A car battery charger can function as an emergency jump tool or a helpful trickle charger to keep in your garage. Chargers that have four amperes are suitable for charging a battery over many hours, while a car battery charger with more amps can provide a faster charge. Find out more about the tradeoffs of fast and slow charging as well as the effects of charging the best car batteries.
Best Car Battery Charger on a Budget
In general, the level of amps determines the price of a car battery charger. Trickle chargers rated for four amps may be the most affordable, but also take longer to charge a car. In general, using a four amp charger on a 52 amp hour battery will enable a car to start within one hour but take up to 10 hours to fully charge the battery.
For faster charging, look for an affordably priced car battery charger with anywhere from six to 15 amperes. Battery charges with 15 to 20 amperes may run a higher risk of damaging car batteries, which can lead to further expenses for part replacement.
Best Car Battery Brands
Some of the most trusted car battery brands include Duralast, ACDelco, Odyssey, Optima and Valucraft. It is important to make sure that the battery you select is of the right size and shape and has terminals in the same position as the OEM battery in a vehicle. A VIN number lookup can help you pinpoint the right replacement battery for any vehicle make and model.
When it comes to car battery chargers, you can find models in any price range from Battery Tender, Duracell, Duralast, NOCO and Schumacher among other battery brands. You do not have to select a car charger by the same company as your battery. Many brands make high-quality chargers with essential safety features such as an alarm for reverse polarity and automatic shutoff.
Premium Car Battery Chargers
If you spend more on a charger, you can get a model with more amperes capable of charging a car battery in less time. Other features such as a built-in battery tester, status indicators for battery capacity and charge level and features such as automatic mode switching to prevent overcharging can make a larger investment worthwhile.
Only fast charge a battery when you must do so for emergency reasons. Frequent fast charges can undermine the operating life of a battery. You may want to invest in a four amp trickle charger for longer battery life as well as a portable fast charger in case you need to juice up a battery while on the go.
When you invest in a high-quality car battery, trickle charging should only be necessary in the event that the battery gets discharged or after years of recommended use. Allowing a battery to discharge or repeatedly resorting to fast charging can shorten its operating life. The need for emergency charging may make investing in a charger with more amps helpful, but a trickle charger can be a worthwhile investment in the longevity of car batteries.