Car Battery Charger Ratings: Our Testing Process
The car battery chargers in this article went through two rounds of review. We started by searching retailers like Amazon, RealTruck, and Advance Auto Parts for top products, looking at factors such as battery type, voltage, customer ratings, and prices.
Our product testing team then ordered the car battery chargers that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on a 2004 Subaru Forester, taking note of how quickly the car battery charger could charge a car battery, versatility, ease of use, and value. Each car battery charger was given a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria.
To test each car battery, we unpackaged it and attached it to a 12.0-volt wet cell battery. We started the battery charger according to the instructions and measured the voltage using a multimeter.
By considering a battery charger’s voltage and amp hours, you can determine the approximate charging speed. Batteries that charge a car faster received a higher rating in this category.
Most car batteries are 12.0 volts. A higher voltage will charge a battery more quickly, but too many volts can damage your battery. A few volts above a battery’s rating are acceptable and even desirable, but a car battery charger must produce at least 12.0 V to charge a 12.0-V battery. Maintaining a consistent voltage is also important for charging speed and battery protection.
Not all car battery chargers will work with every type of battery. While most cars use a wet cell battery, some may use an absorbed glass mat (AGM), gel, or lithium-ion battery. Chargers compatible with the most types of batteries scored best in this category.
Additionally, some car battery chargers have features such as overcharge protection and trickle charging options. Such features also contribute to a battery’s versatility rating.
Ease of Use
An easy-to-use automotive battery charger has long clamp cables and durable alligator clamps. Battery chargers are also easy to use if they have long outlet cords and straightforward interfaces and instructions.
We gave the highest ease of use ratings to battery chargers that could start charging with few button presses, came with strong alligator clips, and featured long cables.
Our value score is based on the relationship between a battery’s rating in all other categories compared to the price.
Why You Can Trust Us
Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.
We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.