Looking for the best chargers to make your car batter last longer?
You're in the right spot! In this ProperMechanic.com guide, you will learn the following:
- The best car battery chargers for your vehicle
- How to test your battery and alternator with a multimeter
- The difference between car batteries
- And much more!
Check out my short list of best chargers for your car battery. Want to learn more about various tips and tricks to get the most out of your car's battery, continue reading!
||View on Amazon|
||View on Amazon|
The Battery Tender Plus
||View on Amazon|
||View on Amazon|
||View on Amazon|
Overall #1 Rated Pick
Updated As of 5/5/2020
Schumacher is our top choice because they provide an excellent solution to battery charging, maintaining, and jump-starting in a ruggedly designed package that will withstand tough conditions.
Any Schumacher device will make your garage or workplace more attractive, make you look more professional, and most importantly -keep your batteries charged and maintained and your engines running.
Go to sites like Amazon and pick up products like the Schumacher SC-1200a for the best battery charging results.
Top 5 Best Car Battery Chargers
Check out our below list for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about your other options!
Are you sick of dead battery problems? That's understandable.
Dying to know which is the best car battery charger?
Don't be. We have your solution battery charger solution right here.
Batteries are something that we need to know about because they are one of the most used objects in today's world.
So if you are wondering about your vehicle's battery and its needs then read our advice on how to make it last.
Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use some of the best car battery charging and jump-starting products on the market.
What Are Battery Chargers For Your Car?
When looking for a battery charger or jump starter, you are going to want to look at all the features that each specific model can perform.
You are going to have a wide variety of options; everything thing from large work-station battery rigs with different charging modes to small handheld units that plug into the wall and provide a small amount of amperage.
If you want to stay away from dead battery problems, then you will purchase a battery jump starter unit that you can keep in the car with you at all times for supplying battery voltage the battery anytime, anywhere.
Even if your battery doesn't need to be jumped, you will be the hero if someone is stranded in the parking lot with a dead battery that needs to be jumped.
There are also smart battery maintainers that allow you to store your battery and keep it effectively charged in float mode without overcharging the battery.
Read More >> How to Install a GPS Tracker
What Are The Different Types of Chargers For Your Car Battery?
Small battery maintainer
Or maybe you want a slick little cable box like a battery maintainer that has ring terminals and sits on your workbench to keep your ATVs or Harley Davidson battery in top shape 100% of the time.
Full-sized/multiple terminals for a professional setting
You might even want a big heavy-duty battery charger that you have to unplug after using for a fast and strong charge and has big strong alligator clips for fast charging and also different stage charging.
So your car battery dies in the middle of nowhere, and you have jumper cables. Great, who is around to give your battery a jump so you can keep driving? Nobody. And that's okay!
That's why there are battery jump-start packs that you can purchase to store in your vehicle for an extra jump in those unfortunate times when you leave a dome light on or listen to the radio too long with the engine stopped.
There are hundreds of different products on websites like Amazon that will get the job done when you need a jump start or battery charged.
A jump starter differs from a battery charger because it has the potential to deliver more amps, and can be in the form of a battery for portability.
A battery maintainer or charger puts out significantly fewer amps and can be found at a lower price. There are even smart chargers on the market that know exactly when your battery is charged and cuts power for overcharge protection.
When choosing a battery charging unit, it all depends on what you want. You can start by searching for the best car battery charger reviews online and go from there.
Read More >> How to Restore Headlights
How Does A Battery Charger For Your Car Work?
Chargers and jump starters provide electricity to the battery in different amounts.
A battery charger plugs into the wall, and then onto the terminals of the battery with either alligator clips or ring terminals.
Each charger has a different layout of charging variations and cycles. The more expensive chargers will have amperage and voltage selections.
What all of these products have in common is that they provide power to your battery's terminals in some form or other.
Trickle chargers or battery maintainers are usually less inexpensive because they plug into the wall and only provide a small amount of amperage to slowly charge the battery or keep it good during the wintertime.
The battery charger's function also depends on which one you buy.
Tip: Unplug your battery charger after 24 hours to avoid overcharging your battery.
What To Look For In The Best Battery Charger For Your Car?
It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your battery charger. You are the best judge of what you need. Having a little bit of knowledge also helps. Here are some things to look for in your next battery charging device:
Jump Start Capability
For example, maybe you need a portable device to carry around in the car with you that has an internal battery strong enough to jump-start your car battery with an air compressor built-in that will pump up a flat tire for you.
Getting your engine started after a battery failure is an easy task with a jump starter pack, and comes in clutch to get you where you need to go when your car's battery has failed.
Different amperage and voltage settings come in handy when charging a battery. For instance, the Schumacher SC1325 6/12V fully automatic engine starter and battery charger has a 250A engine start mode for immediate starting, a 40A rate for boosting quick energy into the battery, and 6/2A charging for maintaining a battery.
- 250A engine start for immediate starts
- 40A Boost rate for a quick energy boost.
- 6/2A charging and maintaining batteries
How much time are you looking to spend charging?
When purchasing auto parts and accessories, it's best to make an educated purchase. For example, car battery chargers that are made in the USA or closest to your location are going to be the best option for quality and price.
Having said that, a lot of American companies have outsourced their products to be manufactured in China, so it's hard to tell where exactly the product is made.
What Is the Best Battery Charger For An ATV/Motorcycle?
The best battery tenders are small, and could even be stored inside the seat or storage compartments of your motorcycle or ATV. Manufacturers like CTEK and NocoGenius make great solutions for your battery problems.
