If you leave your car unused in the garage for a few days, it is possible for its battery to lose charge.
Unless the engine is running, the alternator will not be able to charge and or maintain the battery. When this happens, you will need a secondary power source to start the car.
In most cases, car owners use another battery that is charged to jumpstart their cars. Does this have to be the case? Not necessarily, the alternative would be to buy the best battery maintainer (also referred to as battery tender) today.
The right battery tender will serve as the battery trickle maintainer to keep the battery charged, without having to run the engine.
While shopping for the best battery tender, you need to consider such aspects as the charging time, battery type, peak amperes and portability of the maintainer.
Additionally, you should ensure that your preferred model has the features you desire. Reviewed below are 5 of the best battery maintainers today.
Battery Maintainer Reviews for 2018
|Battery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior|
|NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger|
|Battery Tender Plus 021-0128, 1.25 Amp Battery Charger|
|Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA 1.5 Amp Speed Charge Battery Maintainer|
|Battery Tender 800|
1. Battery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior – Best OverallWhether it is for maintaining and charging a sealed or flood battery, the Battery tender 021-0123 Junior will come in handy. This maintainer is not just a trickle charger, it has all the features you need.
To being with, this tender is small in size and features a compact design. It is also lightweight and fully automatic. This makes it ideal for use in tight spaces and in your absentia. This product is equipped with a microprocessor-controlled maintainer and charge, both of which are automatic.
This being the case, the unit will help you enhance the durability of almost any lead-acid battery today. Featuring advanced charging technology, this battery tender will bring your charge back to full charge and then maintain or float the battery for many days to come. As you can see, this unit is less likely to overcharge a battery, hence is considered safe for use on a battery for extended periods.
The maintainer comes with ring terminals, and alligator clips that are relatively easy to hook up. Additionally, you can buy a 25-feet extension cable separately for enhanced flexibility. You will also love the fact that this product is spark-proof and has protection for reverse polarity.
2. NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger – The Safest Battery TenderIf you are looking for a safer and more reliable option, the NOCO genius G3500 will be a good choice. Not only are these some of the safest battery maintainers today, they also some of the most advanced tenders out there.
This unit is designed to maintain and charge a 12-volt or a 6-volt lithium ion and lead-acid batteries up to 120 Ah. Additionally, the tender may be used to repair a damaged battery.
With regards to compatibility, this charger is best suited for use on CANBUS electrical systems and micro-hybrid start-stop vehicles. In its functioning, the G3500 is controlled by an onboard microcomputer. It is this computer that regulates battery activity. This, in turn, allows for an efficient and safe charging. The unit is spark-proof and features overcharge protection. Being one of the safest battery maintainers today, you can leave it connected 23/7 without risking anything.
3. Battery Tender Plus 021-0128, 1.25 Amp Battery Charger – The Best Tender for Fast Charging PerformanceAre you looking forward to extending the life of your battery? You need to invest in a really capable tender, such as the Battery Tender Plus 021-0128 Charger.
As a matter of fact, this is one of the most technologically advanced battery maintainers in the world today. Compared to the battery tender junior maintainer reviewed above, this Battery Tender product is about 50 percent more powerful. Due to that, you will experience reduced charging periods with this tender.
To prevent overcharging, this unit will automatically switch to maintenance/float mode when the battery is fully charged. As a guarantee of quality and outstanding performance, this product is backed by a 10-year warranty by the manufacturer.
4. Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA 1.5 Amp Speed Charge Battery Maintainer – The Best Affordable Battery MaintainerThis battery tender is considered to be capable of charging and maintaining both 12-volt and 6-volt batteries. In this regard, the product is designed to switch from full-charge mode to float mode when the battery is fully charged. This helps prevent the battery from getting damaged. The SEM-1562A-CA is equipped with a Smart display that comprises of LEDs. This will let you know whether the battery is charging, charged or in trouble modes.
Basically, this unit is only good at charging relatively small batteries. However, you may use it to maintain both small and large batteries. This maintainer features reverse hookup protection and a quick disconnect harness. You will also love the fact that it features a microprocessor regulated maintenance and charging processes.
