We have all encountered this at one time or another in life. A frigid morning, hopping into your vehicle for a momentary escape, you turn the key……and the car engine battery is dead. Thus, starts a very inconvenient and potentially expensive start to your day. At Cash Car Buyers, we want you to help you avoid these messy life moments by introducing you to the trickle charger! In this article we break down the what, the how, and the why surrounding the mystique of the trickle charger. After reading, we hope this content allows you to decide if a trickle charger is the best way to go for your engine, lifestyle, and budget. Read on and let’s get started!
What Is a Trickle Charger?
We are so glad you asked! A trickle charger is a unique charger for a number of reasons. As with all car battery chargers, the objective of using this piece of technology is to charge your vehicle’s battery in a timely manner without hurting the vehicle or breaking the bank. However, the trickle charger is unique in its methods. The trickle charger slowly releases a limited amount of electric current to match your battery’s self-discharge rate to consistently keep your engine charged. As stated above, this is not a jump start or a quick jolt charge. The beauty of the trickle charger is it even though it is a more time consuming charge the charge can be more thorough and add more life to your already older battery. Aside from vehicle batteries, a trickle charger is incredibly versatile. This unique charger can also be used to charge snowmobiles, boats, ATVS, motorcycles, and even more.
How Do I Know If I Should Use a Trickle Charger?
An important piece of information to note is trickle chargers are especially useful when they are solely used to charge older vehicles with an older engine or just a weaker battery. This piece of information will definitely inform your decision on whether a trickle charger is the right choice for the vehicle you drive and your battery. If you have a vehicle or a motorcycle just sitting in your garage or basement then a trickle charger would be a perfect charging solution. Since the vehicle is already stable and won’t be used for a longer period of time the trickle charger “slow and steady” method can provide you with a steady charge that won’t overexert or fry your battery as can be the case with many quick start battery solutions on the market. Keep in mind, if you need to utilize your vehicle right away then the proper trickle charger would not be the best solution at that exact time frame. With the trickle charger, slow and steady will always be the name of the game.
Jeremy Laukkonen from LifeWire, tackles this exact question of “how do I know this is right for me?” Jeremy elaborates, “In most cases, a trickle charger is more of a luxury than a necessity. However, they aren’t really that expensive, and it’s definitely a nice tool to have around. If you can afford to leave your car with your mechanic for a day and have them fully charge your battery — and check both it and the charging system out while they’re at it — then that’s fine. If you can’t afford to be without your car, then picking up an inexpensive trickle charger would probably be a smart move. You’ll just want to make sure that you follow safe charging practices and avoid overcharging the battery, especially if you go with a cheap manual trickle charger.”
With Jeremy’s sound advice and our own research provided the bottom line is pretty simple. If you have an older vehicle or an older car battery than the slower engine charge with a trickle battery will be the safer bet. The trick is, you just need to find ample time to proceed with the trickle charger process. Once you have secured the time, it won’t take a ton of money or a ton of time to actually purchase a trickle down charger. We did all that work for you! In the next section of this article, we broke down the top two most expensive trickle chargers and the top two least expensive trickle charger options just for you. We answer the following burning questions such as: How much, how they work, and more importantly, where to find them.
Top Trickle Chargers Ranked
At Cash Car Buyers, we scoured the internet and Youtube to find some of the best trickle chargers in terms of price, ease of use, and where to find these chargers. Happy hunting! As always, if you have any further questions, check out our blog page where you are bound to find the answer to your vehicle query.
Most Expensive Trickle Chargers
Sometimes, shelling out cash up front is the way to go to secure the longevity of your vehicle and the quality of the trickle charger you are buying. We thought we would rip the sticker shock off first by starting with the most expensive trickle chargers and ending with the least expensive trickle chargers to give our readers some reprieve.
1. Battery Tender Plus 021-0128
The Battery Tender Plus 021-0128 is a stellar trickle charger with all the bells and whistles. This trickle charger allows you to charge cars, ATVS, scooters, motorcycles, and even lawn mowers! The options are endless with the Battery Tender Plus. Weighing in at just 5.6 ounces and with a 11 x 4 x 11 inch design this is a charger you can use and carry with ease. No bulkiness or weight lifting required! One of the best perks for this product is even when your vehicle is turned off, this charger will pull the voltage out of your battery. If that wasn’t good enough, the Battery Tender Plus boasts an incredibly easy operation. Just plug in the charger to your battery and go about your business. Simple as that! Lastly, the price point. If you are purchasing this trickle charger from Amazon, it will cost you $57.98 upfront not including shipping or any additional taxes or fees. If you are more a brick and mortar individual, purchasing this trickle charger from HomeDepot will set you back about $65 and some change.
