If you leave your car unused in the garage for a few days, its battery could lose charge. The alternator won’t be able to charge and or maintain the battery unless the alternator is running. When this happens, you’ll need a secondary power source to start the car (Source).
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 aspects such as the charging time, battery type, peak amperes and portability of the maintainer.
Is your engine showing signs of engine stuttering? Consider also buying the fuel injector cleaning kits. They keep the fueling system as clean as it can get, removing any obstructions from the channels.
What Is A Battery-Charge Maintainer?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is A Battery-Charge Maintainer?
- 2 Which Is The Best Battery-Charge Maintainer?
- 3 How Much Does A Battery Charge Maintainer Cost?
- 4 Comparing The Battery Maintainer Reviews
- 5 1. Battery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior – Best Overall
- 6 2. NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger – The Safest Battery Tender
- 7 3. Battery Tender Plus 021-0128, 1.25 Amp Battery Charger – The Best Tender for Fast Charging Performance
- 8 4. Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA 1.5 Amp Speed Charge Battery Maintainer – The Best Affordable Battery Maintainer
- 9 5. Battery Tender 800 – The Best Lightweight Battery Maintainer
- 10 Why Do Batteries Need Long-Term Charging?
- 11 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Battery Maintainer
- 12 FAQ’s About Battery Maintainers
- 13 Ready To Buy The Best Battery Maintainer?
Batteries that are left unused for a long duration can be saved using a battery-charge maintainer. These are not like your typical battery chargers.
Chargers are meant to fuel up batteries in a short period. However, with a battery charge maintainer, a small amount of trickle charge keeps transferring to the battery. This supply of charge keeps going to the battery over an extended period.
Batteries often discharge over time. However, with a charge maintainer, a balance can be created to let the battery maintain its fuel for a long time. It fulfills its job without overcharging the battery.
With such a setup, you can expect a battery life of up to five years. If such a battery charge maintainer is not used, you can ruin the life of your battery, leading to faster discharge than usual.
Such maintainers are capable of providing support for not just car batteries, but also for motorboats, and other electrical machinery.
Which Is The Best Battery-Charge Maintainer?
If you want to invest in an excellent battery-charge maintainer, then the Battery Tender 12 Volt Automatic charger is worth it. When it comes to charging, the Battery Tender Junior is a total beast.
As the name suggests, this unit is highly capable of maintaining the charge in a 12-volt lead battery safely within a duration of up to 80 hours. It even gives you a fool-proof 4-step charging system that optimizes battery life without risking overcharge.
Its high-end output makes it ideal for charge maintenance for up to five years. The smart program that it possesses gives you the freedom of risk-free charging, as it switches to float mode when the battery is charged appropriately to prevent power redundancy.
To ensure flexibility, it accompanies a 12-foot long cable to charge without any issues. The user-friendly plug-and-play design makes it one of the most convenient battery maintainers in the market.
How Much Does A Battery Charge Maintainer Cost?
Most battery-charge maintainers will cost you anywhere between $20 to $60. The prices mostly vary based on the features, manufacturer, etc.
Some battery-charge maintainers can have a higher price than $60. That can be because of the flexibility of usage. For instance, some maintainers can be programmed to provide charge for a particular voltage-driven battery only.
Additionally, some battery maintainers have a power supply regulator to change the quantity of charge they emit. That can help even to jumpstart vehicles, if needed. Therefore, you can find plenty of options in the market that will give you various benefits over other cost-effective ones.
Buying a battery maintainer that has a custom voltage output is worth it if you want to use it for a variety of vehicles and other electrical equipment.
Comparing The Battery Maintainer Reviews
|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 simply a trickle charger, but it also has all the features you need.
To begin with, this tender is small in size and features a compact design. Secondly, it’s lightweight and fully automatic. As a result, it becomes ideal for use in tight spaces and in your absentia.
Moreover, it’s equipped with a microprocessor-controlled maintainer and charger, 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.
So, as you can see, this unit is less likely to overcharge a battery; hence it 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.
Finally, you’ll 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’re looking for a safer and more reliable option, the NOCO genius G3500 will be a good choice.
Not only is it one of the safest battery maintainers today, but it’s also one 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 battery to 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.
Likewise, the unit is spark-proof and features overcharge protection. Being one of the safest battery maintainers today, you can leave it connected 24/7 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 in a short span of time? You need to invest in a really capable tender like 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 upon its use.
Aside from that, to prevent overcharging, this tender will automatically switch to maintenance or float mode when the battery is fully charged.
Above all, 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.
Additionally, the SEM-1562A-CA is equipped with a Smart display containing of LEDs. This will, therefore, let you know whether the battery is charging, charged, or in trouble.
On one hand, this unit is only good at charging relatively small batteries. On the other hand, you may use it to maintain both small and large batteries.
Its best feature is how the maintainer boasts reverse hookup protection and a quick disconnect harness. Alongside that, you’ll 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 aspects 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, and moisture, too. 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.
Why Do Batteries Need Long-Term Charging?
Batteries tend to provide power for running various equipment and appliances in your vehicles through a reaction between electrolytes and the lead present in the unit. However, this reaction keeps going on, even when the battery is not in use.
That can cause it to lose its power over time, which is known as self-discharge. With time, unused batteries lose their power and become dead. Additionally, the electrolytes in the self-discharged batteries start forming hard crystals on the battery plate, which is called Sulfation.
These crystals have high resistance towards electric charges. Eventually, they stop holding on charges. That is why they need to be charged from time to time. However, you might not have so much time to keep charging batteries in a short period.
That can cause a risk of overcharging them, which is quite dangerous. Instead, a better option is to use a battery-charge maintainer.
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 in several sizes and types. Before you choose the right tender for your battery, you first need to know the type of battery you’re 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 is 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. Therefore, a maintainer with this quality is the best battery tender for car storage.
Since this is an accessory that you may need to store in your vehicle and carry 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
- Visual Display – your 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. As a result, 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 that 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.
- 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.
- Reviews of the Tenders – Of course, you wouldn’t know what to buy without seeking recommendations and looking for the best battery tenders reviews.
- Installation Process – Finally, you need to know how to install a battery tender; as what good would it be if you didn’t learn it?
FAQ’s About Battery Maintainers
Q: What’s the difference between a trickle charger and a battery tender?
A trickle charger loads your battery with charge continuously, even if it becomes full. Meanwhile, a battery tender has sensors that sense your battery’s level, and only charges when it reaches a certain point. After that, when it becomes fully charged, the battery tender stops itself.
Q: What does a battery maintainer do?
A battery maintainer often supplies your battery with a trickle charge of electricity for extended periods. It is used to prevent discharging your engine’s battery when not in use. For example, you could have two cars yet only use one, so you’ll attach a battery maintainer on the vehicle you won’t use. Doing that allows you to be able to still use the then-idle vehicle without fuss and eliminates the need to have its battery changed.
Q: Can you leave trickle charger on all the time?
Some people claimed to have left their chargers on trickle for as long as eight months, and their batteries were still fine.
Ready To Buy The Best Battery Maintainer?
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 shopping 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.
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