Unlike our phones, car batteries have significantly longer time before they discharge. But when they do, they are often in the most inconvenient times. That’s why innovation has brought us car battery chargers to ensure this never happens anytime or anywhere.
However, with so many different car battery chargers in the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best automotive battery chargers and some tips to help you choose the best one for you.
Our Picks for the Best Car Battery Chargers
Listed below are our car battery charger reviews. Also, we’ve put together a detailed buying guide with helpful tips that will make things easier for you when choosing your product.
Key features: Excellent Winter Charging Mode, Auto charging rate, Advanced LCD Display, Complete 6-step Charging Program and Smart Fast Charger.
The Ampeak 2/8/15A 12V is the ideal charger/maintainer for garden tools, motorsport, boats, and cars. Its smart fast charging helps you choose the charging rate manually but also the optimal function can automatically select the charge rate best fit for your type of battery. With its easy-to-carry handle and versatility, it’s perfect for any emergencies.
You don’t also have to worry about charging in the winter as it has an excellent winter charging mode that specially designed for the cold weather. The advanced LCD Display helps to easily track the charging status, current, and voltage, especially in low light conditions. You won’t also need to worry about overheating, overtime charging or overvoltage as it is microprocessor-controlled and has multi-stage charging for that. The user-friendly controls plus the compatibility and smart charging make this one of the best battery chargers out there.
Key features: Has 3 settings; fully automatic; easy-to-read led indicators; Reverse hook-up protection, trusted brand
The Schumacher (SE-4020-CA) 6/12V 200 Amp is designed for heavy-duty car batteries. It’s fully automatic meaning it can stand extreme engine starting, and for charging and rugged use. It features 3 settings to suit your every need: 6 to 2-ampere charge/maintain, 40-ampere boost, and 200-ampere engine start.
Engineered for performance and heavy-duty use, the Schumacher (SE-4020-CA) 6/12V 200 Amp packs a punch and its reverse hook-up protection makes it easy to get around and maintaining safety use plus you’ll also get clamps that are CEC approved.
Key features: Fast charging at 1.25Amps; Reverse Polarity Protected; Temperature Compensated; 10-year warranty
If you’re looking for an affordable with a powerful performance, Battery Tender Plus 12V – 1.25A is your best bet. This battery charger is one of the World’s Most Technologically Advanced Battery Chargers with a design to fully charge a battery and maintain it at proper storage voltage without the damaging effects caused by trickle chargers. It’s fast, compact and features a convenient quick connect harness for hard to reach areas.
It is also spark proof and temperature compensated which means that you won’t have to worry about overheating as the battery adjusts its system’s performance to compensate for effects caused by changes in temperature. And did we mention it has a 10-year warranty? All these features in such a small and cheap car battery charger is definitely a steal.
Tips for Choosing the Best Car Battery Charger
Even the best car battery occasionally needs a charge. It may be hard to choose one battery charger that will suit your specific needs with so many out there. But fret not, we’re here to guide you. Here are some of the things you need to consider.
Identify your voltage needs – Depending on the voltage needs of your car, you can save up a ton of money. Say you only have a 12-volt car battery, then you’re much better of picking a 12-volt charger rather than a 6-volt since it can accommodate it in most cases. But if you need a versatile charger for not just your car but some other motors, you may opt for the 6 volts.
Amperage – Different batteries require different amperages. But fortunately, most car battery chargers today offer different amperages that will suit your needs. You just need to select which ones you will be using. Furthermore, there are certain chargers that charge your battery faster than others because of the number of amperages in them. But do be careful because fast doesn’t always mean safe.
Finding the right size – Battery chargers are getting lighter and portable as technology advances. And this is a good thing! For one, you don’t have to pick big battery chargers as heavy as the actual car batteries. And portable means you can bring it with you on the go so making them come in handy.
Manual or automatic – If you’re a mechanic, you might find it assuring to pick a manual charger. But for those that are new to cars, it will be easy to go fully automatic which means that there will be cases of overcharging. But even if you’re a mechanic or an auto geek, you might find that this feature is useful and convenient.
Smart Car Battery Chargers – With the advent of computers, everything is going automatic. They are not called smart chargers for no reason. This feature allows for a convenient and easy time as the charger itself will do the diagnostics for you. They can also prevent human errors that such as negative hookups or reversing the positive and negative hookups.
A Simple Guide to Charging Your Car Battery
You have the charger, but you don’t have a clue on how to charge the car. You wish it was as simple as charging your phone but it’s not. However, with this simple guide, we’ve got you covered!
- Safety first – Before anything, you want to make sure that you are working in a dry and well-lit area preferably in your garage. Then, make sure you wear protective glasses and gloves if you need to.
- Charging in your car or disconnecting it – Usually, most car chargers are easy enough to reach. But some need to be disconnected to be charged. When removing the battery, disconnect the negative terminal first then the positive.
- Place the battery – If you disconnected the battery from the car, place it in a flat surface away from the charger. You would want to keep the charger as far away as possible to prevent any damage or fire.
- Connecting properly – Start by making sure that the charger is off. Next, attach the black cable from the charger with the negative (-) sign on it to its corresponding terminal on the battery which has the same symbol. Then, attach the red cable which is the positive (+) to the positive terminal. Be sure to carefully check if you correctly put them in their respective terminals otherwise you risk damaging the battery.
- Starting the charge – Depending on the model of your charger, you may manually set the voltage or not. However, most batteries in the market now are easy to use just be sure to read the manual.
- Check if it works – Some modern batteries are equipped with LED displays that provide you all the things you will need to check such as the voltage, amps, charging status and error information. Usually, a car battery holds 48 amps and if you charge it at around 1amp/hour, it would take 12 hours to fully charge it.
Safety Features of Car Battery Chargers
Gone are the days when you must worry too much about overcharging or overheating your car battery. Most modern car battery chargers are equipped with these safety features to prevent accidents.
Reverse Polarity Warning — Essentially what this does is it warns you if you have the wrong cable attached to the wrong terminal. This in turns prevents explosions or fires.
Auto voltage and amperage detection – This feature prevents overheating and overcharging of the car battery.
Spark-Proof Clamps – Sparks are dangerous. Most chargers today have this feature, so you won’t have to risk yourself ever again.
Float Mode – Some car chargers have this useful mode. What this does is that it detects when the battery is fully charged thus prevents overcharging and overheating.
Have any more questions about car battery chargers? Let us know by commenting below.