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How to Charge a Car Audio Capacitor? [STEPS]

How do you charge a car audio capacitor?

You can either charge a car audio capacitor by using its charging tool. Or, you can charge with the help of a testing bulb. Connect the bulb in series with the positive terminals of the battery and the capacitor. The bulb will turn off after a couple of minutes, indicating that the capacitor has been fully charged.

Car audio enthusiasts use capacitors for various reasons. For starters, capacitors make sure a powerful amplifier can get the sudden burst of power that might be required during a beat drop. Moreover, modern aftermarket audio capacitors are easy on the eyes and make the entire car stereo setup look cool.

The capacitors are some of the largest in their class and hence they don’t come charged because it can lead to voltage surges as you install them in your car. You can’t install a capacitor empty either because it can lead to rapid current inflow, resulting in sparks harmful for the capacitor as well as the rest of the audio system and connected electric components.

In short, you have to charge the capacitor before installing it with your audio system. If you don’t know how to charge a car audio capacitor, don’t worry, this tutorial has got you covered.

Here, we will walk you through the steps that will guide you on how to charge a capacitor. After reading through this tutorial, you will be able to charge it on your own without needing any expert help.

What You Will Need to Follow this Tutorial

  • A couple of wires rated for 12V circuitry or alligator clips
  • Multimeter
  • 12V test light bulb

Charging a Car Audio Capacitor that Comes with a Charging Tool

Some audio capacitors come with a charging tool so that car owners can easily charge them on their own. This charging tool is essentially a plat that features a resistor and four wires (two positive and two negatives).

Let’s see how to charge a car audio capacitor that comes with a charging tool.

  1. Connect one positive and negative wire of the tool with the corresponding terminals of the capacitor.
  2. Connect the second positive wire of the charging tool with the positive terminal of the car battery.
  3. Connect the second negative wire of the charging tool to the car’s chassis to ground it. It is important to mention here that don’t make a common ground of the charging tool and the audio system.
  4. As soon as you will ground the second negative wire of the tool, the capacitor will start getting charged.
  5. Take out the multimeter and configure it to measure direct voltage
  6. After 2-3 minutes, put the probes on the ends of the charging tool to get the voltage reading. If the capacitor is charging, the reading will be gradually increasing.
  7. As soon as the multimeter shows 12V or stops showing any voltage increment, remove the charging tool’s ground and then the other wires. The steady voltage reading at 12V shows that the capacitor has been fully charged.

Charging a Car Audio Capacitor that Comes without a Charging Tool

If your car audio capacitor doesn’t come with a charging tool, you can use a 12V test light bulb to charge the capacitor.

  1. Connect the negative terminal of the capacitor to the car’s chassis to ground it.
  2. Connect a wire to the positive terminal of the battery and connect its other end to the first end of the test bulb.
  3. Connect a wire to the positive terminal of the capacitor and connect its other end to the second terminal of the test bulb. The test bulb will be illuminated. You can also use alligator clips to make those connections.

In other words, you have to connect the test bulb in series with the battery and the capacitor.

The bulb will remain illuminated for a couple of minutes. When the bulb turns off, consider it a sign that the capacitor has been fully charged.

Vincent Talbot