For another day of work, it’s time. It happens as you hop into the car, hot coffee in hand, and already running behind. Turn the key and click click click. Oh no, Come on baby, not today, not now, not the dreaded clicking noise…Turning the key, you try again, praying. Click. Click. Click. Lifeless.
We’ve all been there. Cursed our car for deciding to die at the worst possible moment, we have all felt that panicky dread in our gut and sent those frantic cries for help. Wondering how much money the new battery is going to cost this time and worrying about how to pay for it, and as you’re stranded, waiting for a jump to take you to the mechanic.
We can do many things to stop this from ever happening again. It doesn’t have to be a guessing game or leave you stranded when you’re caught unaware, while it’s true that all batteries will eventually need to be replaced (just like tires or windshield wipers).
For any car owner, car battery chargers are great tools to have. To avoid leaving you stranded, these can get you a jump and recharge your battery. To help you to get enough early warning to prepare for the inevitable replacement costs, many of them can even monitor your battery’s health.
The Best Car Battery Chargers Overview
Before selecting the best car battery charger 2021 for your car, there are some important things to know. What is the best 12-volt battery charger? Who makes the best car battery charger? What is the best car battery charger based on consumer reports?
Based on comprehensive product reviews, input from the experts, and our own experience, we will introduce you to the top-rated automotive battery chargers. We have looked into the important features, like voltage compatibility, amperage, portability, and whether it’s good for battery health optimization and maintenance. To make your decision as easy as possible, we narrowed the option down to our top 10 car battery charger brands.
We want to put a few key details in your mind before we go into that. Ask yourself whether your focus is on long term battery maintenance or whether you are looking for a way to jump-start a dead battery. To do these tasks, there are different chargers optimized. This is also possible if you want something to do both.
The next thing to decide is how patient you are. Some are automated and let you do other things, while some of these are manual chargers that will require you to monitor the battery process over time. Some of the more automated options also take much longer to charge.
There are two things that will help you immediately narrow down our top 10 to your top few, the one is amps and the other is engine start. Between 700 milliamps and 20 amps is the need for some of the people.
If you’re only trying to maintain batteries for boats and cars that stay idle for long periods of time (not to mention the constant vacuuming your car needs) the jump start boosts can often require more power, you don’t need as many amps. When you’re stranded, without requiring jumper cables you wait for a friendly stranger to pass by because engine start is a feature that works like jumper cables from a friendly stranger.
To prevent you from being stranded, this feature isn’t necessary unless you plan to use your car battery charger as an emergency jump. With some of the most important features to consider, let’s take a look at the best auto battery chargers side by side. Amazon considers these the best-rated car battery chargers available because we have included Amazon links to these.
Hunting a good car battery charger, each of these products meets the basic requirements for the average person. They all charge car batteries and offer some extra features, to operate within a certain ampere range. We ensured that no matter which of these you choose, we consulted experts along with our own research that it will be one of the best car battery chargers for a dead battery.
For safety features, we have also vetted each of these options. Some form of safety protection is offered by all of these car battery chargers. To prevent electrocution and sparking, they will offer reverse polarity protection, if you accidentally connect chargers to the wrong side of the battery.
They wouldn’t be on the list if they weren’t able to charge your car well. From now, you have to choose which of these is the best battery charger for your car specifically. A myriad of things can factor into individual efficiency, including climate and car models because everyone wants one of these for a different reason.
For each product, let’s go a little deeper. In this best battery charger reviews guide, you will discover the best automotive battery chargers on the market today and what gives each of these chargers a spot on our list. To narrow your search down even more, hopefully, you will know what each of these does best.
Battery Charger Reviews
1. Schumacher SC1281 — Favorite Brand
Among the top 10 car battery brands Schumacher is consistently ranked, and this best car battery charger made our list as we tried out a few of their charger models. For use and long term battery maintenance, it features a car start jump that allows you to jump-start a car.
Maintain, charge or trickle, intuitive sensors tell it which charging mode to use. To let you know of any problems, it also diagnoses both the alternator and battery.
- Alternator and Battery diagnostics
- Quick car start voltage boost
- 30 amps
On this list, this best car battery jump starter is the only product that does not have a single negative review. We looked, seriously. No one has anything bad to say about it, and everyone loves this product. It’s just the plain favorite but we’d call it the fan-favorite.
2. NOCO Genius 3500 — Versatile Choice
Both 6 and 12-volt batteries the NOCO Genius Charges. This is a consistent choice among experts as one of the best car battery brands because we have focused on the 3500 model here. If you don’t need 3.5 amps you can go as low as 0.75 or as high as 26 amperes because the model comes in a wide range of amperes. A completely dead car can even jump-start 15 and 26 amp models.
