Do you observe those car battery chargers being displayed in most auto part shops? If yes, you might wonder why there is a need for a car battery charger.
For sure, when you buy a new car, you will think that the car battery will be sold charged. Then, if it discharged, it will die and cannot be restored.
You might also think that every car has its alternator used for charging. Thus, you can install the usable battery in your vehicle and make it fully charged again.
So, why bother buying or learning how to choose a car battery charger?
If you are a first-time car owner, you need to be aware that there are some scenarios that you need to look into the use of a car battery charger.
First, if you have a car that cannot be driven enough in keeping the battery up to charge in contrast to the passive drain, these types of the vehicle include summer-only vehicle or utility car which can be used only for heavy hauling.
So, it is better to hook up a battery charger for at least one before you start driving to prevent potential delays or frustrations.
Another is you can use a car battery charger in the event of battery failure.
Remember, some factors can affect the performance of your battery while you are on the road, including a sudden change of temperature.
So, it will be a smart move to bring a battery charger most of the time to ensure that your driving will not be interrupted that much, especially if you are in a hurry.
Car battery chargers are relatively cheap, so there is no way for you to purchase one. Just imagine the stress and frustration you can avoid if you have one.
In this article, you are given a chance to discover the proper way on how to choose a car battery charger.
- 1 Picking The Right Battery Charger
- 2 Important Car Battery Charger Features
- 2.1 Reverse Polarity Warning
- 2.2 Spark Proof Clamps
- 2.3 Float Mode
- 2.4 Clamp Amps
- 2.5 Battery Tester
- 2.6 Battery Tending
- 2.7 Solar
- 2.8 Multi-Step Charging
- 2.9 Proper ways To Charge Car Battery
Picking The Right Battery Charger
Please be aware that not all car battery charger can be used at all times.
There are some factors you need to consider before purchasing a battery charger so that you will end up with your expected result.
When learning how to choose car battery types, you need to consider the battery type.
In batteries that are a wet cell, maintenance-free, absorbed glass mar, valve-regulated lead-acid, one type of charger can be enough. But, for a gel cell battery, you will need a different kind of charger.
Battery size does not necessarily mean the physical size, but the amount of time the battery stores. If you own a battery that has typical full-size, it can last up to 50 hours.
This means that you need to pick the 10 amp charger that will take you up to 6 hours to recharge if your battery is completely dead.
Some people want a quick recharge, and that is why they choose a car battery charger with more amps. However, if you are not in a hurry, you can prefer selecting a smaller charger.
You can choose a car battery charger according to your desired outcome. Some motorists require a charger to keep their classic car or motorcycle battery charged throughout the offseason.
If this your case, you can use a low current charger. If you want to restore the power quickly, you can take advantage of a powerful and fast charger.
Before purchasing a car battery charger, it is necessary to determine first the above factors so that you can pick the right charger based on your needs. Thus, you can be sure that you will achieve your expected output.
Important Car Battery Charger Features
There are tons of car battery charger models that you can find in the market, and each model can suit your unique needs. Your specific need will help you identify which battery charger is perfect for your car.
You also need to learn that a battery charger can be either automatic or manual. With a fully automatic charger you can easily detect if your battery is already fully charged.
Then, it will automatically switch to a float mode or maintenance to ensure that your battery is protected from overcharging. As a result, you can promote better service life.
However, if you prefer those car battery chargers that offer safety, there are already chargers having safety features.
Reverse Polarity Warning
A car battery charger with reverse polarity warning could help you get alert if the wrong cable was hooked up the inappropriate post. As a result, you will be able to prevent dangerous sparking.
However, if your battery charger lacks this feature, there is a considerable chance that reversing polarity will lead to sparking and then, gas ignition around the battery which can lead to an explosion.
Spark Proof Clamps
Although you always observe careful re-charging, sparking can still happen whenever you are connecting a charger clamp of a 12 V battery charger.
So, it is better for you to pick a battery charger that features spark-proof clamps to reduce or prevent sparking at the connection.
If you prefer to use a fully automatic battery charger, a maintenance or float mode is featured which can help you detect whether your charger is fully charged and then, backoffs to the primary charging process to protect your battery from overcharging.
Be aware that overcharging can lead to overheating, battery damage, or explosion.
Clamp amps are used to connect to the posts, and they should have an amp rating. The rating is usually 50 amps and more and should not be less than that.
If you want to determine the health of the battery, it is recommended to have a battery tester.
Thus, you need to understand that lead-acid batteries might build up sulfate on the plates over time which will reduce their ability for accepting a full charge.
So, it is better to have a device that can help you detect whether your battery is receiving a full charge, alert you about the problem, or even correct it.
Most of the car battery chargers provide tending or maintenance for the battery while it is connected. This feature is ideal if you have a vehicle that is rarely used.
A car battery charger powered by the sun is now available in the market. They can perform better compared to other charger types.
This is due to the low amperage of the solar car battery. So, if you are in the middle of nowhere and you want to recharge your battery, having this charger feature is an advantage.
Some battery chargers can charge in multiple steps making them flexible to have better control over the charging process.
These steps range from charging up to other steps including diagnostics, recovery, soft start, bulk, absorption, trickle, and maintenance.
With the above features, you might find it easier on how to choose a car battery charger. Another factor that you also need to consider is the ease of use having minimal adjustments.
If you have two or more batteries with different types, you might find it a bit hard to set up and you will need more chargers with variations for charging rate, output voltage, battery chemistry, and more.
Thus, keep in mind that car battery chargers can be large or small, heavy or light, or bulky or compact.
But, if you are seeking for more portable chargers, you can look for handles on the bigger chargers.
Proper ways To Charge Car Battery
Charging your dead vehicle battery is more than just hooking up your charger.
You also need to consider an idea of which terminal should be removed first when removing the battery or even which among the terminals should be hooked up first on your charger and how long you need to wait before your battery gets fully charged.
So, what are the proper ways to hook up your car battery charger?
Just follow the instructions below, and you can properly hook up the battery charger.
- Make sure your charger is off
- Hook up the positive cable on your charger to the positive terminal of your battery
- Hook up the negative cable on your charger to the negative terminal on your battery
- Set your charger to the slowest charging rate
- Turn on your charger and set the required time
However, how long should you charge your car battery?
In the case that your car battery is below 11.85 while your charger has a 5 amp charging rate, you will have to wait up to 12 hours for your battery to be fully charged.
Then, it will take about 6 hours to charge if your charger has 10 amps charge rate fully.
From the importance of a car battery charger to the appropriate way of charging your car battery, you will add value to the quality of your driving.
Through these valuable ideas on how to choose a car battery charger, you have the opportunity to stay stress-free and always ready while you are on the road.