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FAQs Concerning Owning A Battery Charger
Do you drive your car infrequently?
If so, the car battery may be unable to keep a charge. If connected to a battery charger, you’ll ensure your car always starts.
Are there other batteries you want to keep fully charged?
Stored batteries, including those used for seasonal equipment, will eventually lose power. When connected to a battery charger, you’ll keep it supplied with electricity. This is one of many things you'll want to consider when storing vehicles.
Do you own multiple vehicles?
A battery charger provides an ideal boosting source. There is no need to drain a good battery to serve a weak one; especially when dealing with batteries in the winter.
Buy replacement batteries online or visit your local Advance Auto Parts store and have one of our knowledgable Team Members help you.
Types of Car Chargers
- Portable Car Battery Charger
- Offers both slow and fast charging
- Ranges in size from compact to portable on wheels
- Works with all types of lead-acid batteries
- Connects to a household electrical outlet
- Provides low and slow recharging
- Allows for constant charging for maximum battery life
- Compact and easy to store
- Ideal to have on hand when another vehicle is not available
- Store in your glove box or other compartment
- Also powers accessories, such as your smartphone
How to Use a Car Battery Charger
Using a car battery charger is an easy process, but one involving several steps. For our example, we’ve condensed the instructions for the Schumacher 6V/12V Automatic Battery Charger. Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for your particular unit.
- Turn off the vehicle’s accessories, including the air conditioning, audio, and navigation systems, then disconnect plugged in electronics, such as your smartphone. Use eye protection and gloves. Locate the car battery and clean off the terminals with a rag.
- Make the connection. Ensure the charger is set to the "off" position. Attach the red (positive) cable on the charger to the red (positive post) on the car battery. Next, do likewise with the black (negative) cable, but DO NOT connect it to the battery post. Instead, connect it to any exposed bare metal section of the engine block. Then, connect the charger to an electrical outlet.
- Dial in the amperage. Set the charger to the boost or charge position. The boost setting provides a slow trickle, controlled by a timer to deliver a full charge over time. The charge position supplies enough power to get your car quickly on the road again.
- Disconnect the charger. When finished, turn the charger off, remove the cord from the electrical outlet, then remove the black clamp from the engine followed by the red clamp before storing the unit.
What to Consider When Choosing a Battery Charger
- Household or heavy-duty charger. You’ll find a variety of battery chargers available. For the average household (meaning car owner) a charger supplying 10 to 20 amps is sufficient. Go higher if you have several cars. For the individual owning a garage, units delivering upwards of 250 or 300 amps will suffice.
- Cable length. You’ll find most charger output cable lengths sufficient, usually ranging from about eight to 12 feet long. Go longer if you require the additional length.
- Water resistance. If you’re regularly exposed to the elements, then only a water resistant charger will do. Not all units can resist water.
- The warranty. The last thing you want is to purchase a product not covered by a warranty. The good news is that our entire supply of Schumacher, Carquest, and other brands come with replacement warranties, typically one, two, three, or five years, if defective. Know what warranty you’re getting prior to your purchase.
Buy a portable car battery charger online or at your local Advance Auto Parts store and have one of our knowledgeable Team Members help you.
Is your car battery beyond redemption?
If you find yourself boosting the same car battery again and again, the problem may be with the battery itself. Use a multimeter to measure voltage. Fully charged batteries will measure 12.66 volts when the engine is off. Bring your old battery to Advance Auto Parts for recycling and receive a $10 gift card.
Do you live in a cold climate?
Choose a robust battery charger offering 50 to 100 amps. On cold nights, connect the Carquest battery charger to trickle enough power to keep your battery alive, enabling you to head out to work in the morning.
Would a trickle charger do?
Consider a trickle charger instead of a battery charger if you store your classic car for months at a time.