Every car owner, no matter how long the experience, can still make some mistakes in usage and maintenance. One usual problem is leaving the headlights on too long and coming back to a car that won’t turn back on. This problem can happen anytime and anywhere.
This is where a car battery charger comes in.
Batteries cannot sustain themselves for too long. They require constant recharging, and they might just give up when they reach their end of life. A car battery charger can help you address problems like this. It has become an essential accessory that you must always have in your car, just like how you look at a spare wheel.
Benefits of A Car Battery Charger
Here are the benefits that you can enjoy if you invest in an automotive battery charger.
You can avoid flat batteries and assure that you have a car that will always start.
A car battery can be easily affected more than you think. Sub-zero temperatures can weaken a car battery, and cold weather can also affect how the car’s alternator can recharge the battery.
By using an automotive battery charger, you can ensure that your battery will always be full, and you will be ready to start your car.
An automotive battery charger is a good investment.
With a flat battery, you will always have to deal with calling roadside assistance, and you probably know by now that this is not really something cheap. Sometimes, the damages also hurt other electric systems in the car, and repairing comes with additional expenses, too.
Fortunately, you can avoid these problems by keeping your battery charged without having to pay someone else.
A car battery charger can protect your car’s settings.
If your car battery gets too drained, it can no longer supply the power for your car’s electrical system. This leads to having to reset everything because it will wipe out all your pre-set preferences and settings. This nightmare can be avoided by having a battery charger inside your car.
Who Makes the Best Auto Battery Charger?
In getting a car battery charger, there is no denying that you would only want to buy from the best company with a proven track record. But how would you choose? In this guide, our team will help you by showing you the best 10 options in the market. This set of battery chargers are chosen based on expert reviews, recommendations, and user experience.
But before we dive in, ask yourself what your main focus is. It can be for car maintenance, or it could be to jumpstart a dead battery. You can also choose from a manual charger or an automated one.
With no further ado, here are the 10 best car battery chargers in 2020.
1. Battery Tender Plus 021-0128
Best Overall Choice
The first on our list is this Battery Tender Plus car battery charger. This compact product is produced by Deltran, and this is ideal for owners of cars that are not driven regularly, like show cars, ATVs, and golf cars.
Though the power of this car charger is not as high as the others, it has the capability to charge and maintain both 6V and 12V batteries. It also comes with a microprocessor unit, which serves as the assessment tool for the battery. The Battery Tender Plus also helps manage overcharging by hooking off automatically once fully charged.
This charger is also powered with different safety features, including spark-proof clamps and reverse polarity. Reverse polarity means that the charger will not operate when it is placed in the wrong terminals.
- Comes with a 10 year warranty period
- Fast charging time
- Intuitive design
- Has reverse polarity
- Clamps could be increased in size
- Can be troublesome to use for a flat battery
2. Schumacher SC1281
Schumacher is one of the most adored car battery brands, so it is always relaxing to trust and try out their charger model. This one has a car start jump feature that will allow you to jump-start a car in case the battery dies.
This Schumacher also has intuitive sensors and can help you, which charging mode, among trickle, charge, or maintain; you should use. This battery charger can diagnose the alternator and the battery that can let you know of any kind of problems.
- From a reliable brand that is ranked highly among the industry professionals
- Compatible with 6V and 12V
- Controlled by microprocessors
- Will not work if the clamps are reversed
3. DB Power 600 A
Portable Jump Starter
If portability is what you are after, this car battery charger from DB Power might be the best match for you! It is tiny enough that you can fit it through the glove compartment of your car very easily, but it is also powerful enough that it can jump-start an automobile for about 20 times in just a single-use.
This car charger also offers an LED flashlight and a compass, just in case your car breaks down in the middle of a deserted area. The light even offers the method of a flashing emergency SOS that you can use to ask for additional help and a red light that can serve as a warning to other vehicles on the road so that there would be no accidents. This battery charger also comes with a USB port that would also allow you to charge your smartphone and other devices that is especially helpful in times of emergencies.
With all the beautiful features of this car battery charger, you will surely not get stuck for too long!
- Can quickly jump start a car
- Multi-functional especially for emergencies
- Compact and portable
- Has an insanely high power
- Cannot maintain low charges very well
- Instructions are not that clear
4. Optima Digital 400
Best For Dead Batteries
This Optima charger is the best unit to purchase if your main goal is to revive dead batteries. This battery charger is known for reviving dead batteries for lower than 1.25 volts. This specific feature makes it stand out in comparison to other options.
