- by David Neubert - updated on 9/26/2014
It's easy to forget about our car, truck and motorcycle batteries until it's too late. That's because they usually just run without interruption until they die, without any forewarning. Predicting when this might happen is like trying to guess when and where the next earthquake might occur. However, the effects of maintaining our Starting Lighting Ignition (SLI) batteries are not as unpredictable, as regular care has proven to significantly lengthen the lifespan and overall performance of these cells.
Trickle Chargers – They slowly and steadily recharge 6V and 12V batteries to bring them back to a full charge, which is great for deeply discharged batteries. However, traditional trickle chargers often require manual operation and don't know when to stop charging; they will continue until they are unplugged or disconnected. Leaving a battery connected to a trickle charger for too long can lead to overcharging, causing damage to the battery. Some trickle chargers do, however, offer an automatic function to switch to a float-mode once the battery is fully charged.
Float Chargers – Unlike trickle chargers, they don't charge batteries, they maintain them. Although they can't recharge a dead battery, they can be used frequently and left connected to a battery without any risk of overcharging. Float chargers automatically shut off when the battery is fully charged.
Multi-step or Smart Chargers – These chargers are fully automatic. They go through a series of steps to diagnose a battery's needs and then charge it accordingly, allowing the user to just plug it in, ensure there is a good connection and walk away. Combining the characteristics of both trickle and float chargers, along with the ability to make "smart" adjustments throughout the process, these chargers are able to recover deeply discharged batteries and maintain a safe level of voltage without any risk of overcharging or damaging the battery.
Smart chargers, like the line of Noco® Genius® chargers, are multi-step chargers that offer enhanced convenience and speed to the SLI maintenance process. By regularly plugging your car, truck, motorcycle, or other powersport vehicle into one of these chargers, you will be able to maximize the performance of your battery and extend its lifespan.
Using their state-of-the-art VosFX processor , these chargers quickly identify and troubleshoot problems with your battery, then begin recharging it at a rate of almost double what other linear chargers can do. Furthermore, they are compatible with both 6V and 12V batteries, are designed for safety, can protect your battery against unforeseen abnormalities and offer optimized maintenance for cold weather conditions and AGM batteries.