Best Battery Desulfators: Make Your Battery Last Longer
Don’t let your car’s battery degrade – keep it healthy and at full capacity with one of the best battery desulfators
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We’ve all had an old car battery fail us, sitting there unable to be revived with a recharge. Over time, your vehicle’s battery can degrade thanks to sulfation, developing a buildup of lead sulfate crystals that make the battery increasingly ineffective. But you don’t have to sit around and wait for the day your car battery fails for good. If you own a battery desulfator, you can lengthen its lifespan and enjoy even more miles on the road. Plug your car battery into a desulfator and you’ll enhance its effectiveness even as it ages. With plenty of different types of battery desulfators available to choose from, you just have to pick one that’s suited for your vehicle and your needs. We’ve done the hard work for you and selected some of the best to browse right here.
Schumacher SC1359 Fully Automatic Battery Charger
- Automatically detects battery voltage and adjusts amperage, charging, and more
- Ensures safety with automatic adjustments and built-in protections for overcharging, overheating, and more
- Works with a variety of different 6-volt and 12-volt batteries
- May experience issues after years of use
- Can experience a delay when showing battery capacity
Noco Genius 5 Fully-Automatic Smart Charger
- Designed for use with 6- or 12-volt lead-acid batteries, maintenance-free batteries, AGM, gel, and lithium-ion batteries
- Automatically detects sulfation and acid stratification
- Also a battery recharger
- May not fully charge the battery
- May pose trouble putting the device into repair mode
BatteryMINDer Model 2012
- Can maintain six batteries at a time connected in parallel
- Extends battery life by four times
- Protects battery from reverse polarity, short-circuits, and over-temperature
- Must buy separate Y-connectors to maintain more than one battery
- Best Overall: Schumacher SC1359 Fully Automatic Battery Charger
- Best Value: Noco Genius 5 Fully-Automatic Smart Charger
- Honorable Mention: BatteryMINDer Model 2012
- Most User-Friendly: Clore Automotive PL2320 20-Amp Fully-Automatic Smart Charger
- Best Compact: MotoPower MP00205C 12V 800mA Automatic Battery Charger
- Most Comprehensive: Schumacher SC1281 100 Amp 30 Amp 6V/12V Fully Automatic Smart Battery Charger
Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.
Best Battery Desulfators Reviews & Recommendations
- Part Number:SC1359
- Voltage: 6-Volt/12-Volt
- Charges, maintains, and removes sulfates automatically
- Easy to see and control battery status on the digital display
- Automatically adjusts based on battery needs for safety and precision
- After years of use, problems may occur
- Some automatic functions may not be super precise
- Can be a delay when showing battery capacity
If you’re looking for a seriously smart battery desulfator, you’ve got to take a look at the Schumacher Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Auto Desulfator. Capable of delivering a 15-amp charge and 3-amp maintenance power, it’s compatible with standard AGM and deep-cycle batteries and it’s fully automatic, offering smart charging that’s controlled by a microprocessor that automatically adjusts the amperage and multi-stage charging for the highest level of precision. This battery desulfator will even automatically detect 6-volt and 12-volt batteries.
Equipped with a digital display and LED light indicators, you can easily see what’s going on with your battery when this device gets to work. This high-tech desulfator offers years of reliable performance. However, as it ages, it can begin to experience issues and at times, it may go into float mode prematurely even if a battery isn’t at full charge. And there is a bit of a delay when you push the button to show battery capacity on the digital display.
- Part Number:GENIUS5
- Voltage: 6-Volt/12-Volt
- Suitable for a wide range of different batteries and vehicles
- Automatically adapts based on ambient temperature
- Can bring batteries back from 0 to 1 volts
- In some instances, batteries don’t get a full charge
- Repair mode can be finicky
If you’re searching for quality, capability, and an affordable price, the NOCO Genius5 Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator is a great product. It resurrects batteries you thought were useless, including 6- and 12-volt lead-acid batteries, marine, automotive, and deep cycle batteries. This desulfator automatically determines a battery’s sulfation to maintain batteries properly and in addition to being a desulfator, it’s also a battery charger that recharges batteries as low as 1 volt (or even 0 volts using the Force Mode feature).