2. DieHard 71219 2 Amp 6/12V Shelf Smart Battery Charger and 2A Maintainer
Ranking at number two in terms of sticker shock is the Die Hard 71219. In terms of shelling out cash, for this trickle charger you will be paying a hefty $30.00 at the average listing price when buying on Amazon. According to AceHardware, this trickle engine could cost you up to $89.00 when purchased in store so from our viewpoint buying online would be the way to go. However, just listen to the perks! This is an extremely versatile trickle charger offering the ability to charge cars, RVs, boats, motorcycles, lawn tractors, ATVs, snowmobiles or antique and classic cars. Wow! But what really sets this charger apart from the rest is its smart phone compatibility. Yes, you heard that right this trickle charger will connect to your smartphone! DieHard has changed the game again with this leveling up of technology and automotive prowess. You can wirelessly monitor and control the on/off status, the AC, battery voltage and so much more by using the App provided in the user instruction manual securing this charger as a top two pick in our book.
Least Expensive Trickle Chargers
Now we get down to the nitty gritty. Let’s say you don’t have an extra $50 or $60 to just throw around! At Cash Car Buyers we understand and have you covered. Check out the top two least expensive trickle chargers and let’s see if any peak your interest or your wallet!
1. Black + Decker Battery Maintainer/Trickle Charger
What’s in a name? In this case everything. The Black + Decker Battery Maintainer/Trickle Charger is a trickle charger as simple as the name sounds. But, not without some surprises along the way, including the price point. This Black + Decker model is a light operation and is also incredibly portable so you can pop it into your vehicle, tackle box, you name it and this sleek design will probably fit with ease. Along with a light design, this trickle charger offers three versatile ways to connect. Starting with battery clips, 12V DC Accessory Plug, and a Battery Ring Terminal so you can always find a method to charge your small battery. When purchasing this trickle charger off of Amazon you will only need $20.18. A price point sure to bring a smile to your face as well as your wallet! If you want to check out this trickle charger in person, HomeDepot is selling this beauty for $20.75 a very comparable price point for a trickle charger this versatile.
2. OrionMotorTech Automatic Battery Charger
Drum roll please! We have encountered many trickle chargers throughout this article, but none with a price point so low that it made our jaws drop! The OrionMotorTech Automatic Battery Charger comes in at just $8.99 on Amazon. Wow! Keep in mind that this particular trickle charger is specifically made for smaller batteries, like a scooter or a golf cart for starters. With this particular trickle engine, your truck or boat battery may need to wait this time around due to the smaller capabilities it can produce at any given time. One main perk with this charger is its intuitive nature. This trickle charger contains a built in processor that carefully monitors the charging process and prevents overcharging of your small battery. Overcharging and burning out of the charging battery is one of the main complaints of traditional battery chargers, a fear you never have to worry about with the OrionMotorTech Battery Charger.
Trickle Chargers: Final Thoughts
Trickle Chargers. What’s the deal? Well, at Cash Car Buyers, we want you to be informed about all of your battery charging options. From the most expensive to the least expensive and even some in between so you can make the best choice for your lifestyle and budget. Let’s recap. A trickle charger is most ideal for vehicles, motorcycles, or even some smaller watercraft that have been sitting in the basement or garage and have some time available to sit and charge. Ideal for older or weaker batteries, the trickle charger utilizes the slow and steady approach, not a quick jump or jolt. This slower process allows your battery to slowly charge with a very low risk of overcharging or even burning out. Additionally, for many of these chargers you don’t have to monitor or watch over the process. Many have intuitive sensors that monitor the volume of charge left letting you know the progress and how much time is left. Also, some trickle chargers will even automatically halt the process when your battery charge is fully complete so no extra work on your end. With these parameters in mind, If you think a trickle charger is the best battery charger for you, check out the options listed above and let’s get charging!