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Have you ever taken an extended break from driving your car? Did you notice that it took a bit more time to start your vehicle? A car battery charger can help this become a non-issue. Car battery charges are excellent tools for preserving your battery’s health and helping you start your car in an emergency.  

What is a Car Battery Charger?  

A car battery charger is typically a portable unit that you can plug into a wall outlet. The unit transforms the AC into a 12-volt current stored by the car’s battery that slowly charges the battery. Car battery chargers can step in and do the job of an alternator when the car isn’t running. The latter’s function is to keep your battery charged while your car is on; however, the battery self discharges once you turn it off.  

And if your car has been off for a long time or you’ve left your lights on, the car battery may significantly lose its charge, making it hard to restart. In those cases, a car battery comes in handy. Since it takes much juice to power your battery, a car battery charger can help keep your battery readily able to start back up and prevent those deep discharges.  

Now that you have an idea of what the primary uses of a car battery charger are, here are some of our recommendations for options you should check out. 

Best Portable Battery Chargers

NOCO 1 Amp Smart Battery Charger 

The NOCO 1 Amp Smart Battery Charger lives up to the company’s name who created it: GENIUS1. It’s a six and 12-volt battery charger made for all types of batteries, including flooded, gel, AGM, and lithium-ion. It has dynamic battery tracking (which allows it to understand the states of your battery), can be used on various vehicle types, can charge batteries starting at zero volts, and is optimized for any climate. If you need a versatile battery charger, this is one to seriously consider.  

Noco 1 Amp Smart Battery Charger

Battery Tender 12 Volt Junior 800 Selectable Lead Acid Lithium Battery Charger 

The Battery Tender 12 Volt Junior 800 Selectable Lead Acid Lithium Battery Charger is a lightweight option with a brain. Not only is it suitable for most battery types, but it also can automatically switch between full charge and float mode, so you don’t have to monitor this aspect. It’s got reverse hook-up protection and spark-proof alligator tips, making it as safe as it is effective.  

Battery Tender 12 Volt Junior 800

Duralast 8 Amp 6 Volt and 12 Volt Battery Charger and Maintainer 

The Duralast 8 Amp 6 Volt and 12 Volt Battery Charger and Maintainer is a bit pricier than the previous options, but the inflated bill may be worth the charge. Not only is this battery able to automatically detect whether a battery is six or 12 volts, but it has multi-stage charging for enhanced precision and safety. It also comes with a float mode that allows it to stay at the optimum charge for your battery.  

Duralast 8 Amp 6 Volt Battery Charger

Duralast 15 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer 

The Duralast 15 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer packs an extra kick of power at 15 amps. Not only does it offer gradual charging and can be used to charge batteries from a variety of vehicle types, but it also displays the battery charging status and will not operate if the clamps are reversed — so you don’t have to worry about hurting the charger or your car. It also includes a battery percentage indicator and voltmeter and automatically detects six or 12-volt batteries. If you need a dynamic and intelligent battery charger, this option is one to consider.  

Duralst 15 Amp Battery Charger

Schumacher 1.5 Amp 6/12 Volt Battery Maintainer 

Sometimes you only need a gradual charge to maintain the power of your battery. If that’s the case, then the Schumacher 1.5 Amp 6/12 Volt Battery Maintainer is worth your time. This 1.5 amp battery is compact enough so that you can conveniently install it in your car for a complete charge. It’s a great option if you need to maintain the power of your battery instead of needing a fast and powerful jolt; this can be especially helpful in cold weather climates or if you don’t use your car frequently.  

Schumacher 6 Volt Battery Maintainer

NOCO 5 Amp Smart Battery Charger 

If you’re looking for a car battery charger that’s as smart as it is powerful, then the NOCO 5 Amp Smart Battery Charger should be high on your list. Much like the other options on this list, this charger also can power all types of vehicles (ex. ATVs, marine, tractors) in addition to cars and powers a variety of battery types. Additionally, it comes with dynamic battery tracking, thermal compensation, and the feature that makes it stand apart from the rest, auto desulfation and repair, which can take care of those crystal deposits on your battery. If you need to help spur recovery for your battery, this option is a great one to consider.  

NOCO 5 Amp Smart Battery Charger

Schumacher 2.4 Watt Solar Battery Maintainer Charger 

If there is a vehicle you don’t drive that often, like a powersport vehicle, then a product like the Schumacher 2.4 Watt Solar Battery Maintainer Charger is a solid choice. Not only does this battery effectively charge and maintain the charge of your vehicle battery, but it is also solar-powered, so you can charge your vehicle even if you aren’t near an outlet.  

Schumacher 2.4 Watt Solar Battery Maintainer Charger

Battery Tender 750mA 12 Volt Automatic Battery Charger 

Have a small space to work with for your DIY auto work? Well, the Battery Tender 750mA 12 Volt Automatic Battery Charger can fit while still being effective. It works with flooded, lead-acid, and sealed maintenance free batteries and offers a gradual four-step charging process. This battery is also safe as it’s spark proof. If you need an affordable battery charger option, then give this option a look.  

Battery Tender 750mA 12 Volt Automatic Battery Charger

Duralast 75 Amp Engine Starter Battery Charger 

What if a battery charger not only could get that battery fully charged and ready to go, but it could also start your engine? The Duralast 75 Amp Engine Starter Battery Charger can help you when that battery has faded, and you need to get your car started. Its multi-stage charging capabilities not only get your vehicle going but also preserve your battery’s health. It also has reverse hook-up protection and is built for rugged use.  

Duralast 75 Amp Engine Starter Battery Charger

Duralast 2 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer 

Much like the other options on this list, the Duralast 2 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer works with standard, AGM, gel, and deep-cycle battery types. It also automatically detects six or 12-volt batteries, has multi-stage charging and has lights to indicate the charging stage. This product comes with a convenient hook allowing you to hang this battery charger without having to place it on the floor or somewhere else where it could be damaged. This is an excellent feature as it makes it easier for you to connect the charger to the battery and wall outlet.  

Duralast 2 Amp Battery Charger

A car battery charger is no longer a “nice to have” piece of automotive equipment. Not only can it help you in an emergency, but it can also preserve the health of your battery for long-term use. If you live in a cold-weather climate, work from home, or have a vehicle that you do not use frequently, it makes sense to invest in a car battery charger. You’ll find an excellent selection of tools to maintain your car including these battery chargers at an AutoZone near you

Advice, how-to guides, and car care information featured on AutoZone.com and AutoZone Advice & How-To’s are presented as helpful resources for general maintenance and automotive repairs from a general perspective only and should be used at your own risk. Information is accurate and true to the best of AutoZone’s knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual, a repair guide, an AutoZoner at a store near you, or a licensed, professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. Refer to the service manual for specific diagnostic, repair and tool information for your particular vehicle. Always chock your wheels prior to lifting a vehicle. Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing an electrical application on the vehicle to protect its electrical circuits in the event that a wire is accidentally pierced or grounded. Use caution when working with automotive batteries. Sulfuric acid is caustic and can burn clothing and skin or cause blindness. Always wear gloves and safety glasses and other personal protection equipment, and work in a well-ventilated area. Should electrolyte get on your body or clothing, neutralize it immediately with a solution of baking soda and water. Do not wear ties or loose clothing when working on your vehicle.

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