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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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON October 6, 2021
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.
The ideal gadget if you are desulfating commercially. It automatically reverses sulfation by running a high-frequency pulse on the battery. Its temperature sensor ensures safe and precise maintenance.
- 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
Use this device to service many types of batteries. It automatically identifies sulfation. This unit also charges and helps maintain batteries.
- 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
This automatic battery desulfator works to charge, maintain, and keep your battery in prime shape without any intervention on your part — making it easy to use any time.
- 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
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Best Battery Desulfator Reviews & Recommendations
How We Selected Battery Desulfators
In order to choose the best battery desulfators available, we started our search by seeking out devices that could work with an array of different types of 12-volt vehicle batteries (and others that offered the versatility to work with even 6-volt batteries). From there, we compared the products available online to one another, looking at details like whether or not they offered automatic functionality, if they included additional perks like battery charging and maintenance, and how many features a single device could provide. We also considered safety protections to ensure that each of our top picks protected you and your battery from potential damage.
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.
Buying Guide/What to Look For
Wondering where to start as you search for a new battery desulfator? If you’ve got questions, our buying guide can help you answer them. Keep reading to find out how you can select a high-quality, highly reliable battery desulfator you’ll use for many years.
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 Tips and Tricks
As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and battery desulfators. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- Keep your battery fully charged to prevent sulfation.
- Sometimes sulfation can result in permanent damage to your battery. It is advisable to check the water level of your battery frequently. If the water level is below the plate, then critical sulfation has occurred.
- When shopping for a reliable desulfator, consider if it has a testing kit, high-frequency current, monitoring indicator, and lead battery charger.
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.
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?