If you are about to embark on buying a battery charger, make sure that you know exactly what type of batteries you want to charge eg Flooded, AGM, GEL, EFB and lithium ion technologies – all of which have different charging characteristics.
Some key questions to ask are:
- Is it for on- or off-vehicle charging? Do you need a battery support capability?
- What size does the power supply function need to be?
- What level of warranty do you get and can you get it back to your supplier easily should something go wrong?
- How does the charger deal with thermal runaway (use pix from IMI – Extreme Battery Abuse page)?
- What safety protection does the charger offer eg spike/spark and reverse polarity protection? Some of the cheaper units may not offer all these safety features and they are important for the safety of your workforce, vehicle electronics and all users.
- Can the unit be repaired? Nobody expects a piece of equipment to fail, but if it does go wrong, can it be repaired, are the leads replaceable – these are the most fragile and most used components of any tester.
- Make sure that these elements can be replaced.
- Make sure that the repair turnaround is speedy and to your expectations – you don’t want it to be out of your hands when you need it most.
Once you have bought your battery charger it is important to keep it in as good and serviceable condition as possible and taking these simple steps will prolong the life of your product:
- Keep it in a safe place. Is it going to be wall mounted or portable around the workshop?
- Make sure that you have the right length of charging cables
- Which accessories do you need to allow you to have it mobile in the workshop?
- Keep the unit clean and free from grease and general gunk
- Inspect the equipment regularly for any damage and give it a general health check