10 Best Battery Maintainers of 2022 – Review & Buyer’s Guide

Want to maintain your battery in the best way possible? Then check out our review of the top ten best battery maintainers you can get on the market.

10 Best Battery Maintainers

Maybe you have a car in your garage that you only take out in the warmer months. Or perhaps you’re a summer vacationer that needs a battery maintainer to keep all your toys ready to use. Either way, the last thing you want is to think you’re good to go only to find that your battery maintainer didn’t do what it promised.

Even worse, you don’t want to use a battery maintainer that ends up damaging and shortening the life of your car batteries. That’s why we took the time to track down, highlight, and review ten of the best battery maintainers out there.

Not only did we do that, but we also came up with a comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything you need to know to get and use the perfect battery maintainer for your car the first time!

Disclaimer – This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Top 10 Best Car Battery Maintainers

1. DieHard 71219 Shelf Smart Battery Charger and Maintainer – Best Overall

Diehard 71219 Shelf Smart Battery Charger

DieHard is one of the top names in the battery industry, so it’s no surprise that they also make a top-notch battery maintainer. This DieHard 71219 Shelf Smart Battery Charger and Maintainer is a phenomenal mix of price and quality.

There are multiple charging amperages you can choose from, but we recommend sticking with the 2-amp version for a battery maintainer. No matter what version you choose you get extremely thick cables for a stable connection, and the chargers themselves come with both overcharging and reverse polarity protection features.

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Add in the fact that this smart charger and maintainer is lightweight, portable, and long-lasting, and it’s not hard to see why it made the top of our list. The only real complaint with this battery charger and maintainer is that it doesn’t have any settings specifically for gel or AGM batteries.

While the charger can charge those types of batteries too, there’s no arguing that they don’t do as good of a job as an AGM or gel battery-specific charger. Still, for most home garages, you’re not going to find a better fit than this DieHard battery charger!

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Pros

  • A great mix of price and quality
  • Multiple amperage options are available
  • Overcharging protection features
  • Thick cables for a reliable connection
  • Reverse polarity protection
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • Not the best choice for AGM batteries

2. MOTOPOWER MP00205A – Best Budget Maintainer

Motopower Mp00205A

Just because you’re on a tighter budget doesn’t mean you can’t get a top-notch battery maintainer. With the MOTOPOWER MP00205A you get the best of both worlds, an affordable battery maintainer that gives you similar results to the top products on the market.

Even better, you’re getting a battery maintainer that will last year after year, meaning you’re not spending more money in the long run because you need to replace it. MOTOPOWER is so confident that they’re giving you a top-notch product that they even give you a 2-year warranty on their product – not that you’ll need it.

This battery maintainer gives you an 800mA amperage that’s perfect for maintaining batteries – which is what this post is all about! However, while that amperage is great for maintaining batteries, it takes forever to charge a battery at that amperage.

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In fact, if you’re trying to charge a completely dead battery with this charger, you can expect it to take a whopping 60 hours to bring it back! Still, it’s this slow trickle charge that keeps your battery at maximum voltage without damaging it at all.

It still includes a timer and self-shutoff features to prevent any overcharging, and it even has the same reverse polarity protection that top chargers provide! It’s a top-notch battery maintainer at an amazing price, which is why it’s easily our best budget choice.

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Pros

  • Very affordable
  • It has a 2-year warranty
  • Lower amperage is great for maintaining
  • Includes timer and self-shutoff features
  • It has reverse polarity protection

Cons

  • Lower amperage takes longer to charge batteries

3. Battery Tender 5-Bank Charger – Best for Automotive Shops

Battery Tender 5-Bank Charger

If you’re running an automotive shop you can’t wait around all day for a single battery to charge. That’s where an option like the Battery Tender 5-Bank Charger really stands apart from the pack. With this battery charger, you can charge and maintain up to five batteries at once, which means more work and more money for you!

And if a five-bank battery charger isn’t enough to keep up with your booming business, Battery Tender also has a ten-bank option you can find at the same link. While there’s little doubt that this is a more expensive battery maintainer and charger compared to some of the other options, the fact that it comes with a 3-year warranty helps offset the cost some.

