Having a dead car battery on your hands can dent your plans for the day, and that is why you need a car battery charger.
However, it is not enough to own a battery charger. You need to make sure it is reliable. If you pick up just any car battery charger you can afford, you may end up with a lousy product that could harm your car battery.
We’ve researched and compiled the best car battery chargers on the market for you. By the time you read this write-up to the end, you will have more knowledge about car battery chargers than the average driver.
You will also be able to make informed decisions in case you need to pick one or replace an old one.
Best Car Battery Chargers to Consider
1. NOCO Genius G3500 Battery Charger
The Genius G3500 is one of the best car battery charger based on several consumer reports. This device is designed for charging 6V or 12V lead-acid or Li-ion batteries up to 120Ah.
The G3500 is suitable for several applications, making it ideal for automotive, marine, lawn, garden, and deep-cycle batteries.
It is also powerful enough to fix damaged cells. The car battery charger also comes with other advanced features, including the ability to work for micro-hybrid start-stop car and CANBUS electrical systems.
The G3500 features an inbuilt microcomputer for safe charging and monitoring battery activity.
2. Stanley BC25BS
The Stanley BC25BS is so powerful and technologically advanced that it charges a diesel truck in less than 5 hours. It can start a dead engine within 2 minutes, and you’ll be on the road by the third minute.
This car battery charger features 3-stage charging–fast, top off, trickle–along with a patented alternator check. It comes with multiple charging modes and reverse polarity protection.
The Stanley BC25BS car battery charger reconditions your auto battery during use. It repairs the buildup of sulfur that forms on battery plates, ensuring longevity.
It is, however, costlier compared to other models.
3. NOCO Genius G7200 Battery Charger
This sleek battery charger can charge Lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. The G7200 also charges twice as fast as other car chargers out there. It powers DC devices and can maintain marine, deep-cycle, automotive, garden, and lawn batteries.
The G7200 also pairs and functions remarkably well with CANBUS electrical systems. It is lightweight, compact, and portable.
The rubber base of the G7200 from NOCO prevents slipping and scratching. It features external mounting poles and can repair damaged batteries.
4. Black and Decker BC 15 BD
This is a compact and intuitive car battery charger that is incredibly user friendly. It comes with an easy-to-understand, clean interface. This model intuitively reads current charges and then determines the ideal amperage to send to your auto battery.
5. ALLPOWERS Portable Solar Car Battery Charger
If you want to contribute to the reduction of carbon footprint to save the environment, this portable model is the perfect choice for you. This is because it relies 100 percent on solar power to conserve battery strength.
The ALLPOWERS Portable Solar battery charger features an inbuilt blocking diode to prevent reverse discharge along with solar-powered charging. It can maintain the battery life of a 12-volt car battery while in motion, thanks to its ability to plug directly into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter and small panel.
Types of Car Battery Chargers
There are two major types of car battery chargers: manual and automatic car battery charger. Let’s take a brief look at them one after the other:
Manual Car Battery Charger
Manual car battery chargers come with multiple settings you can choose from. Majority of them have voltage sections where you can select up to 12 volts and an ampere section where you can pick the current you require.
Automatic Car Battery Charger
An automatic car battery charger switches mode when the battery becomes fully charged. Switching modes is crucial to prevent overcharging. This type of car battery chargers, therefore, can improve the life of any auto battery.
An automatic battery charger can keep your car battery at full charge. They are the ideal choice for those who use seasonal batteries, i.e. the car batteries that cannot be used year round.
Bear in mind that an automatic car battery charger is more expensive than its manual counterpart.
There are two less common car battery chargers that you may come across:
This type of car battery charger is not as common as the regular ones. They are designed to prevent your car batteries from completely discharging.
Maintainers are ideal for quick “fill-ups” and maintaining the overall health of a car battery. It must be used now and then.
This is the least common but costliest type of car battery chargers. They are designed to restore life into old car batteries. Batteries usually lose their effectiveness because of the buildup of many contaminants.
Restorers can break down the contaminants so that the car battery can hold a charge once again. You will usually come across this car battery charger in professional garages.
How to Choose the Right Car Battery Charger
To choose the right car battery should be a piece of cake. However, if you don’t consider the following options, you may end up not making the best choice.
The ampere range of a car battery charger influences the charger’s capability. And for this important reason, you need to identify the purpose of the car battery charger.
Car battery chargers with low amperes are excellent options for people who do not use their vehicles too often. This type of battery charger is good to have so that your battery doesn’t die unexpectedly, especially when you leave it idle for too long.
Car battery chargers with higher options cost more but can jump-start a dead battery so you can be on the road as soon as possible.
Experts recommend an ampere range between 750 amps to 20 amps for most applications. More power, however, will be required if you want to jump-start your car battery.
Most vehicles come with a 12-volt battery system. Therefore, you need to ensure that the car battery charger you choose can charge 12 volts.
Fortunately, there are several car battery chargers with 6-volt,12-volt, and even 24-volt charging capacity. And these chargers can also be used for motorcycles and bigger trucks.
ALSO READ: How to Choose a Car Battery
Overcharging your car battery can cause serious damage, including failure. This is dangerous since most car batteries come with toxic chemicals in them.
It’s important to watch out for the following safety features in any car battery charger you want to buy:
- Spark-resistant clamps: Sparking is possible, no matter how careful you are while connecting the clamps. The great thing about some car battery chargers is that they come with unique features that minimize or prevent sparking at the connection.
- Maintenance mode/Float mode: Automatic car battery chargers have this safety feature. It informs you that your battery is charged fully. Overcharging car batteries can cause acute damage, overheating, and explosions.
- Reverse polarity protection: This essential safety feature ensures there are no sparks or electrocution if you unintentionally misconnect the cables.
The feature, also called boost mode, can supply between 20 amps to 250 amps of engine-cranking amperage to start your vehicle.
Jumper Cable Length
Jumper cable length must be at least 12 inches long for a basic reach.
You need to monitor the battery capacity when charging it. So a good car battery charger should come with an indicator for this critical purpose.
Apart from indicators, check to see if the car battery charger you want to go for has an alarm in case of reverse polarity. It is a vital feature that a battery charger must have, especially if you are not too familiar with charging a car battery.
Tips for Charging a Car Battery
Charging a battery, to most people, seems straightforward. However, keeping these considerations in mind will make the charging process much easier and extend the lifespan of your car battery.
- When charging your auto battery, make sure you use up the energy you put into the battery. If you don’t do this, the car battery will start sulfating, which could significantly affect its longevity and performance.
- All car batteries should be attached to alternators. An alternator charges the auto battery and works more efficiently if the battery is not deeply discharged. An engine-starting battery typically has about 10 deep cycles available when an alternator recharges it.
- Batteries are best charged via a 3-step regulated process. However, only automatic car battery chargers can perform this charging process. This regulated process enables the car battery to charge to a level that is much more complete. No standard charging method can achieve this.
Having a dead battery when you are about to rush for an appointment can be frustrating. But with a car battery charger close by, eliminating this frustration will not be a problem. This puts you in the “smart” league of car users, any day, any time.
Make sure the car battery charger you choose has the appropriate voltage and is perfectly designed to work with no issues with the battery system in your automobile.