Plus, it offers extra perks and features too including a thermal sensor that senses ambient temperature and adjusts the charge so you don’t overcharge in hot climates and undercharge in cold ones. You may experience potential issues, though. Some batteries don’t always reach a full charge, and repair mode can be a bit finicky at times.
- Part Number:2012
- Works with cars and other vehicles
- Reliable for years of use
- Can maintain and desulfate multiple batteries at once
- Doesn’t work quickly and takes some time to complete its processes
- Connecting multiple batteries does require Y-cords, which aren’t included
The BatterMINDer Model 2012 uses a patented process that safely removes sulfation and reconditions the battery through high-frequency pulses to desulfate batteries, not high voltage. This unit can desulfate up to six batteries together when configured in parallel. It’s great for winterizing vehicles of all varieties and has an ambient temperature sensor that adjusts voltage based on the temperature in and around the battery.
Plus, the desulfator has short-circuit, over-temperature, and reverse-polarity protection. Keep in mind that in order to desulfate two or more batteries in parallel, you have to use Y-cords, which is a separate purchase. Also, this battery desulfator only works on 12-volt batteries.
- Part Number:PL2320
- Fully automatic operation with adjustments for temperature, safety, and efficiency
- Works with flooded, AGM, gel cell, spiral wound, marine, and deep-cycle batteries
- Can improve even distressed or severely depleted batteries
- Included cables are quite short
- Manual can be a bit confusing and fails to provide enough information
The Clore Automotive Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator will take the hard work of worrying about your car’s battery off your hands with a fully automated process. This single device is a desulfator, a charger, and a maintainer all in one, and it handles each of these jobs with little to no input from you. Able to work with both 6- and 12-volt batteries, you’ll enjoy fully automatic operation whether you’re charging, maintaining, or reconditioning your battery. It offers versatile 2/10/20 amp charge rates as well as multiple modes, including Soft Start Mode for severely depleted batteries and Recondition Mode for distressed batteries in need of rejuvenation.
And with temperature compensation, you’ll get more effective performance from this battery desulfator all around. The biggest potential downsides of this device? The manual is light on information and isn’t well-written, which can leave you a bit confused. It’s lacking details on all of the battery desulfator’s capabilities. And the included cables are handy but they’re pretty short, so distance can be an issue.
- Part Number:MP00205C
- Works automatically to move through five stages of charging and desulfation
- Compact and convenient to carry anywhere
- Makes adjustments and safety alterations automatically
- Gets very hot to the touch
- Heat can potentially cause problems with functionality
Although the MotoPower Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator is small in size, it doesn’t skimp on capabilities or benefits. This compact device is a battery desulfator as well as a charger and maintainer, and it works on all kinds of 12-volt lead-acid batteries. All you have to do to improve your battery is plug in the device, connect it to your battery, and it’ll work automatically. This battery desulfator is built for all sorts of weather, and it won’t drain your battery while it’s connected. It begins desulfation while it charges, with no need for special settings or your interference.
Plus, there are multiple stages to the process so your battery gets all that it needs. This device even offers thermal compensation for stability in all temperatures and timer protection so it shuts off when it’s finished (or within 24 hours of being connected). However, because of the small size of this battery desulfator, heat can be a potential problem. The device itself gets very hot, and it doesn’t feature vents to allow the heat created to disperse. Over time, that heat may ultimately cause the desulfator to malfunction or experience issues.
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- Part Number:SC1281
- Highly versatile, can jump start, charge, and run diagnostics on battery
- Affordable price
- Quality is superior to many other options
- Larger than most
- Flimsy clamps
Our Verdict on the Best Battery Desulfators
Our pick for the best battery desulfator is the BatteryMINDer Model 2012, which offers great features and is easy to use whether you’re hoping to restore one battery or multiple batteries simultaneously. But you’ll also find that the NOCO Genius5 Fully Automatic Battery Charger, Maintainer, and Desulfator is a great product — and its affordable price makes it a good value. Which battery desulfator is your favorite?