Really 3-years is the bare minimum you can expect one of these chargers to last though. There’s no reason that one of these chargers can’t last ten to twenty years if you take care of it properly.

And since you’re going to spend quite a bit of time hooking up batteries, it’s great that this charger comes with both overcharging and reverse polarity protection. Whether you hook something up backward because you’re in a hurry and forget to take a battery off – this battery charger will bail you out.

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Even better, this charger works for both standard and lithium batteries, so you don’t need to worry about hooking up batteries to different chargers anymore. Finally, this charger is insanely quick and easy to use so you can simply hook up a battery and let the charger worry about the rest!

This means more profits for you and fewer mistakes by your mechanics. Of course, the tradeoff is the upfront price, but if you’re running a successful automotive shop, it all starts with getting the right equipment, and this is a huge step in the right direction.

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Pros

  • Five different banks for multiple batteries
  • There is a ten-bank option too
  • Reverse polarity protection
  • 3-year warranty
  • Works for both standard and lithium batteries
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Very expensive option

4. Optima Digital 400 Battery Maintainer – Best for AGM Batteries

Optima Digital 400 Battery Maintainer

Optima makes some of the best AGM batteries on the market, and if you’re using those batteries you want this top-notch charger to go with it.

Any experienced mechanic will tell you that putting an AGM battery on a standard battery charger won’t give you the results you’re looking for. So, if you spend a lot of time working on AGM batteries or only use AGM batteries in your vehicle, it’s best to get an AGM-specific battery charger and maintainer.

And when you’re looking for the best AGM battery maintainer, look no further than the Optima Digital 400. Not only does it work to maintain and recharge your AGM batteries, but it also works for regular lead-acid and gel batteries.

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The LCD screen is extremely easy to read, and the hooks make it easy to hang on the hood of your vehicle while you’re charging everything. But what really puts this AGM battery charger ahead of the competition is the built-in battery health mode.

This mode automatically runs a diagnostic test on your battery’s state and optimizes the charging to get the most out of your battery. The Optima Digital 400 runs this diagnostic test throughout the entire charging and maintaining process, extending the battery’s overall life.

The only real drawback to the Optima Digital 400 is the price, but it’s not insanely expensive either. Still, if you don’t plan on charging or maintaining AGM batteries, it’s best to save a few bucks and go with a standard battery charger and maintainer.

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Pros

  • AGM specific battery charger
  • Also checks and charges standard batteries
  • The LCD is easy to read
  • Easy to hang on engine hoods
  • Built-in battery health mode extends battery life

Cons

  • More expensive option

5. Black + Decker BM3B Battery Maintainer

Black + Decker Bm3B Battery Maintainer

Black and Decker is one of the largest tool manufacturers in the world, so it’s no surprise that they have a top-notch battery charger and maintainer for you to consider. What might surprise you though is how affordable this battery maintainer is!

It’s one of the lowest-priced battery maintainers on our list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an outstanding choice. It’s certainly a slower battery charger, but it does a great job at maintaining batteries, and it’s not as slow as some of the other options on our list.

This battery charger automatically adjusts between 0.5 and 1.5 amps to maximize charging conditions, making it the perfect battery maintainer. Still, keep in mind that if you’re looking to recharge a completely dead battery, this charger is going to take 32 hours.

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Still, it has all the industry’s best safety features, including spark prevention, reverse polarity protection, and automatic shutoff features to prevent overcharging. Furthermore, the mounting bracket on this charger makes it easy to hook up and use, and it works on standard, AGM, and gel batteries.

If you need a great battery maintainer but don’t want to break the bank, you could do far worse than the Black and Decker BM3B. It’s not quite on the level as our best budget choice, but it’s a close runner-up.

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Pros

  • More affordable option
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Automatic shutoff features
  • Reverse polarity protection
  • Mounting bracket provides easy placement
  • Works on standard, AGM, and gel batteries

Cons

  • Slower charge time (maximum 1.5 amps)

6. SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer

Suner Power 12V Solar Car Battery Charger

The SUNER POWER 12V Solar Car Battery Charger & Maintainer is an innovative way to charge your vehicle’s battery – even if you don’t have access to an outlet. Instead of using a standard wall outlet, this battery charger and maintainer has a built-in solar panel that it converts to power for your battery.

