CTEK Automatic Car Battery Charger
Last updated date: August 24, 2021
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We looked at the top Car Battery Chargers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Car Battery Charger you should buy.
Update as August 24, 2021:
Checkout The Best Car Battery Charger for a detailed review of all the top car battery chargers.
Premium input and output cables are what you'll find on this car battery charger. It also offers improved charging in all weather types and comes with many important safety features. In fact, it's even short-circuit, splash and dustproof!
In our analysis of 165 expert reviews, the CTEK Automatic Car Battery Charger placed 2nd when we looked at the top 16 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Unique reconditioning mode, built-in temperature sensing capabilities. Completely sealed Unit, spark proof and reverse - polarity protected. Premium input and output cable with robust strain relief. 5 year warranty. Ideal for start-stop systems. Input voltage 110-120 VAC. Minimum battery voltage required: 2V.
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Our Expert Consultant
Home Improvement Expert
Vicki Liston writes, produces, and narrates “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.
Home improvement and all things DIY have been Liston’s passion since she bought her first house in 2007 and she started making video blogs in 2014. She’s performed hundreds of DIY projects, from small ones to major, wall-smashing renovations and can teach you how to make a trendy DIY barn door for cheap. The proceeds earned from “On The Fly…DIY” are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations. You can find her show on Prime Video.
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An Overview On Car Battery Chargers
A car battery charger is one of those things you might not think about buying until you need it, but then you will wish you had the foresight to purchase one in advance. Choosing the right vehicle battery jumper or charger device depends on several factors unique to your situation.
The primary consideration to determine is what type of car battery charger will best suit your needs.
Vicki Liston is the writer, producer and narrator of “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.
“There are two basic types of car battery chargers: trickle and smart (also called multi-step) chargers,” shares Liston. “I don’t consider the float chargers to be actual ‘chargers,’ as they won’t resurrect a dead battery and are only used to maintain the charge.”
Learning the pros, cons and capabilities of a car battery charger type is helpful in the decision-making process.
“Trickle chargers are the most inexpensive,” Liston says, “but they are also the slowest.”
While this might seem like a downfall, it can be an advantage in certain situations.
“If you aren’t in a major rush to recharge, a trickle unit will serve you well,” explains Liston. “It’s actually better for the battery to charge slower than faster as a fast charge can generate a lot of heat and damage the battery.”
If safety is top of mind, a smart charger might be a better choice.
“Smart or multi-step chargers employ the use of a microprocessor to assess the battery and make automatic decisions about how to charge. The standard versions have the automatic stop feature to avoid overcharging, damage, and explosions,” Liston points out. “They can also detect if you’ve accidentally connected the cables to the wrong terminals, called ‘reverse polarity protection.’ A trickle charger will ruin a battery if connected incorrectly while a smart charger just won’t begin to charge at all. Understandably, these are the more expensive option, but they are also the safest.”
Be sure to check the amp rating on a potential car battery charger, as this will let you know how quickly it will charge your battery.
“Trickle chargers are rated at below one amp so it may take a few days to fully charge a battery,” Liston says. “Again, slower is better for the battery, but you might not have the luxury of waiting around that long and need it up and running in a hurry.
“Higher rated chargers can run around 20 amps and the emergency ‘get this thing started NOW’ type chargers can crank out 40 amps to get you on the road in a hot minute,” continues Liston. “Some smart chargers allow you to choose a recharge setting based on your circumstances. You can set it lower when you have the time to wait and it won’t expend unnecessary, damaging heat. Set it higher only when the occasion calls for speed. You’ll have the best of both worlds in one charger.”
The Car Battery Charger Buying Guide
- If you decide on a trickle car battery charger, Liston highly recommends an advanced model to ensure the safest operation possible. “The lower end models should not be ‘attached and forgotten’ as they will not stop charging when the battery has reached maximum capacity,” advises Liston. “Because of this, they run the risk of overcharging and even causing an explosion. The higher-end models, usually referred to as advanced trickle chargers, can detect when a battery is fully charged and either stop or automatically switch over to ‘float’ mode to maintain the charge. “
- Since you should always put safety first, the right clamps are essential. “Whether you go with a trickle or a smart charger, I highly recommend looking for a model with spark-proof clamps,” Liston notes. “Sparks can not only damage both the charger and the battery but they can cause fires so this safety feature should be a must.”
- “If you are only looking to keep a car battery charged, opt for a 12-volt only model,” suggests Liston. “However, if you’ve got other types of battery-operated vehicles, such as an ATV, boat, jet ski, riding lawn mower, or golf cart, you might want to consider a 6/12 or a 12/24 volt charger. This will allow you to use your charger in multiple applications instead of having a different charger for each volt size. 6/12/24 chargers are commercially available however they are extremely expensive and it’s cheaper to own both a 6/12 and a 12/24 than one 6/12/24 version.”
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