Harbor Freight Dead Car Battery Chargers: What You Need to Know

/ / Car Accessories
Voltage meter hooked up to car battery

The battery is one of those components of your car that you don’t really pay any mind to until it’s already malfunctioning. Unlike your engine or suspension, after all, the battery doesn’t really require any particular upkeep, which is why battery failures are often sudden and inconvenient. It’s a particularly lousy experience to be stranded on the side of the road with a dead car battery and no way to jolt your battery back to life, at least without a friendly passerby or tow truck.

It is in anticipation of this particular situation that many automotive and hardware manufacturers create portable car battery chargers and jumpers. Just clamp a charger onto your battery’s terminals, press a button, and give it a jolt of life once again, Frankenstein-style. If you’re in the market for a handy device, Harbor Freight has a variety of options on offer, both in its physical storefronts and online.

CEN-TECH 12V Manual Charger

CEN-TECH manual charger hooked to battery

Are you in the market for a car battery charger, but don’t want any wild bells or whistles? If you’re looking to keep things simple, try out the Manual Charger from CEN-TECH. This humble box can jump, charge, or maintain a 12V car battery, conveniently switching between three modes as the situation demands. 

To ensure your safety in the charging process, the included six-foot jumper cables feature built-in protection against short-circuits, overcharging, and polarity reversals, all to ensure the battery doesn’t get fresh with you as you power it up.

Users of this charger have praised its longevity and reliability, with 90% of Harbor Freight customers recommending the CEN-TECH. One reviewer noted that out of the multiple battery chargers in their possession, this one is their go-to, and has been for five years. Another reviewer offered praise for the charger’s light weight and fast charge speed, making it good for those who may not be the most acquainted with electrical work.

CEN-TECH 6/12V Automatic Battery Charger

CEN-TECH automatic charger beside vehicle

Do you find yourself in need of a battery charger with a little more muscle to it? Something that, rather than manually adjusting to your precise charging preferences, can handle all of the brainy work on its own? It sounds like you’re in the market for CEN-TECH’s Automatic Battery Charger. 

Unlike the Manual Charger, which has three modes but needs to be manually adjusted, the Automatic Charger can swap between charging and maintenance modes on the fly to accommodate your power needs. If you’re working on a car with a 6 or 12V battery, you can just set and forget this wheeled wonder.

In addition to jumping and charging a malfunctioning battery, the Automatic Battery Charger is also good for gauging the general health of your battery. According to one reviewer of this product, this charger was able to successfully revive what they thought was a completely dead battery after an extended charging session. Thanks to the charger’s internal cooling fans, it can handle long, intensive work without overheating. Buyers of this charger note its versatility, with 87% of owners recommending this CEN-TECH.

VIKING Automatic Microprocessor Controlled Battery Charger

VIKING charger in engine bay

As technology evolves, all of our personal devices are becoming gradually smarter. Old forms of automation, while reliable, are based more on simple switches than intelligent management. If you want a device that really thinks about what it’s doing, you should try VIKING’s Automatic Microprocessor Controlled Battery Charger.

Using a microprocessor-powered central system, this intelligent charger can carefully tweak its amperage delivery to give your car’s battery exactly as much juice as it needs. If your battery is on the older side, the device’s special reconditioning mode delivers controlled pulses to gradually warm it back up to proper power storage.

According to the product’s reviews, this charger can handle just about any 12V battery you throw at it, covering its bases with multiple amp settings. Reviewers were particularly fond of the device’s digital frontal display, which clearly displays the progress of an ongoing charge, as well as the convenient automatic switchover and shutdown features. With 95% of buyers recommending it, this VIKING charger would be a great choice.

VIKING Fully Automatic Microprocessor-Controlled Battery Charger/Maintainer

VIKING 4 amp charger

Do you want your battery charger to have a few smart features? You might like VIKING’s Fully Automatic Microprocessor-Controlled Battery Charger and Maintainer. 

This compact power brick delivers a healthy 4 amp charge to any kind of 12V car battery, carefully adjusting its amperage rate for fast and easy charging. For those driving in the winter, the device features a specialized winter mode, designed to deliver an adjusted amperage to compensate for the change in ambient temperature.

Reviewers have praised this charger’s ease of use, with one user saying that it was able to successfully jump-start a car after six months in storage with just a quick button press. Another reviewer loves this charger so much, they keep one in every tractor, RV, and truck in their possession that doesn’t see consistent use — all so they can juice them at a moment’s notice. Customer satisfaction is high, with 96% of buyers recommending this VIKING charger.

CEN-TECH 2 Amp 3-Stage Microprocessor Controlled Automatic Battery Charger

CEN-TECH portable charger wires

Charging up a car’s battery is one thing, but what if you have some other vehicles and devices you’re looking to give a spark? A full-sized battery charger can be a bit unwieldy, and you may not always have a good place to store one if you don’t have a garage. For this situation, we recommend CEN-TECH’s 2-Amp 3-Stage Microprocessor Controlled Automatic Battery Charger. 

Don’t be fooled by this charger’s small stature, it’s got both power and adaptability to spare, delivering juice to both 6V and 12V batteries on just about anything you can think of. Yes, it can handle your car battery just fine, but its compact design also makes it great for jumping lawnmowers, motorcycles, home generators, and other battery-powered devices and vehicles.

With a 90% recommendation rating, this CEN-TECH charger is the pick for those that have various charging needs. One reviewer of this charger keeps one hooked up to their personal motorcycle when it’s in storage for the off-season, keeping the battery topped-up and perky so they can take it out in riding season. Another reviewer uses the charger in a similar manner, keeping the battery on their classic car topped up even when conditions aren’t ideal for driving it.

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