A car battery charger is one of the most essential car accessories to have. It is common for car batteries to die due to cold weather, draining the battery, or simply because the battery is old. While mechanics can help get your car up and running again, what do you do when you're out in the middle of nowhere and your car won't start? A car battery charger allows you to charge your battery so that you can get moving again.
Even if you need to replace your old car battery, a car battery charger will allow you to start your car so that you can drive to a local mechanic shop. Today, let's take a look at the best car battery charger options on the market. In this article, we'll also take a look at how to choose the best car battery and how you can use one. Let's get started!
Comparison of the Best Car Battery Charger
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Things To Consider When Shopping For the Best Car Battery Charger
In order for you to buy the best car battery charger for your vehicle, you'll need to go over some considerations and questions to ask yourself. Not all car battery chargers are made alike, which is why it is important to go over these considerations. Below, let's take a look at the top considerations to consider when shopping for the best car battery charger.
1. What Size and Voltage Do You Need?
Begin by considering what size vehicle you plan on using the battery charger on. The vehicle size will determine whether the battery charger will need to charge a large battery or a small one. Not only will you have to consider how large your battery is, but you must also consider the voltage that you'll need.
The voltage refers to the measure of the electric strength of the car battery charger. Most vehicles will work with a 12V car battery charger, but you may need a 6V battery charger, depending on the size of your vehicle. Consider which one you'll need before you begin shopping for a vehicle battery charger.
2. What Is Your Battery Chemistry?
Just as all car battery chargers are different, so are car batteries. While almost all car batteries have lead-acid batteries, they can differ in chemistry. For example, vehicle batteries can come in the form of standard lead-acid, AGM, Gel Cel, or Deep Cycle. The reason why it is important to know your battery chemistry is that certain battery chargers can only handle certain types of battery chemistry.
Most batteries are standard lead-acid, so there is a good chance that your vehicle has that kind of battery. However, do some research on what your battery chemistry is before you start shopping for a battery charger.
3. Do You Want A Fully Automatic Battery Charger?
Another consideration to ask yourself is whether you want a fully automatic battery charger or not. Basically, a fully automatic charger can detect when your vehicle’s battery is fully charged and automatically switch to a maintenance charge or float mode to protect it from overcharging.
Many high-quality vehicle battery chargers have this feature. But if you want something that is simple, a manual battery charger may work well for you.
4. What Features Would You Like?
Battery chargers have many useful features nowadays. Such features include microprocessor control, multi-step charging, and fully automatic. No matter what, make sure the battery charger that you choose is easy to use. The more features it has, the less work there is for you to operate it.
Best Car Battery Charger Options To Buy
Now that we have gone over the top considerations to keep in mind, it is time to start shopping! Let's take a look at the top ten best car battery charger options on the market. Remember that not all vehicle battery chargers are alike, so use the considerations that I gave you above to help you choose a vehicle battery charger that will fit your needs. With that being said, let's start shopping!
Looking for a car battery charger that is fully automatic and safe to use? Look no further than the Battery Tender Plus 1.25 Amp Battery Charger. It is designed to fully charge a battery in a short amount of time. Included is a quick connect harness for areas that are hard to reach. This battery charger features reverse polarity protection to ensure user safety.
Red and green lights alternately flash in this condition. The reverse polarity protection feature means that the battery won't charge if the clamps haven't been installed correctly. This product will automatically switch from full charge to float charging mode. Another nice feature is the spark proof clamps. All in all, this battery charger is a great option for your vehicle.
This 25 amp vehicle battery charger maintains and charges any AGM, GEL, WET automotive, or marine 12V battery. It is fully automatic and features a three-stage charging system. This means it will automatically switch from fast charge to top-off and then to trickle charge.
This car battery charger is equipped with reverse polarity protection. The LCD screen displays the charging status and battery status with icons that are easy to understand. This feature is nice because you can find out what the charging status is by simply looking at the LCD screen.
This battery charger features a patented alternator check which indicates if the alternator is maintaining battery level. The STANLEY 25 Amp 12V Bench Battery Charger is ETL Certified for performance and safety. Overall, this is a great product to try.
This car battery charger is designed for lead-acid batteries up to 230 amp-hours. The maximum power consumption is 132 watts. Featuring spark-proof technology, as well as reverse polarity and overcharge protection, this product is guaranteed to be safe to use. It can be used to charge AGM and deep-cycle batteries.
This product monitors the batteries health and repairs discharged and sulfated batteries for improved battery life. You can use this vehicle battery charger to charge a motorcycle, snowmobile, ATV, personal watercraft, lawn mower, and more, as well as all types of vehicles.
