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Are New Car Batteries Fully Charged?


Car batteries become ineffective after about 3 or 4 years of use. As a result, getting a new car battery is something every car owner will experience. Every car owner must purchase a new battery at least once every five years.

Normally, several thoughts run through the mind at the time of purchase, such as the type of battery to purchase, the quality, the price, and where to purchase it. Another one of such thoughts is, “do I need to charge the battery, or do new car batteries come fully charged?” If this question is in your mind, relax because this article has got you covered.

Here is the short answer! New car batteries are usually not fully charged because they self-discharge on the shelf. The percentage charge usually ranges from 95 to 55%, depending on how long the battery stays on the shelf.

This article will provide all the answers you need regarding this subject. So you don’t want to stop reading here!

Are new batteries fully charged?

As stated above, new batteries are indeed not 100% charged upon purchase because they self-discharge on the shelf.

new car battery

However, it was quite common to get a fully charged new car battery in the past. This was because back then, car batteries were “dry charged.” They were delivered to auto shops without electrolytes and only filled upon purchase.

Nowadays, most batteries do not come dry charged. The manufacturers fill them with electrolytes before supplying them to auto shops. They get to the auto shops already filled and sealed and remain there until they are purchased. It is important to know that batteries discharge as they are left unused on the shelf. Therefore, you can not expect your newly purchased battery to be 100% charged.

But does that mean you must charge your new car battery before use? Read on to find out.

Do I need to charge my new car battery before using it?

New car batteries come with different percentage charges depending on how long they have been on the shelf. The percentage charge usually ranges from 95 to 55%.

You do not necessarily need to charge your new car battery before using it. It will all depend on the battery’s percentage charge.

If your new battery’s percentage charge falls within the lower range (70-55%), it is advisable that you slow charge it before using it.

If yours falls within the higher range, you do not need to recharge it. The alternator will charge it until it attains full charge as you drive.

Should I run my vehicle after installing a new car battery?

You may or may not need to run your vehicle after installing a new car battery. It all depends on how charged your new battery is.

man installing a new car battery

Normally, installing a new battery should be the same as installing your old car battery after disconnecting it to charge. A well-charged battery will start up the car and power all electrical appliances.

After installing your new car batteries, you can turn on your car lights to see how charged the battery is.

If the lights are bright, then you are good to go. You will not need to charge the battery with a charger or the car alternator.

If the lights appear deem, then your battery is discharged. You can resolve this by charging it with the battery charger or the car alternator. To charge it with the alternator, you have to keep the car engine running for a while. 

How long do new car batteries usually last?

Typically, new car batteries last for about three to four years if well taken care of. Under the right conditions, high-quality ones can go as far as five years. You are good to go as long as your battery can hold a charge and be recharged.

Irrespective of how old your battery is, know that it is a call for you to purchase a new battery if you notice the following.

  • Dim lights irrespective of how often you charge the battery.
  • A rotten egg smell whenever you open your hood.
  • Whitish corrosive substance on your battery terminals.
  • A longer engine starting time.

Several other things will happen, but keep these in mind.

What can cause my new car battery to die quickly?

Several things can cause your new car battery to die quickly. Some include

  • Constantly forgetting to turn off your car lights. The car battery powers all car electrical appliances. The more you utilize the battery, the more you charge, and the more it degrades.
  • Leaving your car on the runway for long periods. Sparingly used cars usually have dead batteries. Car batteries slowly self-discharge when unused.
  • Only utilizing your car for short trips. Batteries start charging when the car engine is on and stop when the engine is off. Therefore, constantly starting and stopping your car engine will likely leave your battery uncharged.

How can I make my new charge battery last long?

A properly maintained car battery will last longer. You can do this by

  • Driving your car for long distances. This will ensure that the battery recharges and functions properly.
  • If possible, avoid extreme temperatures and excessive humility. High temperatures accelerate battery degradation.
  • You can get a block heater during winter to keep your engine warm and reduce the work needed to be done by the battery to power up the engine.
  • Clean your battery terminals regularly.
  • Test your battery’s performance regularly and maintain your car components.
  • Do not leave your car’s electrical appliances on for unnecessarily long periods.
  • You should rather slow charge than fast charge your car battery.
  • Do not overcharge the battery. Get a smart charger if possible.

How should I charge my new car battery?

Charge your new car battery like you charged the old one. The main thing with charging is to ensure that the right terminals are connected, and the voltage is good.

Do not overcharge your battery. It is preferable to get a smart charger. This is because smart chargers regulate the voltage within the needed range and automatically switch off or go into maintenance mode when the battery attains full charge. Smart chargers solve the problem of accidental battery overcharge.

Additionally, it would be best to slow charge and not fast charge your battery.

Why should I slow charge and not fast charge a new car battery?

It is advisable to slow charge and not fast charge a new car battery. This is because slow charging maintains the present good condition of the battery and its life span. On the other hand, fast charging reduces the battery’s performance capacity and life span.

charging new car battery


You might need to purchase a new car battery every five years as a car owner. New car batteries usually come charged and do not need to be charged before use. However, if they have been on the shelf for a long time, you will probably need to charge before using them.

The advice here is to maintain your battery properly and only slow charge it for as long as possible. The battery will be kind to you by lasting long and increasing the time needed for you to swap your card to purchase a new one.

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