There are multiple wattage options for you to choose from, so you can decide how fast and how much power your battery charger needs. Each solar battery charger and maintainer comes with a 12-month warranty so you can rest easy knowing you’re not getting a dud right out of the box.

Still, there are a few real drawbacks you need to consider with a solar-powered battery charger. First, if there’s no light out the charger can’t produce any power to charge your battery. Second, even on a sunny day, it doesn’t produce a ton of power.

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The wattage options that are out the produce anywhere from 200mA to 1 amp per hour, which means you’re not charging anything fast with these portable chargers. Considering a 1 amp charger takes 48 hours to fully charge a completely dead battery, with one of these chargers, it could take a full week until you get 48 hours of sunlight.

Still, while it’s not the best battery charging option, if you plan on keeping a battery in storage in your garage for quite some time, this could be a great way to keep it maintained without driving up your energy bill.

Just keep in mind that you need a location where it has direct access to sunlight; otherwise your battery will still end up dead when you’re ready to use it!

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Pros

  • Solar power design lets you use it anywhere
  • Lower amperage is great for maintaining
  • Multiple wattage options are available
  • 12-month warranty

Cons

  • Lower amperage charges batteries extremely slow

RELATED: 10 Best Car Battery Chargers of 2022 – Review


7. Apeak Smart Battery Charger and Maintainer

Apeak Smart Battery Charger And Maintainer

If you’re looking for a great battery maintainer and an excellent battery charger then the Ampeak Smart Battery Charger is a phenomenal choice. What sets it apart from most of the other battery chargers and maintainers on our list is the ability to select between different charging rates.

The 2-amp charging option works for maintaining batteries, while the 15-amp option can quickly charge a dead battery and get your vehicle back on the road. Additionally, this Ampeak Smart Battery Charger works on standard, AGM, and gel batteries, which means you only need one charger for every battery in your garage.

Once you add in the easy-to-read LCD screen and the multitude of safety features it’s not hard to see how this charger earned a spot on our list. It has overvoltage, overheating, and reverse polarity protection features that keep you from accidentally damaging your battery.

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Still, while it made our list with all these awesome features, there’s a reason it couldn’t work its way into the top half. First, while the 2-amp charging option works for maintaining batteries, it’s higher than the ideal rate.

Second, it’s a bit more expensive compared to the other options. This might be a better battery charger than all the other options on our list, but it’s not the best battery maintainer. It’s an outstanding choice, but for a list of the best battery maintainers it can’t go any higher.

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Pros

  • Three charging rates – 2, 8, and 15 amps
  • Works on standard, AGM, and gel batteries
  • Includes overvoltage, overheating, and reverse polarity protection
  • The LCD screen is easy to read

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive option
  • 2-amp option isn’t the best for battery maintaining

8. Battery Tender 12V Battery Charger and Maintainer

Battery Tender 12V Battery Charger And Maintainer

Battery Tender creates some of the best battery chargers and maintainers out there, and this 12V product is one of their signature options. Battery Tender is so confident that this battery maintainer will work year after year that they offer an industry-leading 10-year warranty for it!

This battery charger and maintainer works on standard, gel, and AGM batteries, making it a one-stop tool for everything in your garage. It also comes with overcharging and reverse polarity protection, so you don’t need to worry about breaking anything if you accidentally mess something up.

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But while the Battery Tender 12V Battery Charger and Maintainer markets itself as a tool for both charging and maintaining, it’s a far better maintainer than a charger. It uses a lower amperage setting that’s perfect for maintaining batteries but takes forever to charge them fully if they’re dead.

It’s a lightweight and easy-to-use battery charger and maintainer that’s a great addition to any garage, but it’s simply not the best of the best out there.

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Pros

  • 10-year warranty
  • Lightweight and easy-to-use design
  • Works on standard, gel, and AGM batteries
  • Reverse polarity protection
  • Lower amperage is excellent for maintaining batteries

Cons

  • Lower amperage takes a while to charge

9. LST Trickle Charger Automatic Maintainer

Lst Trickle Charger Automatic Maintainer

If you’re looking for a basic trickle charger that you can use to maintain the batteries in your garage, then the LST Trickle Charger Automatic Maintainer might be just what you need. It’s an extremely affordable trickle charger that uses 1.5 amps to charge and maintain your batteries.