Some of its key features are a wall organizer bracket, 4 amps, and an LED battery gauge to show the current health of your ride’s battery. It focuses on battery health, and its unique user-friendly design also comes with quick-set options for one-touch usage.
- Comes with diagnostics for your battery health
- Can revive dead batteries
- Has a hybrid LED charging gauge
- The case can be broken easily
- Has no replacements for broken parts
5. ALLPOWERS 18V 5 Watts Portable Solar Panel Solar Car Battery Charger
Best Eco-Friendly Model
If you are interested in doing your part in utilizing renewable energy and reducing your carbon footprint, you should definitely buy yourself this ALLPOWERS battery charger! This cool car accessory fully relies on solar power to maintain battery strength, and that can both save you and the environment!
Its features are 0.2 amps, built-in blocking diode so that reverse discharge can be prevented, and a monocrystalline silicon panel that is both waterproof and working in all forms of daylight conditions.
This charger model can maintain the life of car batteries with 12 volts while you are on the go. You can suction up this solar panel directly to your car, and you can power it up through the use of gorilla clips or your car’s cigarette lighter.
- Uses a sustainable renewable energy source
- You can charge as you go, even while you are driving
- Very portable
- Relies on a sunny climate to gain power
- Will not charge a completely dead battery
- Has a slow charge time
6. Motopower MP00205 A
Best Budget Charger
Perfect for people who have budget constraints, this charger by Motopower may not have the show-stopping features for other brands, but it also comes at less than half the price compared to most car charger models.
If you are not rushing and are not that particular over the brand, this charger definitely does the job! It is compact and durable, being able to service 12-volt lead-acid batteries and sealed maintenance-free batteries. It is fully automatic, and it comes with multi-level safety protection and battery rescue.
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Very budget-friendly
- Compact and portable
- Easy to use
- Has a long charge time
- Lower power compared to other models
7. Black & Decker BC 15 BD
This charger from the company Black & Decker is a favorite of many for being very user-friendly. It has a lot of features that are easily understood through its simple and clean interface. Also, instead of having the motorist choose a specific charging mode, this BC 15 BD is enabled to intuitively read the current battery charge and decides on its own the correct amperage that it must send to the battery.
Depending on the model, it can have 15 amps or 25 amps, and it also has a 40 amp engine start boost. This charger also has a repair mode, which means that it helps in building up the longevity of the battery. It is also equipped with diagnostics that can help monitor the alternator and identify whether it is malfunctioning.
- Has intuitive abilities
- Portable and compact
- Delivers 3 stage charging
- Has a battery reconditioning feature
- Less user control
8. Stanley BC25BS
This battery charger from Stanley is a powerhouse that can even charge a diesel truck in under 5 hours. It has the ability to jump-start a dead engine in just under 2 minutes, which means you can get on the road much quicker compared to other chargers.
It has the features of 25 amps, a patented alternator check, and 3 stage charging. It also has advanced technology, especially its patented alternator check that protects the alternator against possible issues.
It has a battery reconditioning technology that can help in reversing sulfate build-up on battery plates, and it improves the charging carrying capabilities of the battery, extending its overall life. It is very easy to use through its LED screen, one-touch automatic charging, and an intuitive power setting.
- Has intuitive feature
- Has engine start technology
- A very fast charging time
- Easy to read and to use
- Patented alternator checking technology
- Not as budget-friendly as other models
- Does not charge below than 2 volts
- Float mode is not as reliable
9. NOCO Genius 3500
Most Versatile Choice
This versatile battery charger can cater to both 6 Volt and 12 Volt batteries. This all-in-one battery charger can help any automobile owner that is in need of recharging their car battery within a few hours. It is perfectly equipped to help batteries stay fully charged and maintained all year round.
It works well with lead-acid batteries, wet cell batteries, gel cell, lithium, and other common automotive, deep-cycle, marine, and maintenance-free batteries. It also has an advanced repair mode that can reverse the damaging effects brought by leaving batteries uncharged for extended periods.
It is considered as one of the safest and advanced battery chargers, as it includes spark-proof technology, reverse polarity protection, and 5-year warranty.
- Intuitive Design
- Multiple features
- Interacts with battery
- Can be a little complex to operate
- Repair feature is for 12-volt batteries only
10. CTEK 56-353
Highest Consumer Rating
Coming from CTEK, a company specializing in car batteries and chargers, this 56-353 charger offers three things: flexibility, safety, and simplicity. This particular model is a fan favorite and has the highest consumer rating among various selling sites. Most reviews consider this like an expert choice.
