A Beginner’s Guide – How to Read a Battery Charger?

An amp meter is a tool that measures electric current. It measures the electrical current flowing from the charger to the battery. If you do not have any idea on how to read a battery charger, you might not be successful in charging your battery.

The amp meter is sometimes called an ammeter. Some people refer to these devices as battery tenders or battery chargers. It depends on its primary functions. They are beneficial devices to help extend the battery’s lifespan. In some instances, they can make dead batteries work again. This will give a lot of savings.

There are lots of automotive companies that manufacture chargers. These are helpful tools, particularly for beginners, because they are easy to use and very reliable. This post will teach you how to read a battery charger amp meter using the Schauer battery charger.

The amp meter is a device used to measure the electric current flowing into an electrical instrument such as the battery. Amp is short for ampere, the standard unit in measuring the electric current. The battery charger displays the amount of electric current that is being supplied by the charger to the battery.

Keep in mind, the ampere measures only the electric current and not the voltage. You should not interchange these two terms as they are different.

how to read a battery charger

Steps on How to Read a Schauer Battery Charger

To read the amp meter, you need to connect the charger to the battery first. So, the process has two parts. The first part includes the steps about how to connect the charger, and the second part informs on how to read the amp meter.

To read the amp meter, you need to connect the charger to the battery first. So, the process has two parts. The first part includes the steps about how to connect the charger, and the second part informs on how to read the amp meter.

Part 1 – Connecting the Charger

Before you can work with the batteries, it is a must that you put on the safety gear like goggles and gloves. Below are the steps on connecting the charger.

Before you can work with the batteries, it is a must that you put on the safety gear like goggles and gloves. Below are the steps on connecting the charger.

step 1

Disconnect the Battery from the Car

When disconnecting the car battery, you need to make sure that the car engine is off and the key is not in the ignition. Then, locate the battery under the hood of the car.


Using a socket wrench, twist the nut in a counterclockwise motion of the battery. You need to start with the negative terminal. Once you find it loose enough, remove the negative connector from the battery. Do the same process for the positive terminal.

step 2

Connect the Charger to the Battery

Make sure the charger is off, and the electrolyte level is good before connecting it to the battery. If it is not on the right level, top it off with distilled water. The battery posts must be clean.

Now you are set to connect the charger. First, connect the charger’s positive clip to the battery’s positive terminal or post. Most of the time, the positive clip is the red cable, while the positive post in your battery is the one with the + icon. Follow the same process with the negative post. The black wire is the one with a negative clip.

Part 2 – Steps on Reading the Battery Charger Amp Meter

Now that you have connected the battery charger, you can connect the charger to the battery and read the amp meter.

step 1

Plug the Battery Charger

The charger and the battery are correctly connected; the next step is to plug the charger and turn it on. Once you switched on the charger, the needle of the meter will move to the desired ampere. As the charging continues, the needle will likewise move down. If the needle has dropped to half of the needed amp, it indicates that the battery is ultimately charged.

step 2

Checking the Charger

You will find two read areas on the amp meter. Once you start charging, it displays the charger rate. The red area on the far right is for the higher charge rate amperage. On the left side of the amp meter, you will find another red area. This will specify rates for the 2-amp position.

You will see the needle moves to the red area on the right side, but once you charge the battery, the needle drops directly to the left in a large red area.

step 3

Read the Amp Meter

If you see two needles in the amp meter, you should know how to distinguish what these needles indicate. The needle that directs to the desired amp upon switching on is the needle that will tell you how much amps the charger is adding.

The other needle will indicate the amount of charge the battery has. If the needles are position on top of the other, the amp meter reading suggests that you have charged the battery completely.

In case, the battery short circuit, the ammeter will indicate that the battery charger is providing the highest current, and the battery is significantly discharged. If within five to ten minutes, the needle is still not moving to get into the lower amperage, stop charging.

Check why you have such reading. You can use a voltmeter to check on the battery voltage. If the reaction is below 12 volts, then you might have a defective battery that requires replacing or servicing. But, if the voltage reading is over 12 volts, you can proceed with the charging.

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Conclusion

Remember, not all chargers are the same. Some chargers have multiple gauges or have multiple needles. Although this can be confusing if you follow the steps above, it will help you greatly on how to read a battery charger amp meter.


If you have questions or confusion about the gauges and needles on the battery chargers, you can use the digital meters. It is a bit expensive, but they are much easier to read for those who do not have experience with reading the battery charger.


We hope this article helps you with how to read a Schumacher battery charger amp meter and other brands. If you follow the steps carefully, you will know how easy it is to charge the battery.

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