- Overcharge protection
- Active monitoring
- 3.5 amps
The versatility of this best portable car battery charger is what sets it apart. It can also be used on both 6 and 12-volt batteries because it has a wide range of amperes that also include gel cell, wet cell (flooded), lead-acid, calcium, and lithium-ion batteries. It can be used on lawn equipment, marine, and power sport, and it can also function well for car batteries.
To let you know how your battery’s overall health is looking because this top-rated automotive battery charger also features active monitoring systems and to lengthen and optimize battery life, it works to repair damage from discharge and sulfate. The battery charger includes clamps with integrated eyelet terminals, a charger with a 5-year warranty, and even comes with a user manual.
3. DB Power 600 A — Jump Start Kit
For travelers, this best battery charger for the car is a great option. This best automotive battery charger is powerful enough to jump-start your car 20 times with a single-use but at the same time small enough to fit right into your car’s glove compartment.
In case you get stuck, it offers a compass and LED flashlight and the best thing is it offers a flashing SOS emergency light. It can be used in emergencies, as the USB port allows you to charge your cell phone. In fact, increasing your visibility to keep you safe, it also has a red light to warn oncoming traffic that you’re stuck.
- LED flashlight and Compass
- USB port to charge additional tech.
- 600 amps!
You should never be stuck for long, that being said with this charger. It’s an entire jump start kit for your car because it’s more than just a car battery charger.
It is portable and multi-functional which is why I love this so much. Making it not at all portable or friendly for use outside of a garage, as most jumps require another massive kit or a car that requires you to be near a wall charger or takes up tons of space. For anyone who is on the go, this one is perfect!
4. Battery Tender Plus — Simplicity at its Finest
This Battery Tender Plus is no doubt an extremely friendly option. For those of us who know next to nothing about cars and aren’t mechanics, this simple and intuitive design is easy to use.
- Overcharge protection
- Spark protection
- 1.25 amps
With the ease of use, including spark protection, it features a ton of built-in safety features to protect against accidents. To avoid overcharging, this best car battery charger and jump starter will automatically shut off when the battery reaches capacity. With this happens, it will recharge as needed and automatically switches to maintenance mode when your disused battery begins to lose charge.
5. Optima Digital 400 — Revives Discharged Batteries
For reviving dead batteries, the Optima is a great purchase. Those batteries that have been discharged for lower than 1.25 volts, it can revive them. To make it stand out from the crowd, this feature really works.
It features an intuitive design that is easy-to-use. The LCD screen and quick set options allow 1-touch use while an LED battery gauge will show battery health.
- Revive feature for batteries below 1.25 volts.
- Wall organizer bracket.
- 4 amps.
With standard safety features to protect users, this also comes fully loaded. The easy storage wall organizer also attracts us a lot.
6. Stanley BC25BS — Technologically Advanced with Fastest Charge
In under 5 hours, this Stanley BC25BS can charge even a diesel truck. To get you on the road quicker than other chargers, it can start a dead engine in under 2 minutes. For this battery charger, speed is one of the primary features.
- Patented alternator check.
- 3 stage charging ( trickle, fast, top off)
- 25 amps
The advanced technology is another of the best feature. Like multiple charging modes and reverse polarity protection, it also offers a unique patented alternator check that includes standard safety features.
By repairing the sulfate buildup that forms on battery plates to ensure longevity, this charger also reconditions your battery during use. To make it easy to use, it has intuitive power sensing, one-touch automatic charging, and an LED screen.
7. CTEK 56-353 — Fan Favorite
In-car chargers and batteries, the CTEK company specializes. Simplicity, flexibility, and safety are the three things they focused on. Due to this reason, they are the “fan favorite” of this list.
With the most vocal supporters who swear by their products, and have the most referrals as an expert choice they have the highest consumer rating across all sites. For the rest of their needs, most people who purchase a CTEK product continue to purchase within the CTEK family of products.
- Short circuit proof
- 8 power modes
- 7 amps
Several safety features are used by this product. To prevent the battery or charger from short circuit issues, they also include reverse polarity protection and a spark-free system. From -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, it is also safe to use in any condition. It is weatherproof, dustproof, and shockproof.
The battery life is maintained by this CTEK. To ensure longevity it detects and eliminates sulfur buildup. To prevent major problems from arising, it actively notifies of minor maintenance needs and monitors battery health.
The low ripple advantage is the unique feature of this charger. It has a negative effect on the battery’s positive electrode and can even damage sensitive technology in the vehicle because any time an electrical current produces 5% or more ripple current. All of its chargers maintain lower than 5% ripples, which is ensured by this CTEK.