This charger has 8 different power modes, short circuit proof, and 7 amps. It is also equipped with various safety features, which include spark-free systems and electric system short-circuiting protection. It is safe to be used in varying weather degrees, from -4 degrees to 122 degrees. It is shockproof, waterproof, and dustproof.
This CTEK charger has the power to maintain a long battery life as it can eliminate sulfur buildup that ensures longevity.
- Has multiple safety measures
- Can extend battery life
- Preferred by most consumers and experts
- Reliable in different weather conditions
- A bit into the pricey side of chargers
Car Battery Charger Buying Guide
Now that you have been shown the best car battery chargers in the market, it is still very much important that you check the different factors that you should know before you shop and get a car battery. Of course, the car battery charger that you must go for must have the best performance, charge efficiently, and help maintain your battery health.
But, of course, with the current technological advancements, it is a good idea to go for a charger with multiple functions. It would be good to get one that also offers battery diagnostics and other features.
Here are the other factors that you should consider:
Manual or Automatic
The earlier models of car chargers are manual, but automatic chargers are also becoming much common these days. This is because they do not require that the drivers keep track of the time spent charging and the charge level. With automatic chargers, it will switch modes when the battery is full to prevent overcharging, therefore, prolonging the battery’s life.
Another important thing to know is the chemical makeup of the battery. You can check if the battery is a deep cycle one or a standard lead-acid battery, then you should check if this is compatible with the battery charger.
A very integral part of making your purchase decision is identifying the different safety features that come with your battery charger. The newest chargers usually offer the following:
- Float mode
- Battery testing
- Clamp amps
- Spark proof amps
- Reverse polarity alarm
Most car battery chargers that are available on the market draw their power from 12-volt batteries. However, if you consider power, these chargers vary from having 6 amps, 10 amps, or even as high as 20 amps. The higher the amount of amps is, the longer the charger will last, and the quicker it will fill up the car’s battery. But, you should also consider that higher power comes at a higher price.
Another amazing feature that you can go with is the ability to monitor the capacity of the car battery while it is charging and the ability to identify whether the battery is in need of some recharging. If you are looking for the best car battery charger, it should have battery level indicators and a reverse polarity alarm.
Not all drivers on the road are equipped with the technical know-how of car maintenance. This is why it is very important to have an easy to use gadget that can be operated simply and does not come with intense complications.
Another bonus to look for is value-added features like LED lights and USB ports.
As cars do not usually stay too long at a single place, it is important that the battery charger you get is a model that you can easily bring to various places. The ideal model must be able to fit easily in your car’s glove compartment or a small travel bag you can store in your trunk.
What is the best charging rate for a car battery?
A fully running car battery should measure at about 12.6 volts or higher. With the engine is running, it might be measured to be about 13.7 to 14.7 volts. A basic car battery charger at around 2 amps, but it can range from 2 to 10 amps. The higher the charge, the faster you can charge a flat battery.
How many amps is a car battery?
The average car battery has a capacity of 48 amp hours, which means when it is charged fully, it has the capacity to deliver 1 amp for 48 hours, 2 amps for 24 hours, 8 amps for 6 hours, etc.
How long should I leave the battery charger in the car?
Because the typical maintenance car battery charging uses 2 to 4 amps, it can usually take about 24 hours to be able to charge a dead battery fully.
Are 10 volts enough to start a car?
Unfortunately, there is no exact answer to identify the proper voltage required in starting a car. There are many things that can influence this, including the current situation of the battery and the temperature in the surroundings. In general, a fully charged battery must show 12.6 to 12.7 Volts.
Having to choose the correct car battery charger can be a complicated decision, especially with knowing how wide and varied the currently available options in the market are. There are different factors that every car owner must consider, which means there is no specific answer that will fit all kinds.
We hope that you use this guide to help decide on the best car battery charger for you. Being able to have a charger can make you have more options in times of unfortunate incidents and accidents.
In this particular line of options, our top pick is the Battery Tender Plus, as it is an intelligent charger that can cater to all kinds of vehicles and equipment that need charging. It offers four modes, which include a maintenance mode and a float mode. It also comes with a microprocessor that ensures that it is ready to get to the action whenever you might need it. Most of all, this charger comes with different safety precautions, including a spark proof and reverse polarity protection.
But, all of these ten models have their own competitive edge and perfect advantages. It is important to read through all of their features so that you can create an informed decision and find the best one to match your requirements.