There are two types of drivers: those that love fine-tuning the systems in their car and those that can’t tell a spark plug from a relay. Everyone should welcome and benefit from some good advise on getting the right kind of electric parts for their car. And input from those that do this on a daily basis can’t be redundant.
A dead car battery can happen to everyone. And when it happens you need to jump-start the car again. To do this you need to attach the clamp with a positive charge (usually red) to the positive post on the battery. The clamp with a negative charge (painted black and ‘-’ as an indicator) goes to the negative post of the battery. You set the volt and amps, plugin and charge. In order to do all that, however, you need a reliable vehicle battery charger.
The primary function of an auto battery charger is to practically save you from a dead battery. Without a proper flow of current, your vehicle won’t start. It’s as simple as that. Now, investing in a good car battery charger will ensure that you never get stranded. The high quality aftermarket options allow you to monitor the remaining charge in your battery, but more on that below. Here are some tips on how to make sure you get the right charger and whether a smart or a manual option is better for you.
You can be oblivious to many minute details of the electrical system in your vehicle. What you absolutely can’t allow is forgetting to check the type of battery your car has. It is not as complicated as it sounds. You want to check if the battery is lead acid or deep cycle battery. There is a slight possibility that you will end up buying incompatible auto recharger if you skip this step.
Make sure that the model you choose is lightweight and compact. You see, a battery charger is a must-have piece of car gear, and to take it with you on the road you will have to be able to easily store it in the glove compartment or a similar space. It should be easy to carry around and inconspicuous when put away.
The amount of power you can draw from the charger is its central feature. If it has more power you can charge the battery faster, however, do not forget that the cost for this faster chargers is higher. Most of the aftermarket chargers are at 12-volt. You can also find models that are within the range 6-20 amps. The cost comes when you buy the charger – the ones that charge faster have also a longer service life.
Recharging a car battery can result in explosion. The instances are very rare and the chances are slim, but that does not mean you should abandon safety precaution. Newer models are made with user safety in mind. It is now more serious than it used to be. So, you can expect to find a car recharger with some safety features such as an alarm on reverse polarity, battery tester, clamps that are spark-proof, clamp amps, and float mode.
There is significant progress when it comes to making the user interface on these things as close to every driver as possible. As I’ve mentioned above, not all drivers have awakened their inner mechanic. So you can easily find an automotive battery charger that is quick and easy to use. They make them with LED light indicators so you can read the performance levels right away. It is not uncommon for it to also have USB slot to charge other electrical items like laptops, smartphones and similar. Who would pass on that?
One way to gauge the quality of a consumer product is the warranty offered by the manufacturer. They are definitely not created equal in this regard as some models come with 10-year warranty, while others come with way less. The longer the warranty, the greater the peace of mind you’ll have that you invest in something durable.
As with any other gear out there, chargers can come with features that are not central to their primary function, but such that greatly increase their usefulness. The car battery charger with solar input is one example of this. Then they have modes that preserve power in the long run with a setting that maintains low standby current, so you can use them longer. Some models have mountable attachments that can make the storage and accessibility easier.
Automatic (Smart) vs Manual
I may be setting it up as a comparison, however, there is no contest – smart chargers are way better if you don’t want to put a lot of effort into battery maintenance. But there are also some upsides to the regular old fashioned chargers. Let’s break them down.
Smart chargers (also referred to as automatic) monitor the state of the battery. They have microprocessor technology that tracks the charging process. It takes the battery’s current, voltage and charging rate into account to determine the right course of action. This is all in line with top-notch recovery, charging and maintenance that prevents overcharging and improves battery life. And, as you may well know, this applies to vehicles ranging from golf carts to cars to RV’s and jet skis to larger pleasure craft.
On the other hand, manual car battery chargers are a chore. The driver needs to keep tabs, at frequent intervals, as to the amount of charge from the battery. And then you need to employ your know-who and problem solving skills to jump start the car. However, they are a lot more affordable compared to automatic ones.
If you are not already familiar with the inner workings of your car, don’t even bother, just go for the smart chargers.