Car Battery Chargers Make Noise?
Some chargers, depending on the design of the charger and the amp draw may make a humming sound.
Well-designed low-current chargers should work silently. High amp chargers on the other hand with a cooling fan may make a whirring sound as the fan runs to keep the charger components cool.
Confirm with the charger manufacturer if it is normal for that charger to make a humming sound. You may have to contact a qualified technician to support you on this.
Some chargers have inbuilt relays and may hear a clicking sound when the charger is plugged into a wall outlet that is switched on or when the battery is fully charged.
If the clicking is constant then there’s probably an issue with the charger that needs to be fixed. Contact the charger manufacturer or a qualified technician for support.
You may also be interested in this post: Car battery charger clicking on and off – what to do?
It is not normal that you should hear sounds from the car battery during charging as this points to a charging issue that can not only damage the battery but result in a dangerous explosion.
Therefore always stop the charging process immediately and then proceed to investigate the underlying issue which might be an overcharging alternator, or wrong charge settings just to mention a few of the possible causes.