Choosing The Correct Battery Charger For Your Car

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Most people don’t know that you need to use a specific type of battery charger depending on what situation you are in. Your particular case will determine the model. Wondering which one you should use? Read on to find out!

Vehicle Battery Charger or Jump Starter?

Before anything else, you need to figure out whether you need a vehicle battery charger or a jumpstarter. A lot of people will carry jump starter cables in their cars, whereas battery chargers will typically stay at home because they require a higher current to work effectively. Jump starter cables are not only portable, but you can use them anywhere in an emergency to charge a low car battery. If you just need a jump start, then that can be easily done. If you need to recharge a dead battery, that might take a little more work.

Battery Voltage and Size

Depending on what kind of vehicle you are using, the charger may need to be able to charge a large or small battery. You will need to look at the voltage required to charge it. Today, you can buy battery chargers that will charge both 6- and 12-volt batteries. It may be wise to save yourself the money and buy a 12-volt charger since those are more commonly used.

Automatic or Manual Chargers

Fully automatic chargers will be able to detect when your vehicle’s battery is fully charged. When it does, it will automatically switch to a maintenance charge to stop overcharging. This feature is called float mode and is a common feature in high-quality vehicle battery chargers.

Being Safe

Be sure to read any manuals and know the precautions to take when charging a car battery. There are safety features to keep an eye out for. Here are just a few:

Reverse Polarity Warning

An automatic battery charger will signal you if you have the cables hooked up to the wrong post. Doing this can cause sparking, which may ignite any gas around the battery, causing an explosion.

Float Mode

As mentioned before, this is a feature on fully automatic chargers that will detect when the battery is fully charged. They keep your battery from overcharging. Charging a battery past its limits can harm the battery by overheating it, damaging it, or even causing an explosion.

Spark-Proof Clamps

Even if you take all the precautions needed, sparking is still possible when connecting clamps to a 12-volt battery. Make sure your device has a safety feature to prevent sparking.

Test Your Battery

Some chargers will havebuilt-in detectors that will tell you the health of your battery. Over stop overcharging, lead-acid batteries will build up some sulfate on the plates, reducing their ability to charge fully. Some better-quality chargers will detect this and will alert you.

Battery Maintenance

Some chargers will also provide maintenance for your battery while charging. This is especially useful for vehicles that might not get too much use.

Clamp Amps

Clamps have amp ratings. These are the teeth-like clasps that go on the battery posts. You will want that rating to be around 50 amps or more, and not any less.


We don’t pretend to be experts on what are the best chargers are currently, but we do know what to look out for when buying a charger. Zena Racing have put together a comprehensive list on all the best chargers on the market at the moment

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