8. ALLPOWERS Portable Solar — Most Eco Friendly
For those of you who want to do your part to save the environment and to reduce your carbon footprint as this is a pretty cool piece of technology. To maintain battery strength, this car battery charger relies entirely on solar power.
- .2 amps.
- Built-in blocking diode to prevent reverse discharge.
- Solar-powered charging.
You can power it up using either gorilla clips or by plugging it into your cigarette lighter as this suction cup this small solar panel directly to your car.
While on the go, this model can maintain the battery life of 12-volt car batteries and have the ability to plug directly into your cigarette lighter, thanks to the small panel.
9. Black & Decker BC 15 BD — Intuitive and Compact
This Black & Decker model is very user friendly. Including the easy-to-understand interface, it’s got a lot of features that are laid out on a clean. The Black and Decker BC 15 BD intuitively reads the current charge and determines the right amperage to send to the battery, instead of a user having to choose the charging mode.
- 40 amp engine start to boost.
- 15 or 25 amps (depending on model)
To extend longevity, this also features a repair mode that reduces the buildup of solids on the battery. Leading to expensive repairs, when your alternator is misbehaving the diagnostics will also help to alert you so that you can easily self diagnose and distinguish car battery problems and prevent things from getting worse.
On arrival, there are reports that sometimes the product is dead. As soon as you receive it, make sure it works.
10. Motopower MP00205 A — Best Budget Buy
Because of its extremely low price compared to other models, I was skeptical about the Motopower charger and see if it was worth trading some features for affordability but I decided to give it a shot. So I surprised pleasantly!
- Fully automatic
- 800 mAmp
This is a budget-friendly model that is important to keep in mind. It will come at less than half the price of most of the other models but it will not have all of the bells and whistles that come with the other products on this list.
This is definitely the best value car battery charger on our list if you don’t need a rush job and are willing to surrender your control over when it uses which mode. Just as well as the other chargers, it will charge your battery but you’ll just have to wait longer for the charge.
- Easy to use.
- Compact and portable.
- Extremely budget-friendly.
It can sometimes help with the basics when looking at a list of features but not the comparison. How do you narrow down from the top 10 car battery charger brands to the best auto battery charger from the list? If all of these are great options, so decide which features matter to you.
You won’t know what things like active monitoring and car start really are if you’re like me. The reverse polarity protection is what really puzzled me. We didn’t think that it might be desirable to reverse them at all or that it was possible to reverse these without magnets as we know that batteries come with negative and positive sides.
What these features mean is what we need to look into. The good news is that you won’t have to because we did the research. Everything is listed here, that you need to know about these features.
What’s the difference between voltage? How many amperes do you need and what are amperes? Which ones are just fancy additions and what are the features that need to come standard?
To help you out to know exactly what they mean, because we’ve broken down the most common features offered by the best-rated car battery chargers. Knowing which features can be sacrificed to save your budget and the reason for buying a charger can help you decide which ones are better suited for your needs.
In this section, we have endeavored to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions. You won’t want to be bombarded with features if you are wondering how these work and what they’re designed to do. We’ll walk you through some of the common languages regarding car battery chargers, once we answer a couple of common questions, what you need to know.
This purchase can be pricey. If you are purchasing it as a backup in case of emergency, its issues won’t show up immediately and it isn’t necessarily going to be used right away. You’ll want to know the warranty coverage, just because of this. Some of them cover more than 5 years but most of these come with a 5-year standard warranty.
Be sure to check into the company, along with the warranty. If the company’s customer service is nonexistent a warranty is useless. For shipping the faulty product back to them for repairs, many companies require you to pay for it. On such a heavy item, the process will take much longer as the lower-end models can often cost nearly as much to redeem warranties than just buying a new one.
How To Use A Car Battery Charger
It’s important to touch on how to use this product before we talk about the features. When electricity isn’t done properly, dealing with electricity can be dangerous and scary. We don’t want any at all, while this list maintained a minimum safety standard that should prevent the worst injuries.
These chargers letting electrical current flow through them, and work by lining cables up with your battery. To operate them, here are some of the basics you need to know.
First and foremost, as your first step do not plug your charger in or turn it on. You may end up with electrical sparks flying from the cables and because it is important to connect them before allowing the current through.
What clamps to what is the biggest question most people have? It is important to remember to think. Because of great minds… THINK ALIKE. It will be much easier for you to remember if you keep that phrase in mind and match positively with positive and negative with negative. Why? Due to the fact that great minds think ALIKE.
Now, start charging and turn the charger on. This should be all you need to do, for intuitive chargers. Follow individual instructions, if your charger has manually input settings to tell it what voltage your battery is and how much charge you need.
