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What Is A Trickle Charger? What Is The Difference Between A Trickle Charger And A Battery Charger?

What Is A Trickle Charger

As a car owner, it’s your job to gather as much information about your car and exercise practical car care. So, if a trickle charger is something you need more information about, then you’ve come to the right article! We have the information you need about a trickle charger- helping you to be a more informed car owner! 

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What is a Trickle Charger? 

A trickle charger is a kind of car battery charger that is designed to be placed on a car and left there for an extended period of time – with the task of recharging the battery. A trickle charger slowly provides the charge to the battery, while preventing normal depletion of charge that batteries generally have. While there are many varying opinions about how long a trickle charger can be left on a battery, it is important to look at the manufacturing recommendations for each trickle charger


Lots of trickle chargers are left on a car battery forever. These trickle chargers would be placed on a vehicle that is not in usage on a regular basis- or used on a car that is stored for a long period of time. 

For a trickle charger built for indefinite charge, the vehicle may be used for emergency purposes only. 

The trickle charger will help to keep the battery from total depletion from non-usage. 


What Is The Difference Between A Trickle Charger And A Battery Charger?

A trickle charger’s primary objective is to charge a battery slowly over time, while preventing overcharging. But the same result can be achieved with a common and general battery charger. 

If you have a need to store batteries for a long period of time, then a trickle charger may be your best bet, as well as great investment for you. But on the other side of the hand, if your primary battery charging methods need a quick or a fast charge alongside the need to occasionally store a battery, then a regular charger may be better for you.  You may just need to make plans on charging the stored battery about every 45 days. You also want to make sure that your battery has full charge before you store it. You should also be able to maintain its charge without any issues. 


Is It A Good Idea To Charge A Battery Quickly? 

Charging a battery quickly may not always be best. The reason? When a battery is charging, the process of discharging is being inverted or reversed. To put it another way, the chemical process allowing the battery to have power is going back to its original state. The charging process and the heat involved, permit this reversal to happen. But with too much heat in the mix, an amperage will allow for an adverse effect which is referred to as off-gassing. The gas being released is quite unsafe as well as flammable. It’s also hazardous to breathe this gas in. Whenever you are charging any battery, be sure that you are charging that battery in a well-ventilated place. You also want to ensure that you are never over-charging the battery. 


How Does A Trickle Charger Work?

Trickle charges need a battery regulator to work. The purpose of the battery regulator is to help standardize or stabilize the charging rate while preventing any overcharging. Charging a battery too fast or overcharging can eventually lead to damage of the battery. Using a trickle charger is not difficult. Most trickle chargers are housed in a simple container and have both alligator clips and a power cable.


Be sure to set the amperage and the voltage appropriate for your specific battery- before taking the time to connect everything.  Be sure that you also look at all buttons and switches on the charger container and set them before you connect the charge to its power source.


Make Sure that Your Battery is Ready To Be Charged 

Make sure that you exercise extreme safety, before you begin attaching your charger. First, park your vehicle or make sure that your vehicle is parked in a garage or an area that is free of moisture and rain. You also want to make sure that the area is well-ventilated. 


During charging, excess hydrogen gas can be produced. And if it has no place to escape, then the risk of a fire or an explosion happening is increased.  Be sure that the ignition of the vehicle is off and you remove your key. Don’t forget to make sure that your charger is unplugged too. 


Location is Everything for Your Trickle Charger!

When you are ready to attach the negative terminal of your charger, it’s very important to find a suitable location. Safety comes first and it helps ensure effective and efficient completion of your trickle charger circuit. Your ideal spot should be a huge bolt affixed to the engine block or the chassis. But it’s not an issue if you don’t have those accommodations. You DO want an area that has a section of the frame, with no unnecessary grime, oil or dirt. Additionally, you should never use the negative terminal on the battery- as it can cause a fire or an explosion. 


Connect Your Cables 

Take your alligator clips, and connect them. You should see two. One should be black and one should be red. Your red clip or your positive cable should be connected to the positive terminal of the battery for charging. Once you have ensured that you have a strong and solid connection, take your black alligator clip- the negative wire- and connect it.  Take the time to ensure that your negative wire is securely and solidly connected before you plug in your charger. Make sure that you don’t touch the wires, while the charger is plugged in as well as turned on. You risk serious injury and shock. 


Turn Your Charger On 

Once you have made the solid connections, be sure that you are using the proper and correct settings that are aligned with your manufacturer’s recommendations for the kind of battery that you’re charging. After you plug in your charge, be sure to set it to the “on” position. Lots of battery chargers will have an amp meter reading that may be higher on a dead battery- while being lower on a fully charged battery. 


If you have a low meter reading, then it is indeed possible that your battery may not need to be charged. Or you may have a ground connection that may not be ideal. So, turn off the charger, unplug it and then try the process again, should the connection issue occur. Look at your charger's display and make sure that you are getting the proper charge. 


If you don’t have a charge after a few minutes, you may have a dead battery or one that is beyond retrieval. But if this is not the case for you and you have stability, then continue with the charging process till the battery is full. Lots of trickle chargers can be left connected for months safely. They won’t do any harm to your battery- and will furthermore offer an uncomplicated and efficient long-term battery maintenance strategy. Other trickle chargers can only stay connected for a few days. This is why it is important that you read your trickle charter’s instructions to ensure that you are using your charter correctly. 


Tips For Battery Maintenance and Storage 

A trickle charger is an absolute helper for you, but you have to maintain it and store it securely. So, for the proper maintenance of your trickle charger, store your charger in a cool location, away from extreme changes and temperatures. You want your trickle charger stored in a cool place that enables the chemical structure of the charger to be in an operable state. You don’t want heat damage, or damage from gases or other environmental chemicals. You also want to make sure that you use the charger with the most correct and precise amperage necessary for your vehicle. Another tip in using your trickle charger and maintaining it: diminish the vibrations by tightening up the hold-down clamps on the battery, when you’re using it. Those vibrations may have negative effects on the battery functioning properly. 


What are Some of the Best Trickle Chargers To Buy in 2020? 

We did some research and found some of the most top-rated trickle chargers on the market, for 2020. Check out what we found! 

Battery Tender Junior Charger and Maintainer: Automatic 12V Powersports Battery Charger and Maintainer for Motorcycle, ATVs, and More – Smart 12 Volt, 750mA Battery Float Chargers – 021-0123 

This trickle charger receives high marks for its ability to offer a full and stable charge to your machine’s or your vehicle’s battery. This charger also offers a low maintenance design, extended battery life and will remain spark-proof during lead connection. Click here to learn more! 

Noco Genius G3500 UltraSafe

This trickle battery charger is a professional grade model, with stellar build construction. This charger can easily charge 12 V as well as 6V batteries. Click here to learn more! 

Foval Automatic BC01B-1

Not only is this Foval Automatic BC01B-1 charger very affordable, but it also comes with a 2-year manufacturer warranty, spark proof during lead connection, LED indicators that offer diagnostic information and visual state-of-charge feedback & more! Click here to check its current price and learn more! 

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