The BLACK+DECKER Battery Charger charges and maintains 12 volt and 6 volt AGM, GEL, and WET batteries. It will stop charging automatically when the battery is fully charged or topped off. It will then switch to float mode monitoring. This prevents your battery from becoming overcharged.
The built-in circuit protection guards against overcharging, reverse polarity, or short circuit. This product is ETL certified for performance and safety. Overall, this vehicle battery charger is a great option for you if you are shopping for a battery charger that is automatic.
This battery charger is fully automatic and can be used for charging all types of 12V lead-acid batteries, including GEL, AGM, and STD. The optimal function can automatically select the charge rate best fit for your type of battery.
This battery charger is designed for charging batteries in the winter weather conditions. It is microprocessor-controlled, with multi-stage charging for added precision, safety, and battery life. All in all, this is a great product to purchase for your vehicle.
This product has enough power to jump start most vehicles (Up to 8.0L Gas or 6.0L Diesel Engine) on the road. It works with vehicles, motorbikes, watercraft, ATVs, UTVs, yacht, snowmobiles, and more. It features more than 5 advanced safety technology including over-current protection, overload protection, over-voltage protection, over-charge protection, and high-temperature protection, making it a safe option.
The LED light has three modes: Flashlight, Strobe light, and SOS light. A unique feature of this car jump starter is that it can also charge your cell phone, GPS, camera, tablet, or other electronic devices at a fast speed.
With 800 amps peak current, the Tacklife Battery Charger can jump start 12V cars, SUVs, trucks, or vans up to 30 times after a full charge (in 4.5 hours). A nice feature of this battery charger is that you can turn it off using the ON/OFF switch manually. This will allow your car jump starter to hold a charge up to 12 months when not in use.
You'll have to remember to turn the jump starter back on when you want to charge your car's battery, as the battery won't charge when the charger is turned off. This battery charger features an LED light that can be used as an emergency flashlight. Along with the TACKLIFE T8 jump starter, you will receive smart jumper cables, a wall charger, car charger, USB cable, cigarette lighter socket adapter, user manual, and a 2-year warranty.
8. DBPOWER [Ultra Compact] 300A Peak 8000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter (Only for Gas Engine up to 2.5L)
If you are shopping for a car battery charger that is compact, this product may be exactly what you are looking for. About as large as iPhone 6, this portable car jump starter is compact enough to store in your glovebox. In addition to being able to charge your vehicle's battery, you can use this product to charge phones, tablets, Kindles, and other devices at speeds of up to 2.1 amps per port overall.
It recharges in just 5 hours using the USB charger. Another nice feature is the built-in flashlight with 3 modes (high, strobe and SOS). This battery charger features current protection, short circuit protection, overload protection, over-voltage protection, and over-charge protection. Overall, this is a great car battery charger to try.
This next battery charger features 15A to charge and 3A to maintain your battery. The auto voltage detection automatically detects 6 or 12V batteries. It automatically selects the charge rate for charging and maintaining. The reverse hook-up protection ensures that the charger will not operate if the clamps are reversed. This feature makes this product safer to use. This battery charger charges compatible battery types, including standard, AGM, gel, and deep-cycle batteries.
10. AUTOWN Car Jump Starter – 21000mAh 1000A Peak, 12V Auto Battery Booster with Quick Charge (Up to 8.0L Gas, 6.5L Diesel Engine)
Once again, this next car battery charger is compact and has the capability of charging your phone and other devices as well. It is able to jump start 12V vehicles at a fast speed. It will work for for cars, trucks, SUVs, and more. This battery charger can also charge smartphones, tablets, e-watches and more.
Featuring all-metal spray gold clamps, it has built-in Anti-Reverse Protection and reverse-polarity technology, as well as safety protection for short circuit, over current, over-voltage, over-charge and more. All of these features prevent your car's battery from becoming damaged.
In addition to this, the AUTOWN Car Jump Starter features anultra-bright LED flashlight that can switch between lighting, strobe, and SOS modes. The lighting makes it easier to jump start your vehicle at night, while the strobe and SOS flashlight can be used for emergency use. All in all, this product is a great option to use. It is compact, has many useful features, and is easy to use.
How To Use A Car Battery Charger
Once you have chosen your car battery charger, you may be wondering what the next step is. Using your vehicle battery charger is not as simple as plugging it in and letting your battery recharge. That said, it is not as difficult as some people may think it is. Let's dive in and take a look at how to use a car battery charger.
