The best car chargers on the market: our selection

The best car chargers on the market: our selection

Welcome to our article dedicated to the car charger. There are few things worse than running out of a battery in your car. Imagine the scene: you leave work late, you are tired and you want to go home. Get in the car, put the keys and don't leave. You have to call a tow truck to remove the vehicle and take a taxi. Everything could have been avoided with a car charger.

These devices are designed to never run out of charge in the car battery. They are simple and compact devices, ideal to carry in the trunk of the car. In this article we will explain everything you need to know about car chargers and how to buy the best of them all.

  1. Car chargers, in most cases, are intended for home use. However, there are models for "jump starts" (called a starter, booster or starter) that you can carry in the trunk of your car.

  2. Car chargers also show the charge level, so it's good to use them periodically to check the battery and not get stuck at any time.

  3. The main factor you should consider when buying a car charger is its power. You have to make sure it is enough to perform a reload. We will see this and other important factors in the last section, dedicated to the purchase criteria.


The best car chargers on the market: our selection


On the market you will find many models of car chargers. When buying, you should consider its power, but also its design, as they need to be portable and comfortable. To help you choose, we have reviewed and compared the chargers currently on the market and selected the best ones for you:

  1. Buyers' favorite car charger

  2. The best auto charger with automatic shutdown

  3. Best 100A car charger

  4. The least expensive car charger

Buyers' favorite car charger

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The choice of online users seems to fall very often on the Bosch C7, one of the best-selling and best-reviewed car chargers. The model in question is suitable for charging car and van batteries, ie 12 V and 24 V, and up to 230 Ah. Its operation is really simple and intuitive.

It automatically recognizes the type of battery connected and signals polarity errors if it is not correctly connected. It supports the “backup charge” function and is equipped with a wall mounting bracket. The C3 model is also very popular, and is suitable for 12 V and 6 V batteries (motorcycles).

The best auto charger with automatic shutdown




Etrogo Lead Acid Charger 12V / 6V 10A Pulse Charger Intelligent Battery Charger with LED Screen for Cars, Motorcycles, Toys













This Bolaimei charger is an option that boasts excellent value for money, and is capable of charging 12 V and 6 V batteries with automatic current regulation, from 1 A up to 15 A (6-200 Ah). It is a multi-stage charger with automatic shutdown when fully charged, which helps to preserve the longevity of the battery.

It supports GEL, AGM, MF and SLA batteries, and is equipped with an LED screen. It has a total power of 250 W which allows it to carry out the charges with great efficiency, as confirmed by the buyers, who consider it a valid and reliable product.

Best 100A car charger




Röhr DFC-650P 100A Car Maintenance Charger - Turbo and Slow Mode - Repair Technology - 12V / 24V















The Röhr DFC-650P is a powerful and reliable 12/24 V charger with a rugged yet portable design. It offers several modes of operation, including pulse engine restart, hold charge and quick charge. It is equipped with a digital ammeter and a timer to limit the charging time.

It can charge batteries up to 100A and has easily accessible fuses. For users, this is a premium quality product that offers reliability and versatility, and is capable of charging even the largest batteries in a short time.

The least expensive car charger




NWOUIIAY Charging Car Charger 6A / 12V Multi Automatic Charging Protectors Smart Charger Car Charger with LCD Screen for Car Motorcycle















The least expensive option most frequently chosen by users is made by NWOUIIAY, sold directly from their Italian store. It is an intelligent battery detection charger, capable of charging from 4Ah up to 100Ah with an output power of up to 72W.

It works with all 12 V lead batteries, so it should not be used with lithium batteries at all. Despite the small expense, buyers are not at all regretful of their investment, and consider the object in question a small jewel capable of charging, regenerating and maintaining the most common car batteries, and it is very easy to use.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about car charger


Whether due to a sudden drop in temperature or an oversight like leaving the lights on, on more than one occasion you may find that your car battery is dead. In these situations, a car charger will be your savior. Next, we explain everything you need to know about these appliances.


Why does a car battery run out?