5. Battery Tender 800 – The Best Lightweight Battery MaintainerWeatherproofing and lightweight are some of the rarest attributes of a battery maintainer. However, the Battery Tender 800 maintainer combines the features to give you a relatively powerful battery maintainer that weighs just under a pound. In addition to being weatherproof, the product is well protected against vibrations, shock as well as moisture. As you may be aware, these are some of the conditions that contribute to the damage of battery tenders in storage today.
In this regard, the unit is encapsulated using a flame retardant, thermally conductive, synthetic epoxy and electrically insulating resin material. Regardless of being this strong, tough and durable, it is one of the most affordable battery maintainers today.
Things You Must Know Before Buying a Battery Maintainer
Not all cars or motorcycles use the same battery. Similarly, the right battery maintainer will vary from battery to battery. With so many battery maintainer models to choose from today, you need to know what to look for.
So, what makes a battery tender maintainer ideal for your intended application? Basically, the right unit will depend on its specifications as well as the specifications of the battery you intend to use it on.
If you are looking for the best battery tender, here are some of the things that you need to consider:
1. Type of Battery
Batteries, whether motorcycle or vehicle batteries come on several sizes and types. Before you choose the right tender for your battery, you first need to know the type of battery you are dealing with.
Basically, different battery tenders are designed to work on specific battery types. When choosing the right maintainer, these are the main battery types you should consider:
- Maintenance free – Either Gel cell or Absorbed Glass Mat separator batteries
- Lead Acid Batteries
2. Charge Period
The amount of time these accessories need to fully charge the battery will vary from one tender to another. Currently, most tenders will charge an average battery in 2 to 10 hours. Since these units are mostly used to charge a battery when the vehicle in storage, this may not be so important.
As such, you should just go for a unit that will maintain a full charge and keep the battery healthy. However, maintainers that take less time to charge a battery are often more expensive.
3. Peak Amperes
This is the maximum current that can be drawn from the maintainer in a millisecond. In this regard, it is advisable to go for the tenders that have a higher amperage rating. A higher amperage rating means that more current can be drawn from the unit without damaging it.
Since this is an accessory that you may need to store in your vehicle and carry it with you when you travel, you should go for the lightweight designs. Again, your preferred battery maintainer should be compact.
As such, the unit will require minimal storage space and will be easier to carry around. However, the best battery maintainers still have to be connected to an AC outlet. This, in turn, limits their portability to some extent.
5. Additional Features
Different manufacturers today include varying convenience and performance features on their battery tenders. The choice of tender features will mainly depend on your personal preferences. However, these are some of the important features you should look out for:
- Visual Display – you preferred models should have an interactive display that gives you all the information you need, regarding the charging progress.
- Auto Shutoff – for the safety of the battery and the maintainer, the maintainer should have this feature. As such, the unit will shut down automatically or change to a safer trickle charge mode once the battery is fully charged.
- Cord Length – for different battery tenders, the length of the cable extending to the positive and negative terminals of the battery differs. It is advisable to go for models with longer cables for enhanced flexibility.
- Reverse Polarity Warning – although the cables are clearly marked, it is possible to interchange them accidentally. A tender than can notify you when you do this will come in handy, in such a case.
- Battery Tester – some of the best battery tenders today have an in-built battery tester. You can use this tester to determine the percentage of charge left in your battery. Some of these testers are also capable of detecting when the battery has a problem.
- Spark Resistant Clamps – this is a mechanism that is put in place to prevent sparking at the battery terminals. For instance, a battery maintainer may be designed to shut off automatically whenever a clamp is dislodged from the terminals. This will, in turn prevent the production of sparks between the terminals and the clamps.
- Battery Conditioning – Though only available in some battery maintainers today, this feature is important as well. In this regard, the maintainer will have a microprocessor to regulate multi-step processes, associated with maintaining and charging the battery.
Our Final Battery Maintainer Review
Battery tenders come in a myriad of designs and capabilities today. Unless you know what to look for, you can easily buy the wrong unit for your battery.
For the best results, it is advisable to consider the type of battery, charging time, tender portability and peak amperes while shipping for one.
Again different users may want their preferred units to have different safety, performance and convenience features.
Regardless of what you are looking for, this guide will help you buy the best battery maintainer today.