I wanted a car battery charger(to replace jump starting with another car) and have been looking at some online but dont really know how they works, about charging times etc e.g. https://www.argos.co.uk/product/7404355

It's not clear to me what the cons of these products are.

It says 'Mains operated (240v - 64W) it can take up to 16 hours to fully charge your vehicle's battery.'.
Does this mean it needs to be plugged into a main switch for up to 16 hours while attempting to charge the battery or does it mean you mains charge it, take it out then leave it connected to car battery for up to 16 hours?

I was under the impression you just connect it then crank the engine and car should start up straight after which you can disconnect the charger and ensure you shouldn't stall for 30 minutes to let battery charge up?

Is this how it works or do I need to leave it connected for hours etc?

Can you disconnect the battery, take it home and charge it up there or does it need to be connected to alternator etc?

1 Answer 1


The cons are many.

Firstly, the switch. As it does not detect 6V/12V automatically, you can accidentally have the switch in the wrong position.

It's said to be unsuitable for gel/leisure batteries. Why on earth? I bet it doesn't have a good microprocessor controller, as any charger with good controller and stabilized voltage controller should be able to charge gel batteries.

No mention of temperature compensation, no switch for cold temperature either.

Slow: it charges in 16 hours, so it's just a trickle charger.

For indoor use only. Why would you buy a battery charger for which you have to remove your car battery and bring it indoors -- or worse, drive your entire car indoors...

And, this is a charger, not a jump starter. So you really need to plug it in for 16 hours, with continuous mains connection.

My advice: first decide if you need a jump starter or a charger. Then buy a good one. If you purchase a charger, buy one that charges at least with double the current of this unit. One that is rated for outdoor use. One that is temperature compensated or at least has a button for cold temperature. One with a good microprocessor controller and capable of charging any type of lead acid battery.

If you purchase a jump starter, buy one with lithium ion battery inside. Don't buy the old lead-acid units as they are ruined if you let them self-discharge.

  • 1
    Definitely a "you get what you pay for here" ... Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 19:57
  • "Why would you buy a battery charger for which you have to remove your car battery and bring it indoors" - If the car is inside a garage, that counts as "indoors". Basically it means "don't leave the charger outside in the rain".
    – alephzero
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 21:55
  • "Cold temperature" depends on the climate. The link is to a UK site, and daytime winter temperatures in the UK are very rarely more than a degree or two below 0C - unlike some parts of the USA!
    – alephzero
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 21:57
  • Sure, you get want you pay for, but I have a similar battery charger in the UK that I bought 30 or 40 years ago, and it still works. For occasional use, it's adequate - you don't need to fully charge a car battery to start the car, unless something is wrong with the car, so it might only take 4 hours in practice, not 16. But if you need to recharge a battery regularly, get something better and faster.
    – alephzero
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 22:01

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