Should I have a car battery charger?
A car battery charger is a valuable component of any vehicle emergency kit. They are easy and safe to use if you read the instructions and understand the specifics of the model you own. Keep in mind, though, that these are not intended to replace a mechanic’s diagnosis if you are experiencing constant battery failure.
A battery charger is an excellent tool to have. I have one and I recommend that every vehicle owner have a battery charger.
Battery chargers comes in various sizes and output capacities. For home use, a battery charger that is rated at 2/20/100 is ideal. That means 2 amps trickle charge, 20 amps quick charge, and 100 amps starting boost.
If you don't drive very often and your vehicle tends to sit for an extended period of time, it is good practice to disconnect the negative terminal of the battery and place a trickle charger on the battery of no more than one or two amps. These battery maintainers are fairly inexpensive and they work to keep the battery at a full state of charge for when you need it.
If you have drained your battery (i.e., left the lights on), a battery charger that has a rating of at least 20 amps is sufficient to recharge your vehicle battery in a matter of a couple hours.
Most battery chargers have a jump-start rating of about 100 amps that allows you to put a quick charge on the battery so that you can start your vehicle.
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