1. Connect the Charger To the Battery
Begin by connecting your battery charger to your vehicle's battery. You can either remove the battery from your vehicle to charge it or leave it inside your vehicle. Both methods work well. To connect the charger to the battery, attach the positive (red) clamp to the positive post on the battery. Once you have successfully attached the positive clamp to the positive post, attach the negative (black) clamp to the negative post on the battery.
2. Set the Charger
The next step to charging your car battery is to set the volt and amps on the charger. If you want to slowly trickle charge the battery, you'll need to set it to a lower amperage. But if you plan on quickly charging your battery, you'll want the amps to be higher. Trickle charging is recommended, but it can take a while to do. If you are in a hurry, you probably won't be able to trickle charge your battery.
3. Plug In the Charger
Next, plug in the charger and wait for it to shut off automatically. If you don't have an automatic charger, then you'll have to set a time for you to turn it off. Make sure you give enough time for your car battery to charge, but be careful to not overcharge it.
4. Disconnect the Battery Charger
Once your car battery has been fully charged, you can unplug the charger from the wall. Then, starting with the negative cable, carefully disconnect the battery charger from the battery.
Why Does My Car Battery Die?
Now that we have gone over how to use a car battery charger and the best car battery chargers, you may be wondering what causes a car battery to die in the first place. While you may know that certain things can drain the battery, such as leaving your headlights on, there are many other reasons why your car battery may die. Let's take a look at these reasons why car batteries die so that you know how to prevent a dead car battery in the future.
1. An Old Car Battery
The average car battery dies within three to five years. Sometimes car batteries last for ten years, but if you deal with extremely cold weather, the car battery lifespan is shortened. Test your car battery regularly to find out if it is getting old. Also, be on the lookout for signs of car battery failure.
Such signs include if a check engine light pops up, if it has a slow engine crank, if the battery case is bloated, if your car makes a clicking noise when you turn the key, or if the car headlights are dim. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to get a car battery replacement. It is better to change your battery now before it is too late.
2. Cold Weather
Have you ever tried to start your vehicle after a deep freeze and your vehicle wouldn't start? This is because your car's battery weakens in cold weather. Even if the temperature is only 32 degrees, the battery is 35% weaker. Cold weather shortens the life of your car battery, so it is common for car batteries to need to be replaced after a cold winter.
If possible, try to prepare for the cold weather before it can damage your car battery. For example, start parking your vehicle in your garage, plug in your vehicle during deep freezes, and install a battery blanket. However, if you wait too long, your car battery may die, and the only way to get it working again is to use a car battery charger.
Corrosion at the connections can also cause your car battery to die. The battery terminals are where you want to look for corrosion. One is marked with a positive, the other a negative. As you may already know, these are the points that you use to jump your car and they're what allow your battery to be charged by your alternator.
The best way to know if your battery has been slightly damaged by corrosion is if you see blue or green growths hanging off the battery terminals. You may also notice a thin white powdery substance on the terminals. It is common for corrosion to appear on your battery's connections.
Corrosion makes it harder for your car to charge the battery, which is why your car's battery may die. If the battery's terminals are extremely damaged, you'll need your battery replaced. However, you can usually clean the battery's connections yourself with a rag or brush.
4. Draining the Battery
Mistakenly leaving the headlights on or leaving your phone charger plugged in can also cause the battery to drain. Always try to remember to unplug any accessories (such as your phone charger), turn off all interior lights and headlights, and always shut the doors all the way. Leaving one of the doors open can cause the interior lights to stay on, which, in turn, will drain the battery.
Also, don't leave your GPS or radio on too long after turning your vehicle off. In addition to this, try not to take your vehicle for lots of sudden, short drives. Basically, make sure you completely shut down your vehicle before turning your vehicle off and letting it sit.
5. Electronic Parasites
Another common reason for car batteries to die is electronic parasites to damage it. A bad alternator is considered one of the most common electronic parasite. As you may already know, your battery relies on your alternator in order to recharge.
Even if the weather is warm, a bad alternator will cause your battery to die and your vehicle to not start. A broken fuse can also drain a battery, even when your car is off. Be sure to contact a mechanic if your battery is dead due to electronic parasites.
Final Thoughts On the Best Car Battery Charger
I hope this article has helped you choose the best car battery charger to fit your needs. A vehicle battery charger is something that you should always have with you. You never know when your vehicle's battery could die, so it is important that you have a charger around.
In this article, I went over the top ten best car battery charger options, as well as a complete guide on choosing and using one. I hope this article has helped answer all of your questions. Happy shopping!