But while it’s a lower-priced option, it’s still jam-packed with features that you can find in higher-end chargers. First, it works on standard, gel, and AGM batteries, which means it’s the only battery charger and maintainer that you’ll need.

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Second, it has tons of safety features including spark, overvoltage, overheating, and reverse polarity protection that keep you from screwing anything up on accident. When you add in the 3-year warranty that it comes with and the fact that it’s lightweight and portable, and it’s not hard to see why it earned a spot on this list – despite the lower price tag.

Sure, we’d like more charging amperages to cycle through, but it’s tough to complain at this price, and we’re just nitpicking here. But it is what kept it from climbing any further up the list.

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Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Works on standard, gel, and AGM batteries
  • Includes overvoltage, overheating, and reverse polarity protection
  • Lightweight and portable
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Only one amperage option (1.5 amps)

10. Schumacher Fully Automatic Battery Maintainer

Schumacher Fully Automatic Battery Maintainer

Rounding out our list of the best battery maintainers out there is the Schumacher Fully Automatic Battery Maintainer. But don’t let the fact that this battery maintainer is at the bottom of our list fool you, it’s an outstanding mix of price and performance, and you could do far worse than this battery maintainer.

You can pick between a 1.5-, 2-, or 3-amp maintainer, but for maintaining purposes we recommend sticking with the 1.5-amp option. The entire maintainer is extremely easy to use, which is a big deal if you’re not the most mechanically savvy.

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Not only is it easy to use, but it has overcharge and reverse polarity protection which ensures that you don’t screw anything up. Still, while it’s a great choice, there’s a reason it’s at the bottom of our list.

The main reason for this is that you can only charge at one amp option. You get either the 1.5- or the 2-amp maintainer, you can’t switch between the two without purchasing two separate units. It’s not a huge deal, but we’d also prefer a battery maintainer with a minimum amperage of just 1-amp.

It’s still a great choice, but these small factors are what keep it from knocking off the products near the top of the list!

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Pros

  • Good mix of price and performance
  • Multiple amp options available (1.5, 2, or 3 amps)
  • Very easy to use
  • Reverse polarity protection

Cons

  • Each unit only has one amp option

Battery Maintainer Buyer’s Guide

With so many great battery maintainers on our list it can be a challenge just to pick one. That’s why we came up with this comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything you need to know to find the perfect battery maintainer for your vehicle.

Why You Need a Battery Maintainer

Before we can dive into what to look for in a battery maintainer, we need to establish why you need a battery maintainer. The truth is that not everyone needs a battery maintainer all the time, and that’s why we recommend getting one that doubles as a battery charger for you.

Battery maintainers are great if you plan on leaving your car battery on the charger for an extended period of time. This is an important thing to do if you plan on leaving your vehicle for an extended period or simply won’t be using the vehicle that the battery is in for a while.

A battery maintainer keeps the battery from dying and actually extends the battery’s life compared to it just sitting there unused. The trickle charge that it gives saves your battery and extends its life.

When you pair it with a battery charger you can knock out two birds with one stone. You get a battery maintainer for when you need it, and if you ever do get a dead battery, you can fix it yourself!

How Many Amps Does Your Battery Maintainer Need?

This is likely the most important question you need to answer when picking out a battery maintainer. If you already have a fully charged battery and simply want to maintain it for an extended period, the fewer amps the better.

Ideally, you want about a 500mA trickle charge, but anything between that and 1-amp is an outstanding choice. But keep in mind that while these trickle chargers are the best for maintaining batteries, it takes them quite some time to actually charge a dead battery.

The more amperage a battery maintainer and charger push the faster it can recharge a battery, but it’s also more likely to cause damage. Stick with the lowest amperage possible to get the job done.

How Long Does It Take To Charge a Car Battery?

