Best Car Battery Charger Review in 2018
The most important part of your electric system is the car battery. A car battery will get a lot shorter life if you let it stand half-charged a lot. To make your battery live as long as possible, the best way is to always have your battery charged. Many people drive only short distances and MAX all consumers like fans, seat heats etc and in that case the battery will never get time to get charged by the alternator. The solution to this is to charge your car battery when you are not using it.
Today’s smart car battery chargers give the battery the required charge and you can let it be connected when you want, you do not have to be afraid that you will damage it if you charge it for too long. The chargers have an inbuilt monitoring that will shut of the charging when the battery is fully charged.
In this article, I will write a review about the best car battery chargers in the market. I choose to only write about the 5 best chargers, to not recommend any bad chargers to my community. You can buy any of these chargers in this article with a good confidence. I’m working as a diagnostic technician and I use some of these chargers daily in my work and I have chosen the ones that I’ve tried myself.
Best Car Battery Chargers:
|CTEK 7002||4.7||Check Price on Amazon|
|CTEK (56-959)||4.6||Check Price on Amazon|
|4.3||Check Price on Amazon|
|Schumacher SC-1200A||4.2||Check Price on Amazon|
|BLACK DECKER BM3B|
|4.0||Check Price on Amazon|
BLACK DECKER BM3B
This is the budget variant of our car battery chargers on this list. It is not that big and it will only give out 1.5 Ampere. You will also get a DC plug to your cigarette 12v plug which you can charge your car battery via this plug instead of locating the battery. I do only recommend this charger if you need a very cheap maintenance charger because it will take very long time to fully charge any car battery.
- Both 6v and 12volt charging
- Charging AGM, GEL and WET Car Batteries
- 1.5 Ampere charging
- DC Plug
- Both Battery clamps and O-ring clamps
- Smart high-frequency battery charging monitoring
The Schumacher SC-12-1200A-CA is a fully automatic charger made for all types of chargings. It can charge both 6v and 12V systems. You can choose between maintenance charging (3A), medium charging (6A) and fast charging (12A). A really good charger that has all the functions you need. Really simple to use, just connect the charger clamps and choose which charge you want and let it do the job for you.
- 6v/12V charging
- 3A – 6A – 12A charging options.
- LED Display
- 50 Amp Clamps
- Microprocessor controlled (Active monitoring)
- Trickle setting included
NOCO Genius G3500
The NOCO Genius G3500 is the most sold car battery charger on Amazon. With thousands of positive reviews, we can confirm that this is a good charger. When you go to the Amazon site you will see that you get a lot of different options for your charger. You can choose between 0.75 A / 1.1A / 3.5 A /4-Bank 4.4 Amp / 7.2 Amp / 15 Amp / 26 Amp. If you do not know which ampere you should choose you can check the FAQ that I wrote above.
- 6v / 12volt option
- A lot of different models / Amp options
- Best Seller on Amazon with a lot of positive reviews
- Active battery monitoring
- Safe design with wrong-polarity protection and voltage spike protection
- UV and Water resistant
- LED indicators
- Recovery function
Now we have come to the “Rolls Royce” of car battery chargers (In my opinion). I’m using CTEK charger for myself at my job for professional use (Diagnostic technician). If you only want the best you should check these out. This is a 4.3 Amp charger and fits good for the perfect maintenance charging. If you want an even stronger charger, check the next CTEK charger down below. This charger uses an automatic 8-step charging mode and it will do everything for you. Just connect and let it fix it.
- 0-4.3 Amp charging ( Automatically )
- 8-step automatic charging program
- Patent covered Recover / Charging system
- Wrong-polarity protection and Voltage spike protection.
- Very Simple to use
- 12-volt charging
- Winner of multiple independent LAB tests
If you want one of the best – This is it. The powerful CTEK US 7002 ( Part no: 56-353). 7A super-safe charging with an 8-step automatic program that will do a complete charging for you. Water and dust resistant and can be used in any climates. Supply mode if you need direct and constant 12-14 volt supply for anything. Protections against wrong-polarity connections and spark & voltage spike proof. Perfect for any applications with the highest quality you can get with a car battery charger.
- 12v charging
- Charges AGM, WET and GEL batteries
- A patented 8-step charging system
- Battery clamps & O-ring clamps included ( With fuses )
- Water & Dust resistant, suitable for all climates
- Spark, Short & Wrong polarity protection
- Maintenance charging option
If you are searching for a really good quality charger for all uses and are ready to spend a bit more of money, I would really recommend this charger. You will get 5 years warranty and it will probably last as long as you need a car battery charger.
