If you’ve ever walked out to your car in the morning and found a dead battery, you likely know how important it is to have one of the best car battery chargers on hand. Nobody has time to wait around for a jump start, which is why most people invest in a battery charger for additional peace of mind.
Having a good battery charger is a wise decision for any household, but you need to make sure it’s a reliable product. Otherwise, you could end up in the same boat with your engine not starting. We’ve compiled a full list of things to look for as well as our top 10 car battery charger choices.
Choosing The Best Car Battery Charger
When you select an automotive battery charger, there are several factors you’ll want to consider. You want to have access to all the features you need to get your car running quickly, so here’s what we recommend keeping an eye on.
Many modern chargers come compatible with all car batteries, no matter what size they are. Top car battery chargers handle both 6V and 12V with ease.
An entry-level battery charger comes with either 10 or 20 amps. If you want something mid-range, you’ll opt for a 20-amp charger with a 55 to 100-amp boost mode. If you’re a professional who routinely works on vehicles, it will make the most sense to invest in something up to 60 amps for the standard charge mode and 275-amps jump start mode.
You want to make sure that the battery charger has short circuit, overload, over-current, overcharge, and overvoltage protection so you stay safe at all times.
The maintenance mode exists to maintain a fully charged cell without using a lot of power. This is used when the car sits for long periods or goes into long-term storage.
Jumper Cable Length
You won’t really want anything less than 12-foot long which is a basic reach.
This is often referred to as the boost mode. It supplies between 20 and 250 amps to start your car when the battery is dead.
This is called a float mode. Some chargers start this at 85% of the full charge, while others wait until 95%. Whenever it kicks in, the trickle charge helps to maintain a 100% full charge with a small charge rate, while keeping the battery safe from overcharge.
Some of the best car battery chargers can tell users when the battery isn’t connected correctly. There are also some models that feature internal testing mechanisms to detect sulfated, discharged, or bad cells.
Best Car Battery Charger Top Picks
Here are the top ten car battery chargers we could find on the market. They make up a wide range of chargers from heavy-duty industrial models to units that just produce a trickle charge. Read through our buying guide carefully to determine which one is best for you.