Universal Battery Chargers: What are They and How to use Them

About Universal battery chargers, Sometimes, a situation may arise when you get stuck with a car’s dead battery; however, you may be saved if you have a car battery charger. 

Also, if you don’t own one, you can try the ways available. Buying a car battery charger can be a little tricky as different varieties are available in the market.

Does any car battery charger may work for your car, or do you need a specific one?

Let’s find out this answer and about different battery chargers in the following blog post.

What is a universal battery charger?

A universal battery charger can charge or recharge any battery irrespective of its size (9V, 12V, or 24V) and type (Nickel, alkaline, or cadmium, etc.). However, the term “universal battery charger” is a little misleading.

A universal battery charger can charge all types of batteries only if they all belong to a particular category.

Thus, there are different types of universal battery chargers, as no single battery charger can charge all kinds of batteries.

For example, one variety of universal chargers will charge all cell phone batteries, and another can charge all industrial batteries.

The standard type of universal chargers includes those that can charge all household batteries.

You must know that all universal chargers have their limitations, as a household battery charger won’t charge cell phones and other industrial devices.

Universal USB cell phone chargers

Universal USB cell phone chargers

Are car battery chargers universal?

There are a lot of varieties of car battery chargers, and different varieties come with various features. 

Most cars have lead-acid batteries, and those with too many electronic functions may have AGM batteries. Irrespective of the battery type, any car battery charger should work for charging a car battery.

All the car battery chargers have two wires with clamps. One is negative (mostly in black), and the other is positive (mostly in red). You only need to connect two ends to the corresponding terminals of the car’s battery.

When you connect two cables, the circuit completes, and the battery starts getting power from the charger.

Car battery charger

How to use universal battery chargers safely?

  • As said above, chargers have clamps to connect to the battery terminals and keep the setting in place. You must hook the charger’s wire to the correct battery terminal. Incorrect connection of the battery and charger connection may damage your battery over time.
  • If you also believe that the highest amperage will charge your battery quickly, you are wrong. Generally, batteries are not designed to be charged at such high amperage, and if done so, it affects the battery’s internal components. So, setting your charger for the lowest amperage is better for extended battery life.
  • You should understand that every car battery has a limited lifespan, after which it becomes permanently dead. If you think that the charger is not working anymore, your battery needs a replacement.
Using a universal battery safely

Using a universal battery safely

How to choose a car universal battery charger?

As said above, all car battery chargers work on the same principle; thus, it does not matter which one you use. However, picking one with good features and design will prolong the car’s battery life with optimal charging.

What size battery charger do you need?

The more amperage a charger generates, the quicker it charges the battery. However, using high amperage will shorten the battery’s lifespan.

Thus, choosing a charger you can set its amperage high enough to keep the battery charged is advisable.

Trickle chargers Vs. battery maintainers

In case of an emergency, you can use one of them. Let’s get into further detail of these two chargers.

DetailsTrickle chargerBattery maintainers
SizeTrickle chargers can recharge a dead battery in 12 hours with a steady current of 5-10 amps.These chargers have different amp settings at five amps and ten amps so that you can change them according to your need.Also, some chargers have a 75 amps setting that can charge a dead battery in 2-3 hours.
Pros It is cost-effective.
Provide steady current to the battery so the battery is safe from current fluctuations.
Unlike trickle chargers, you need not monitor the charging status with battery maintainers. They automatically get turned off once the battery is charged to its full potential.
You can select the current amperage in these chargers and thus decide the time a battery takes to get recharged.
Cons Most chargers don’t allow you to change the amp settings. So, please do not keep them connected for long as it may overcharge the battery leading to permanent damage.
It is impossible to use trickle chargers to jumpstart your car in case of emergencies.
If you use a high amperage setting always, it will shorten the lifespan. Use the high amperage setting only when you need to jumpstart. At a high amperage setting, let your car charge for 15 minutes, which is enough to let your engine start. Afterward, the vehicle’s alternator will begin charging the battery independently. Disconnect the charger once the engine starts.
They are expensive.

Chargers with a built-in battery Vs. one without a battery

It is advisable to use built-in battery chargers as you can use them anywhere and anytime to jumpstart your car in a dead battery situation. And the best part is you don’t need anyone’s help during charging.

Smart car battery charger

Smart car battery charger


No matter what type of battery is under your vehicle’s hood, a car battery charger is universal. Use them to charge lead acid, gel, or AGM batteries without worrying about compatibility issues.

If you need any help with universal battery charger cables, Cloom is there to help you. We manufacture all kinds of cable assemblies and wiring harnesses suitable for different applications.