Car battery charger test

Car battery chargers can extend the life of car batteries. It is important to charge the battery regularly. Especially on short journeys, the battery is quickly discharged. Also hard winters and even the standstill of the car discharge the battery. A discharged battery becomes dangerous in cold conditions, as empty batteries are very sensitive and react to temperatures. In frosty conditions, they can therefore freeze and burst easily. Preventive charging of the battery could avoid many accidents.

What to look for when buying a car battery charger?

When buying a battery charger, it depends first of all on the battery to be charged. If the device is to be used to charge a car, motorcycle or truck battery? Depending on the type of vehicle, different voltages are required for the chargers. Only 6 volts are needed to charge a motorcycle battery. Car battery chargers operate at 12 volts. Charging a truck battery requires 24 volt.

In our car battery charger test, we have evaluated the following criteria, which we consider to be particularly important when buying a charger:

  • Automatic shut-off: to prevent damage to the car battery, a charger should have an automatic shut-off feature. As soon as the battery is fully charged, high-quality devices switch off to prevent overheating. In addition, it also allows you to save electricity. A short circuit protection is also necessary to avoid long term damage.
  • Jump-starting: some chargers have a jump-starting function. This eliminates the need to buy a separate jump-start cable. This not only saves money but also space.
  • Display of the charge status: high-quality car battery chargers show you the current status during charging. So you can check at any time how far the charging process has been completed and how high the voltage is.
  • Detection of defective batteries: especially practical are chargers that can also detect whether the battery is discharged or even defective.
  • Ease of use
  • High quality
  • Price-performance

Before buying, you should also know the type of battery in your car. If you are not sure whether to use a lead-calcium, AGM or gel battery, you should choose a universal charger. This is suitable for use with all types of batteries.

Charging the battery

Connecting the terminals of a car battery charger

Connecting the CTEK MXS 5.0 to a car battery

With the car battery charger you can easily charge the battery of your car. To avoid short circuits, always disconnect the ground terminal, i.e. the blue clip, from the negative terminal first. Now the battery charger can be connected. The red clamp is connected to the positive terminal and the blue clamp to the negative terminal of the battery.

The battery plugs can remain screwed in, as gas is formed during charging and can escape through the vent holes in the plugs. At the beginning of charging, the charging current should be about 10% of the battery capacity. As the charge progresses, the charging current will automatically decrease. The battery is fully charged when the acid density does not increase further within 2 hours. For information on the acid level of your battery, see the following article.

The normal household current is sufficient to fully charge the battery. Generally, car battery chargers operate at 12 volts. Motorcycle chargers, on the other hand, require only 6 volts. truck battery chargers need more power at about 24 volts.

Be careful not to smoke during charging and do not use open flames, as they form highly explosive oxyhydrogen gas during charging. also ensure adequate ventilation during charging if you are inside an enclosed space. Easy and safe handling is considered in almost every car battery charger test.

The battery level

Car battery charger test

The battery fluid consists of sulfuric acid and distilled water. Normally, the battery does not need to be topped up with water during its entire life. However, the fluid level should be checked regularly. Higher outside temperatures, long idle times and a defective alternator voltage regulator can, under certain circumstances, lead to increased water loss. Therefore, check the level of the battery fluid. This should reach to the lower marking of the housing and cover at least the upper edges of the plates. If the level is too low, unscrew the cap and refill with distilled water up to the upper mark.

Be sure to use distilled water*, as tap water and rainwater contain substances that can damage the battery. If the battery is already heavily discharged, add only enough distilled water to cover the tops of the plates. After charging the battery, you can refill it up to the upper marking. Important: the liquid level must not be higher than the upper marking. Acid may leak out and damage the battery!

Why does the battery discharge in the first place??

Discharging the battery can have various causes. For example, if you accidentally leave the lights on overnight, you can almost certainly expect a discharged battery the next morning.

But cold temperatures also affect the battery. Heating, windshield wipers and lights consume a lot of energy. Especially on short trips, the battery often cannot be sufficiently charged by the alternator. A discharged battery follows.

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