Offroad vehicles can require quite a bit of power to start, and often are equipped with a small battery that doesn't do the job, and for this reason, it's a good idea to have a battery maintainer on hand to keep things charged and running.
What Is The Best Battery Charger For Garage/Workshop Use?
There is a big difference between a heavy-duty charging unit that you roll around in the garage, and a small battery maintainer or jump starter that you can easily carry around in the car with you.
What Size Engine Are You Powering?
If you own a larger vehicle like a pickup truck or semi-truck, then you are going to want to make sure that the jump starter you choose has sufficient enough power to start your vehicle if it has a dead battery.
Because some cheap off-brand charger/jump starters are designed for jump-starting sedans and don't provide sufficient enough power for anything larger.
Our Reviews Of The Best Batteries For Your Car
Pick #1 - Schumacher (Our Top Pick)
Schumacher has a few different options like the Schumacher SE, Schumaker DSR131.
They also have others that are all designed for easy use and transport with a handle on the top that allows you to either pick the unit up or roll it across the room.
Schumacher produces any style of power device for an automotive setting with a stylish design and recommendable function, complete with an air compressor built into the jump starter pack of the Schumacher SJ1332.
Pick #2 - Black+Decker (Best Budget)
Products like the Black+Decker BM3B and Black+Decker BC15BD are reliable products that you can rely on.
The Black+Decker BC2WBD is a 2 amp charger that comes in a waterproof box that is ETL certified for performance and safety.
Support Black+Decker because their products are manufactured in the United States, and also because they provide the world with exceptional quality tools.
Pick #3 - The Battery Tender Plus (Best High-End)
This 1.25 amp battery charger is one of the most popular choices that is said to charge a battery faster than most 3 amp chargers on the market.
Equipped with reverse polarity protection, the Battery Tender Plus is safe for any user, and it makes the charging process easier because it doesn't damage the battery like some trickle chargers do by keeping it at a proper storage voltage.
Pick #4 - Noco Genius
Noco Genius makes attractive products like the Noco Genius G3500 and the NocoBoost GB70, a 2000 amp jump starter that comes in an easy to load and attractive shell.
There are numerous different models of the Noco Genius to accommodate your specific charging and jump-starting needs, and they all come in a compact shell that is easy to carry and store.
Pick #5 - CTEK
Enter your text here...
Our final pick is this fantastic CTEK battery charger.
Not only is it compact, but it also has holes that allow for permanent assembly, but it also has 4 different charging patterns for versatile application.
It charges in all weather conditions and it can be mounted year-round to help you keep any vehicle's battery charge all the time!
Our Top Pick: Schumacher
Schumacher wins as our favorite car charger, battery maintainer, and jump starter because of the quality design and thought that has been put into crafting the best machines for the function.
Jump starting your vehicle has never been more reliable. All of Schumacher's products are reasonably priced, and you are going to like your decision.
The next time you're looking to put a full charge on one of your vehicle's batteries choose Schumacher.
Final Thoughts On Battery Chargers For Your Car
Diagnosing the reason why your car battery died is something to consider if you are constantly having to charge the battery on your vehicle.
Parking your vehicle for more than a month? You should disconnect the negative terminal on the vehicle's battery before putting it in storage to ensure that the battery will have power when you go to start it back up.
Even the smallest of battery draw will drain your battery over time. And if you are an ultra pro at keeping your possessions in top condition you will install a battery maintainer to eliminate any doubts when going to fire the engine back up.
Multimeter Battery Test
Think you may have a bad battery? You can test the battery of your vehicle with a multimeter. Here's how:
Set your multimeter to 20 in the V or 'volts' section to accurately measure voltages between 0 and 20 volts.
Next, touch the red positive test lead to the positive terminal on the battery and the black negative test lead to the negative terminal on the battery. With the car's engine turned off, you are looking for a measurement of 12.6V or above.
If the battery's voltage is below 12.6V, remove it from the vehicle, charge it overnight, and test it again outside of the car the next day. If it holds a charge, then that means you have a power draw that is draining your battery when it's hooked up to the vehicle.
How To Test For Bad Alternator And Battery Draw?
So your car's battery keeps dying on you, and you can't figure out why? Here is a test procedure you can try with a multimeter and a few things you can check over to uncover the mysteries of why your battery keeps dying:
The alternator or generator should be pushing out between 13.5 and 14.5V of electricity to run the vehicle's electrical systems and charge the battery while the engine is running. A bad alternator will drain the car's battery fast.
You can test the alternator with a voltmeter the same way as you check the battery but with the car running.
Again, with the car running set your multimeter to the 20V range, touch the red positive test lead on the positive terminal of the battery and the black negative test lead to the negative terminal on the battery. The measurement should read between 13.8 and 14.4V.
But don't finish your test yet. Get inside the car and turn on the headlights, radio, and climate control system. You should still have a range somewhere between 13.8 and 14.4 Volts.
Parasitic Battery Draw Check
Your battery could be slowly dying because of something inside the vehicle that stays on. Here is a list of electrical components in your vehicle that can drain the battery.
This is also referred to as a parasitic draw. Always start with the highest amp scale.
Disconnect the negative battery terminal from the battery. With your multimeter set to measure amps(start with a 10 amp range) touch one test leads to the battery cable, and the other test leads to the battery terminal.
You must have the doors closed and all electricity off during this test.
Results: You will always see a small and insignificant amount of amperage being drawn from your battery, something like 50 Milli-amps is normal.
However, if you see that your battery is drawing 3 amps of electricity while the vehicle is parked then its time to locate your fuse box and start pulling fuses until you see the amperage drop significantly.
The powered unit associated with the fuse is what is drawing battery power(like the dome light turned on, for example)