Once again, it all comes down to the amperage. A standard automotive battery has a capacity of 48-amp hours, and this is what you’re replenishing when you put it on a battery charger. It’s also why automotive battery chargers talk about amps when you’re looking at them.

It’s a standardized system where a charger that pushes 1-amp actually restores one amp-hour per hour. So, if you have a completely dead battery a 1-amp charger would take 48 hours to recharge it. Meanwhile, a 2-amp charger would only take 24 hours, and a 15-amp charger could get the job done in just over 3 hours.

Of course, not every batter that goes on a charger is completely dead, which is why it doesn’t always take that long for a battery charger to restore a battery back to a usable state. Back in the day, mechanics had to access the state of the battery and the charger’s power to figure out how long to charge it, but today almost all the chargers do this work for you.

Every charger on our list comes with overcharge protection that will cut the charge before anything happens, and that means you can just hook up the battery and wait until the charger tells you it’s good to go!

Just keep in mind that it can take up to two days for a lower amperage battery charger to restore a dead battery – so don’t rush to replace that old battery just yet!

Can You Overcharge a Battery on a Maintainer?

On older battery maintainers it was absolutely possible to overcharge a battery on it. In today’s battery maintainers, it’s not much of a concern. That’s because modern battery maintainers constantly evaluate the battery’s state and cut the charge once it’s full.

All the battery maintainers on our list come with this safety feature, so you don’t have to worry about overcharging your battery or even damaging your battery with these chargers!

How Long Can a Battery Last?

It really depends on the type of battery and conditions you drive in, but a standard lead-acid automotive battery should last at least 3 to 5 years. In fact, under temperate conditions it’s not surprising to see these batteries last 7 years or more!

Meanwhile, AGM and gel batteries typically last even longer. They should last at least 6 years, but under mild conditions they can easily last 10 years!

How Long Can You Leave a Battery on a Maintainer?

It’s important to realize that when you put a battery on a maintainer, you’re not really extending the battery’s life as much as ensuring it doesn’t wear out sooner than it should. So, if you put a brand-new battery on a temperature-controlled room on a maintainer it can last up to ten years, but under less ideal conditions it will still wear out sooner.

Batteries wear out over time, and while a battery maintainer keeps them from wearing out sooner than they should, they certainly don’t make them last forever. But considering a battery that you don’t take care of might only last 3 years and one that you do might last 7, a top-notch battery maintainer can easily end up paying for itself in the long run.

Steps To Charge and Maintain Your Car Battery

It’s really not too crazy, but there are some mistakes that rookies make when charging their battery, and we want to ensure that you avoid them. Just follow these steps and you should be good to go!

Hook Up Your Battery Charger

Nothing works if you don’t hook up and set up the battery charger. Ensure it has power and is in the right mode to charge the battery you’re connecting it to. If you have questions about your specific battery maintainer or charger simply refer to the owner’s manual.

Disconnect the Battery

Always disconnect the battery from your vehicle before charging it. This doesn’t mean you need to remove it from your vehicle, but you do need to take both the positive and negative leads off. Charging a battery that’s still connected to the rest of your vehicle can end up damaging other components.

It’s a quick turn of a wrench to disconnect the terminals, so don’t skip this super important step!

Give it Time

Just wait. Really, it’s that simple, but so many people want results fast and end up replacing a perfectly good battery. It can take up to two days to recharge a dead battery on a trickle charger, so give it time. Then take a deep breath and leave it on a bit longer. With the built-in overcharge protection, there’s nothing to worry about by leaving it on a bit longer.

Final Thoughts

If you plan on leaving your vehicle undriven for an extended period of time or simply want to ensure you never get completely stranded at home, you need a top-notch battery maintainer. Any of the choices on our list can do an excellent job for you, so don’t overthink it!

If you simply want the best of the best go with the DieHard 71219 Shelf Smart Battery Charger and Maintainer, and if you’re on a tighter budget get the MOTOPOWER MP00205A. What’s really important is that you get one on order and start using it, otherwise you’re cutting months or years off the life of your battery!

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Written by:

Magnus is the owner and main author of MechanicBase. He has been working as a mechanic for over 10 years, and the majority of them specialized in advanced diagnostics and troubleshooting. Certified Automotive Diagnostic Technician.