A dead car battery is a major concern for motorists. The batteries are discharged from consumption, neglect, but also from sudden changes in temperature or excessive use of the electronic parts of the car. Next, let's summarize the main causes: 



    • Abnormal consumption and overload: In cars with full entertainment systems (audio, video, speakers and amplifier), the power consumption is higher. The original car batteries are not designed for this increase in consumption, so they discharge sooner.

    • Leave the lights or radio on: Modern vehicles beep when the lights are left on, but older cars don't. Unintentionally leaving the lights on overnight can drain the battery.

    • Lack of use: It is recommended to start the engine and move the car from time to time (especially in winter), to make all parts work and prevent them from rusting. It is recommended to do this at least once a week.

    • Degradation: Battery life can vary from two to four years depending on driving style and maintenance. After that time, it should be replaced.

    • Defects: Corroded terminals, bulges, surface deformities, or damaged cables are signs of a dead battery.




 




How does a car charger work?


Car chargers send electrical current to batteries, where energy is stored. There are two basic types of charging: fast and slow. Fast charging takes 4 to 6 hours, while slow charging can exceed 12 hours. The difference is in the amount of current used: the higher the current, the shorter the charging time. 

To charge a battery, the charger must supply a higher voltage (V) than the battery, so it is not possible to charge a 12V car battery with a 12V charger. The current supplied to the discharged battery is used to restore the initial system present in the battery, so that once charged it will work again. The larger the battery, the longer it will take to charge it.

 





Man charging a battery

Car chargers also show the charge level, so it's a good idea to use them periodically to check the battery and not get stuck at any time. (Source: worathat: 51552507 / 123rf.com)


When should i change the car battery?


The car charger can save you an expensive tow truck call. The problem is that sometimes the car charger won't be enough. Over time, the car's batteries need to be changed. Batteries age, but they also break with use, especially if the car is parked outside for a long time. 

If your car charger is unable to charge the battery, it needs to be replaced. Even if the poles show corrosion or if there is some kind of leak. You can use an ammeter to measure the remaining charge. If it doesn't show any response, it's time to change it.




How do you connect the car charger?


The car charger is an indispensable device for every driver. It is compact, convenient and very easy to use. There are many models on the market, but all of them can be connected following the same technique that we list below: 

  1. Prepare the battery. If it is in the vehicle, remove the covers protecting the terminals. You may need a screwdriver or wrench to remove them. If the battery is outside the car, place it on a sturdy workbench or table.

  2. Place the positive load clamp on its terminal. The electrode and positive poles of the battery are typically red in color and have a plus symbol (+). The electrodes and negative terminals are black and show a minus symbol (-). First connect the positive (red) terminal of the charger to the positive terminal.

  3. Check the charger's volt and ampere settings. Some chargers allow you to adjust voltage (V) and current (A). For a normal car battery, you need to set the charger to 12 V. In terms of amperage, the lower the amp flow, the longer it takes to charge the battery. For a full charge, always use a low amperage. For an emergency while traveling or away from home, use a high amperage.

  4. Plug the car charger cable into an electrical outlet. Some car chargers (especially emergency ones) have a battery, but the most powerful ones work with the cable. Leave the charger switched on until the battery charges. Many chargers have a light that alerts you when charging is complete. If the charger is automatic, it will turn off when charging is complete.

  5. Turn off the charger switch when the battery is fully charged. Once charged, remove the charger and clamps from the battery. Be careful to remove the negative caliper first and then the positive caliper, in that order.


 




How can I check if a car charger is working?


As we have explained to you, sometimes the batteries do not recharge and need to be changed. But how do you know it's a battery problem and not a charger problem? To make sure the battery has a problem, the first thing to do is check the charger. This way you will save money and hassle. To do this you must: 



    • Plug the car charger into an electrical outlet.

    • Check with a voltmeter that there is power. Also check that electricity is reaching the terminals.

    • With a good, undamaged battery, check both poles.

    • Check the voltmeter reading again and take a look at which side it indicates. If it is to the left (negative), change the test probes. If it is to the right (positive) it will be a sign that the battery is receiving a charge.

    • If you keep getting negative readings, check your car charger to make sure how much power it is delivering. A negative reading indicates a problem with the charger and will need to be replaced.