FAQ about car battery chargers:
How do I connect and charge my battery?
First, you have to locate your car battery. It is often located under the hood, but in some cars, it can be located in the trunk and under any seat. Some cars do also have two car batteries and if you charge the wrong battery, it won’t make any difference. I recommend checking your repair manual or ask us to find your car battery.
When you have found your battery, you have to check for the positive “+” battery terminal (Often red) and the negative “-” battery terminal (Often Black). There is often a mark on the battery itself which is the positive and negative. If you wire these wrong with an old battery charger, you can damage a lot of parts in your car. New car battery chargers do often have a polarity protection that will save your electronics, but still be very careful.
Connect the red clamp to the positive terminal and the black to the negative and read the manual of the charger how you should start it. Often there are several settings like “Charging” – “Maintenance” and “Recond”. Choose the setting you want to do with your battery.
Some vehicles do have charging/jump starting clamps in the engine bay if the battery is located somewhere else. You can often charge via these clamps, but it’s always better to charge directly on the battery if possible.
Some vehicle manufacturers use a battery monitoring, and you may have to go in with a diagnostic tool to see if the battery is taking charge.
You can check this video out to get a better view of how to do it.
How long time can I charge my battery every time?
With an old charger, you should not charge the battery for too long, depending a lot on the power of the charger. New chargers have active battery monitoring and they will shut off the charging when the battery is fully loaded.
How fast will my battery gets fully charged with these car battery chargers?
It is depending on the power the charger gives out and the size of your battery. Read the manual of the car battery charger. A charger with higher Ampere (A) will charge your battery faster.
Is it best to charge my car battery slow or fast?
Slow is the best to keep a long life for your battery. Usually, I say maximum 4 Ampere if you are maintenance charging your car battery often. You can charge faster if you only do it once because your car battery was low at a specific time and it won’t do much damage to your battery. So if you charge your car battery often ( Several times a week ) you want to keep the Ampere as low as possible for the best charging of your car battery.
AGM batteries should be even slower charger than regular batteries. You can often see on the label of your battery if it’s AGM or not. If you want to learn more about this subject, you can check out our guide How to charge your car battery the best way.
Do I have to fill battery water before charging my car battery?
If your battery allowing you to fill battery water and if the water level is low. You should always fill it with distilled water. Newer batteries are often sealed and you can’t fill them, often because they are AGM batteries. If you want to find the best car batteries you can find it in our batteries review: Car battery review
Can I charge my car battery while it’s connected to the vehicle?
Yes if you have a newer charger with active monitoring and voltage spike protection. Old chargers could give voltage spikes and damage electrics in your car. Newer chargers will not give these voltage spikes and it is harmless to charge your car battery while it’s connected. If you are not sure, always check the manual of your car battery charger and follow their recommendations.
Can I jump start my car with these car chargers?
Small car battery chargers do often not have this function. Bigger chargers can have a “Direct Mode” that allows you to start the car very fast, but these are not always enough. I can recommend you to get a jump starter instead. They are very powerful for their size and the price is not that high. If you are interested in a portable jump starter, you can check out our article: Portable jump starters reviews
How do I know what size (Ampere) of the charger I should buy?
Ask yourself what you are going to use it for. If you are only going to maintenance charge your car battery you will need a maximum 4 Ampere. If you think you are going to use it for both maintenance and fast charging, it is better to buy a large/more powerful car battery charger. A big charger will often have different options and not put out that much ampere if you set the setting for maintenance charging if it has this function.
I think my alternator is not charging properly?
This is a common problem. Charging the battery may help for a short while, but if the alternator is charging low amount of power, the battery will go down again soon. You should always measure with a multimeter on the battery when the engine is at idle. The voltage should be somewhere around 13 – 14.5 volts depending on how many power supplies that are on. If it is charging under 13 volts at idle, check all connectors and ground cables. Check the trouble codes with an OBD2 scanner. You can find different OBD2 scanners at our review page: Diagnostic scanners.
If you want more in depth troubleshooting, ask us at our homepage and I will help you out.
Choosing the right car battery charger for your needs are not always the simplest choice. I do recommend to spend some money on a good charger because you will not regret it. You will save money by not replacing your car battery all the time.
Choose a charger for your needs. <4 Amp if you are only going to maintenance charge it and >4 amp if you want to do speed charges sometimes.
Slow charging is the best for your battery.
If you have any other questions about car battery chargers you can comment down below. If you have any other car questions you can check our other articles on our blog or ask us a question on our homepage.
I hope you enjoyed this article and your new car battery charger!