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With the right battery charger on hand, it’s possible to jump-start a car with a completely dead battery. Some battery chargers even have a feature designed to revive old batteries that refuse to accept a charge.



What is a Battery Charger?

Battery chargers and maintainers are similar but not the same thing. Both tools are designed to charge your battery. A maintainer is designed to charge a nearly full battery with a small amount of power.

How do Battery Chargers Work?

Battery chargers convert AC power from a wall socket into DC power for the battery. Some battery chargers also have a battery pack of their own, allowing you to jump-start your vehicle. Many battery chargers also have different power settings, allowing you to control the flow of electricity to the battery when the charger’s leads are attached.

Battery chargers are more versatile, and thus more expensive, than trickle chargers or battery maintainers. If you need a way to jump-start your vehicle in a pinch, buy a battery charger. If you need to maintain a battery installed on a vehicle that you don’t drive much, buy a battery maintainer.

How are Battery Chargers Made?

If you crack open the outer plastic shell of a typical battery charger, you’ll find many different electrical components inside including resistors, transistors, diodes, and maybe even a few circuit boards. The electrical components are assembled using a batch soldering process.

Why do Batteries & Chargers fail?

  • Batteries have a finite lifespan. All batteries eventually stop working as the lead plates inside oxidize and lose their ability to hold a charge.
  • Battery chargers rarely fail. If your battery charger seems to have stopped working, start by checking the settings on the charger and then the leads you’ve attached to your battery. Use a multimeter.

What are the Symptoms of Battery & Charger Failure?

  • Vehicle refuses to start or starts slowly.
  • Battery has less than optimal voltage even after sitting on the charger overnight.
  • If your battery fails a load test, you must replace the battery. Charging it will not help.
  • A malfunction charger may overcharge your battery. If you suspect your battery charger has malfunctioned, stop using it immediately.

What are the Consequences of Battery & Charger Failure?

  • Vehicle won’t start.
  • In extreme cases, an overcharged battery could start a fire.

If you have questions or concerns about battery chargers or any of your vehicle’s components or accessories, come into your local Pep Boys where we can answer any question, help you find any part, or perform any vehicle service you might need.