An important tip for safety: During the charging process do not touch or move the cables! Before attempting to make adjustments cut the power or remove the cables.
Once you have turned the power off and your battery is finished, it is safe to remove the chargers. Your battery should be ready to go.
Among the newer car battery chargers, absorbent glass mat (AGM) is the feature that is commonly found. If you have a brand new model, it may have an AGM battery but the older cars won’t need to worry about this feature. These chemicals are stored in glass sheets, instead of having liquid interiors because this new battery type works the same way. Among new model luxury cars and motorcycles, these are most commonly found.
About what type you have will tell you while looking at your battery. Most batteries are AGM, flooded lead-acid (FLM) or Gel (gel-filled) batteries. Make sure about your battery type is compatible with your charger.
Can You Charge A Dead Battery?
It is a common one but this isn’t an easy question to answer. How the battery died in the first place, is the question to ask when determining the answer. The most likely answer is yes if you forgot to turn your headlights off all day, or if the battery just went a really long time between uses with enough time and amperes, you can recharge. At charging dead batteries, we included a car battery charger on our list that is exceptional, even those who have discharged down below 2 volts.
All batteries do have a predetermined lifespan because it is an unfortunate truth. The battery will eventually die, while proper maintenance can optimize longevity. Unfortunately, you will likely need to replace the battery, and even purchasing a battery charger won’t save it, if your battery died again after multiple recharges and this isn’t the first time it happened.
You have to know about your car’s battery voltage. For different voltage batteries, different chargers are optimized. All of the chargers on this list are compatible with 12-volt batteries because most car batteries are 12 volts. The 6-volt batteries commonly found in sports vehicles, motorsport vehicles, and golf carts therefore, many of them are also compatible with the 6-volt batteries. The compatibility of the charger with your voltage is also important. To cover several battery types, a few of the ones on this list are versatile enough to cover them.
There is a wide range of sizes that battery chargers have. In the above list, some of them are extremely portable and to jump-start a completely dead battery they will take a while to charge and be unable to jump start it. If you decide to keep it in your car, others are extremely powerful and include jump-start capability that is equally heavy beasts and will take up half of your trunk space.
Repair modes on this list frequently included in the battery chargers. Without expensive trips to the mechanic, the idea behind chargers is that users want a way to extend their battery life and recharge from home. To be an essential feature of any car battery charger that is why a repair mode is considered. To prolong battery life, this feature reduces buildup.
Reverse Polarity Protection
The reverse polarity protection feature is what all of these choices have in common. If you accidentally connect the cables to the wrong end of the battery, this safety feature prevents sparks from flying or electrocution.
We would not recommend buying a product that didn’t include it because this feature is standard among most low ampere chargers. To tell you about your battery, active monitoring allows the charger.
When an unused battery starts losing charge, the lower ampere models will use it to determine. When it notices the battery is fully charged, it will activate the battery to allow it to begin charging and then switch back off to prevent overcharging.
There will be more informative active monitoring for more comprehensive chargers. Detailed information about your car battery’s health can be given by many of these chargers. They will safeguard against common battery killers, let you know how much charge you’ve got in it, and even they will warn you when it is permanently losing life to lengthen your car battery’s lifespan.
Among different models, this feature is not as common. It takes a lot more power, with the ability to start your car because it will cost more to purchase a battery charger. This is a nice feature if you want the reassurance that you won’t be stranded for your battery dies while you’re out.
A variety of amperes is available with these chargers. For the charger, it’s important to know what your primary use will be. Trickle charging makes maintenance a breeze because lower amperes will take longer to charge your battery. When the battery is left idle for too long, because of no use of your car very often then these are great options if you want to be sure that the battery won’t go dead.
To prevent you from being stranded and to provide better options for protection against deaths the higher amperes are the best option but they will cost more. To get you on the road again without having to wait for chargers, many of the higher ampere products can jump start a dead battery. As compared to lower ampere models, these don’t jump start a dead battery immediately but will take significantly less time to charge dead batteries.
An amp range between 750 milliamps to 20 amps should be more than sufficient, for most of the purposes. More power isn’t required unless you may not be able to maintain it optimally and any less power will take a really long time to charge your battery as you’re looking for a way to jump-start your car.
It is a pretty complicated decision, to choose the right car battery charger. There is not a single right answer for every car battery because there are a lot of different factors that determine which battery charger is best for your needs. To find the best car battery charger for your needs, we sincerely hope this best auto car battery charger guide has helped you a lot.
After this, you should know, how much power you will need and what each feature does that you want this charger to do. After reading the above-detailed review that you choose as the best on the market and have a couple of options that have been vetted and can make the right decision for your self.