 




How can I keep my car battery longer?


Car batteries usually have a life span set by the manufacturer. When that time is up, you have to go to the workshop and change it. Extending battery use further can be dangerous. However, there are some tricks that can keep your battery in better condition for as long as possible: 

  1. Even if you have automatic shutdown, always check the lights before getting out of the car.

  2. Always turn off the radio and any monitors or air conditioning systems in the car.

  3. Carry out constant vehicle maintenance. Open the hood and check the battery every now and then.

  4. If you leave the car unused for a long time, remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place.

  5. Depending on the type of battery (conventional or maintenance free), it is important to check the electrolyte level and the status indicator.

  6. The battery charge should be checked periodically, with the car charger or with a voltmeter.


 





Purchase criteria


We have already explained everything you need to know about the car charger and maintenance of your car battery. Now is the time to find the right car charger for your needs. To do this, in the next section we examine the main purchase criteria that we at REVIEWBOX.it consider the most important. This is because we want to make sure yours is a great investment.

  • Charging current and voltage

  • Dimensions

  • Indicators

  • Safety

  • Automatic or manual

  • Ability to act as a starter

  • Cable or battery


Charging current and voltage


Power is related to battery amperage. In the simplest models it can reach 32 amps (for low power vehicles), reaching up to 200 A for large batteries (vans and caravans). This factor is decisive in the choice and will be linked to the final price of the car charger.

In terms of voltage, car batteries use 12V chargers. However, there are more and more chargers with amperage selector, which help us to configure a more stable charge, depending on the characteristics of our car. They are ideal if you have more than one vehicle and want to have several options.


Charger connected to a battery

A dead car battery is a major concern for motorists. (Source: Sungkapukdee: 117195446 / 123rf.com)

Dimensions


Car chargers are designed to be used at home, plugged into the power outlet. However, you may not want to buy a bulky and heavy model, as it will be difficult to store and inconvenient to use. Keep in mind that the most powerful models will weigh around 10 pounds.

Dimensions and weight vary according to the load capacity of each model. Most of these appliances, although they have a great weight, also have a compact design. Many of these, especially the heavier ones, are equipped with handles to be able to carry them from one place to another.

Indicators


One of the best features a car charger can have is a digital display. It is extremely convenient to be able to see both the current charge level and the charge development. A good charger will have a screen and also light alarms (LEDs) that warn you that the charge is complete or just in case.

Some chargers have an alarm that will warn you of a polarity reversal, this feature is ideal for avoiding making mistakes and ending up burning the battery. The indicators are particularly suitable for users who are not familiar with batteries or mechanics in general.

Safety


A badly connected car charger can cause serious car battery problems. You can also cause an accident if you don't know how to use it. When it comes to equipment that works with electrical loads, it is important that they have the following safety systems:

  • Polarity inversion alarm.

  • Non-sparking clamps.

  • Extra length pliers.

  • Battery tester.

  • Contact parts isolated.




 


Automatic or manual


In the past, car chargers were manual. This meant you had to keep an eye on the charge levels and periodically check how the process was going. The most modern models are automatic, which means that you will only have to connect the clamps, turn on the charger and wait for it to finish, as it turns itself off.
The automatic car charger will be slightly more expensive, but also cheaper.

If you don't have a lot of experience with these types of devices, we recommend that you invest a little more and save yourself unnecessary effort. If, on the other hand, you like mechanics, the best will be a manual model that will allow you to configure and manage the whole process.

Ability to act as a starter


Car chargers that have a higher amperage usually also serve to start the car when the battery runs out. Battery powered portable models often incorporate this feature. In this case, it is convenient to check the peak power, as it will be what starts the car.

Cable or battery


As we mentioned, most car chargers work connected to the mains, while others have a battery. Battery-powered models usually have a lower power rating, but their biggest advantage is that you can take them in the car and you'll need them just in case.

Car chargers with cable are more solid. They have more power, so they are needed to fully charge the battery, but you won't be able to take them with you. They are equipment mostly designed for professionals and workshops, or for mechanics lovers who are always attentive to the battery charge.

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