What to Consider When Buying Battery Desulfators
Types of Battery Desulfators
Battery desulfators are pretty straightforward as they’re devices that are designed to remove the lead sulfate crystals that form over time inside your battery, bringing its reliability and performance down. When you connect your battery to a desulfator, it works to eliminate those crystals and any buildup present to restore its efficiency and power. These devices are one-purpose products, meaning they work as desulfators and only as desulfators.
Battery Chargers, Maintainers, and Desulfators
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive battery maintenance device, then you can opt for a battery desulfator that’s also a charger and maintainer. These products, which are typically just called battery chargers, maintainers, and desulfators, offer three modes of function. They’ll charge depleted batteries, maintain those batteries via a trickle charge, and work to remove sulfates. Typically, these types of devices work automatically to perform whichever of those three tasks your battery needs.
Battery Desulfator Key Features
Before you can use a battery desulfator, you’ve got to make sure it’s actually suitable for use with your car’s exact battery. Fortunately, this is super simple, as most battery desulfators work with a wide range of 12-volt batteries, and your car is very likely powered by a 12-volt battery (along with other vehicles, like ATVs).
So, when you’re shopping for a battery desulfator, make sure you’re only considering those that work with a 12-volt battery. You should also check the type of battery your car uses (AGM, flooded, gel cell, deep-cycle, or lithium-ion, for example) and make sure that the desulfators you’re looking at are compatible. While plenty of desulfators do work with any battery type, others can be a bit more limited.
Charging and Maintaining
Sure, a basic battery desulfator offers everything you need to remove those lead sulfate crystals in an old battery. But why settle for basic when you can get so much more from a single device? If you opt for a desulfator that also works as a battery charger and maintainer, you’ll get so much more functionality for your investment.
When you opt for a battery charger, maintainer, and desulfator, you’ll be able to keep your battery in tip-top shape from all sides. You can recharge the battery when its voltage drops, maintain it if necessary, and keep those sulfates from ruining reliability or efficiency, all with one convenient device. Now that’s a versatile product.
You might not think your battery is very sensitive to temperature, but it is, especially if you’re dealing with high heat or freezing cold. And when you’re using a battery desulfator (or a combination charger, maintainer, and desulfator), the ambient temperature can affect the results. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for a product that offers temperature compensation, or automatic temperature adjustment. If the temperature changes, reaches extreme highs or extreme lows, or becomes problematic in any way, your desulfator will be able to adapt to continue providing the reliable service you need.
Battery Desulfator Pricing
Battery desulfators can cost as little as $20 up to about $100. On the lower end of the scale, you'll generally find limited-purpose units. For the most part, battery desulfation is one function of a multi-functional battery charger or maintainer. How many more features and the quality of the tool is what will largely determine how much you pay.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: How long does it take to desulfate a battery?
It depends on the efficiency of your desulfator and the amount of sulfate that has formed on the battery. Keep your battery charging until you see a significant improvement. Sometimes the process takes up to a week.
Q: Do desulfators work on AGM batteries?
Most battery desulfators do work on AGM batteries, but you’ll want to check the specifications of the exact devices you’re considering. While AGM is a common compatibility, some desulfators might not cover them.
Q: Can you desulfate a deep cycle battery?
Plenty of battery desulfators do work on deep-cycle batteries but just like with AGM batteries, you’ve got to double-check the specs on any desulfator you’re thinking about buying. While it’s common, not all desulfators may work with deep-cycle batteries.
Q: How do you know if a battery is sulfated?
You can check to see if your battery is sulfated in one of two ways. If you’re noticing signs of decreased battery efficiency — like a battery that’s not charging as well as it once did or one that isn’t charging at all — you likely have lead sulfate crystals present. Batteries that won’t hold a charge and electronics that aren’t functioning properly, like weak AC or dimming headlights, can also be signs. Or, you can take a look under the hood and check your battery for visible signs of sulfation. You’ll have to open your battery up, but if you see gray, grimy, and not-so-clean lead cells inside your battery, that’s sulfation.
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