It happens to all of us. Perhaps you left your lights on, or perhaps your battery is older and starting to lose its charge. Regardless of the reason, being stranded due to a drained battery is not a pleasant experience. A car battery charger is a great way to recharge or maintain your automobile, RV, boat and recreational-vehicle batteries.
On this site, you'll find articles about car battery boosters as well as informative reviews about the best car battery chargers, like the Schumacher Speedcharge, the Black & Decker Smart Battery and the NPower Automatic.
Not all car battery chargers offer the same functions, compatibility or charging rates. Look for a unit that can handle your battery type and allows you to safely charge your battery in the time frame you desire. If you don't want to worry about plugging in the charger, look for a battery booster or jump-starter you can take with you on the road. You may need a charger that can handle lower-voltage batteries commonly used in riding lawn mowers or ATVs. Use our criteria below to find the best car battery charger to suit your needs.
The best car battery chargers boast a wide variety of features, including the options of a slow or fast charge rate, easy-to-use controls and displays that clearly show your battery charge status. Microprocessors enable you to connect your battery and have the charger select the best recharging method. Some battery chargers require a wall power outlet, while others, such as jump-start units, you can recharge and then take them on the road.
Many battery boosters include helpful battery and alternator testing functions, as well as cooling fans to reduce strain from too much heat. Look for a charger with solid cold-cranking amps, at least 100 amps. A good CCA rating can get your battery going quicker when you jump-start your vehicle. Some battery boosters can function as a short-term power supply and include an LED work light and power outlets you can plug other devices into, such as cell phones, tablets or power tools.
Many car battery chargers have multiple charging rates to choose from, ranging from a slow trickle of 2 amps to a speedy 40 amps. Depending on your battery type, some of the best auto battery boosters can fully charge a battery in about an hour. Look for a charger that can charge your batteries in the time frame you want.
Batteries can be made from different materials, and some battery boosters are only able to charge certain kinds. The most common types of batteries are lead-acid, absorbed glass mat and gel cell. Some chargers are also capable of recharging deep-cycle batteries that are commonly used in boats and recreation vehicles. Look for a charger that is compatible with the types of batteries your vehicles use.
Car battery chargers have various built-in safety measures to protect you as well as your battery, keeping it from overcharging or being ruined by reverse polarity mishaps. Look for a charger that has automatic shut-off capability to keep your battery from overcharging, as well as insulated and spark-resistant clamps. These safety features help you recharge your batteries safely, protecting you and your property from spark-caused fires or explosions from incorrect connections.
Heavy lifting and finding a suitable place to store a battery charger are never fun, so look for a lightweight unit that fits your storage requirements. Some models come with wheels, while many fit easily on a shelf or workbench. The more portable a battery charger is, the quicker you can charge or jump your battery.
A battery booster is a great way to keep on top of your battery maintenance, saving you the stress of wondering if your battery is going to give out. Don't wait until you are stranded to think about a car battery charger. Prepare now, and use our research to find the car battery charger that best suits your needs.