A battery charger is one of the most important car accessories, and selecting the most appropriate one is essential for the maintenance of your cars battery and keeping it in a good condition for a long time. Some chargers are specific to certain manufacturers and the use of an inappropriate device could prove to be extremely detrimental, resulting in high car repair costs.
Making The Right Choice
- Supervised / unsupervised charging: You can opt to charge your car battery manually. However, there is risk of batteries overcharging. To avoid this situation, you can opt for an automatic charging device. The automatic charger keeps track of temperature and conditions continuously and adjusts the speed based on the charge condition. Alternatively, you can select manual batter charger with LED indicators, with this type of device, you can set the rate of re-charge.
- Battery type: Chargers must conform to the type of battery used in your car. Your car may be fitted with wet or sealed lead acid batteries. Sealed batteries are also called SLI/RLA/GEL/AGM or simply maintenance free. The use of wet battery chargers on sealed batteries can damage the battery.
- Voltage: Chargers are voltage specific. Thus, while choosing a battery charger it is important to ensure that the charger voltage conforms to the actual voltage requirement of your battery.
- Size: Every battery needs a specific amount of current to get completely charged. The required charging current or battery current is stated in C-Rate, where C stands for the battery capacity expressed in amp hours. For example, a 100Ah battery has a “C-Rate” of 100 amps. Thus, to fully recharge a 12V 100Ah battery using a 12V/10A charger will take 10 hours if the battery is fully discharged.
What You Might Need
- Plastic battery fillers are among the simplest, yet most useful, car accessories. They ensure that you always have a supply of distilled water when you need to top-up your wet car batteries.
- Battery and alternator testers help you verify the condition of your car battery and alternator.