As the winter chill fades away and spring bursts into full bloom, it’s time to dust off your outdoor motorized toys and get ready for some outdoor fun! From ATVs and personal watercraft to motorcycles and boats, your collection of recreational vehicles holds the promise of adventure and excitement. However, after a season of hibernation, it’s essential to ensure that your vehicles are in top-notch condition for optimal performance. In this blog, we’ll explore the vital role of battery chargers, battery maintainers, and jump starters in getting your marine and power sport vehicles revved up and ready for action this spring.

Assessing Battery Health: The Key to a Smooth Start

Before you can hit the trails or cruise the waves with your favorite rides this spring, it’s crucial to ensure that your vehicle’s battery is in optimal condition. Whether you’re dealing with a 6-volt battery in your child’s ride-on toy or a 12-volt battery in your ATV, a smooth start begins with a healthy battery. Here are some essential steps to assess the health of your batteries and ensure they’re ready for action.

Visual Inspection

Start by visually inspecting the battery for any signs of damage or corrosion. Look for cracks, leaks, or bulges in the battery casing, as these could indicate internal damage or electrolyte leakage. Additionally, check the battery terminals for corrosion or buildup, which can hinder electrical conductivity.

Voltage Check

Using a multimeter or voltage tester, measure the voltage of the battery to determine its health. For 6-volt batteries, any reading below 6 volts is suspect, while for 12-volt batteries, it should not read below 12 volts.[1] If the voltage falls below these levels, it may indicate a discharged or weak battery that requires charging or replacement. However, keep in mind that lead-acid battery voltage can vary based on variables such as ambient temperature and battery type.[2]

Load Testing

Perform a load test on the battery to assess its ability to deliver power under a simulated load. This test helps identify weak or failing batteries that may not hold a charge or provide sufficient power to start the vehicle. Many automotive supply stores offer load testing services, or you can invest in a battery load tester, such as the Schumacher BT-100, for home use.

Battery Age

Consider the age of the battery when assessing its health. Most lead-acid batteries outdoor recreation vehicles have a lifespan of around 3 to 5 years[3], depending on usage and maintenance. If your battery is approaching or exceeding this timeframe, it may be prone to failure and should be replaced as a preventative measure.

Electrolyte Levels

For batteries with removable caps, such as flooded lead-acid batteries, check the electrolyte levels and ensure they are within the manufacturer’s recommended range. Low electrolyte levels can lead to reduced battery performance and lifespan, so top up the electrolyte with distilled water if necessary.

Professional Inspection

If you’re unsure about the condition of your battery or if it’s exhibiting signs of failure, consider seeking a professional inspection from a certified mechanic. They can conduct a comprehensive assessment and recommend appropriate steps for repair or replacement.

By carefully assessing the health of your power sport, motorized toy, or marine battery before springing into action, you can avoid unexpected breakdowns and enjoy uninterrupted fun in the great outdoors. Remember, a little preventative maintenance goes a long way in ensuring a smooth start to your spring adventures!

Charging Up: The Importance of Battery Chargers

When it comes to getting ready for springtime adventures, one of the most crucial steps is ensuring that your vehicles’ batteries are fully charged and ready to go. Whether you’re charging up your children’s ride-on toys, revving up your ATV, or prepping your personal watercraft for some fun on the water, a reliable battery charger is your best friend. Here’s why regular battery charging is so important and how the right battery charger can make all the difference:

Preserving Battery Life

Batteries, whether 6-volt or 12-volt, are essential components of any motorized vehicle, and proper charging is key to preserving their lifespan. By maintaining the correct charge level and avoiding deep discharges, you can significantly extend the life of your batteries and ensure they provide reliable power season after season.

Preventing Dead Batteries

There’s little worse than eagerly anticipating a day of outdoor fun, only to find that your dirt bike won’t start due to a dead battery. Regularly charging your batteries with a dedicated battery charger helps prevent this scenario by keeping them topped up and ready for action. A good all-around battery charger to consider is the Schumacher SC1344 Wireless Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Maintainer. It features wireless monitoring and is compatible with 6-volt and 12-volt batteries.

Faster Charging Times

While some vehicles, such as children’s ride-on toys, may come with battery chargers, they often have limited charging capabilities and can take a long time to fully charge a battery. Investing in a high-quality battery charger specifically designed for 6-volt or 12-volt batteries can significantly reduce charging times, allowing you to get back to enjoying your toys more quickly. For example, Schumacher’s Charge ‘n Ride CR5 3-Amp 6-Volt/12-Volt Universal Battery Charger for Ride-on Toys charges three times faster than many included chargers.

Versatility and Compatibility

Not all battery chargers are created equal, and choosing the right charger is essential. Look for a charger that is compatible with your specific vehicles’ battery voltage or purchase a dual 6-volt/12-volt charger to accommodate the various vehicles. Additionally, opt for a charger with adjustable charging rates or multiple charging modes to suit different battery types and sizes. A good choice is the Schumacher SC1281 Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Jump Starter, which is compatible with standard, AGM, gel, and deep-cycle batteries and features fully automatic operation and an internal microprocessor that automatically detects the voltage of connected batteries and adjusts the amperage rate during charging.

Maintenance Charging

In addition to charging batteries from a discharged state, many modern battery chargers also offer maintenance or trickle charging modes, so you don’t need to purchase a separate battery maintainer. These modes deliver a low, constant charge to the battery, helping to prevent self-discharge and sulfation, which can occur when batteries sit unused for extended periods. For example, the Schumacher SC1444 Two-Bank Battery Charger and Maintainer can charge and maintain two batteries at once and employs float mode monitoring to maintain batteries after charging is complete.

Safety Features

When selecting a battery charger, prioritize safety features such as overcharge protection, short-circuit protection, and reverse polarity protection. These features help safeguard both your batteries and your vehicles against potential damage or accidents during the charging process. The Schumacher SC1319 Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Maintainer features an array of safety features designed to protect you and your vehicle.

By recognizing the importance of charging up your vehicle batteries with a reliable battery charger, you can ensure they’re always ready to go when adventure calls. Don’t let dead batteries put a damper on your springtime fun—charge up and rev up for endless hours of outdoor excitement!

Maintaining Power: The Role of Battery Maintainers

Battery maintainers play a crucial role in keeping your vehicles’ batteries healthy and ready for action, especially during periods of storage or infrequent use. Unlike traditional battery chargers, which deliver a bulk charge to bring a battery to full capacity, battery maintainers provide a low, constant charge to keep batteries topped up without overcharging or damaging them.

Benefits of Battery Maintainers

How to Use a Battery Maintainer[4]

Ready for Anything: The Lifesaver That Is a Jump Starter

A jump starter is a must-have tool for anyone who owns any type of vehicle with a starter battery, providing peace of mind and a quick solution in the event of a dead battery. Whether you’re stranded on a trail with your ATV or stalled on the water with your personal watercraft, a reliable jump starter can get you back up and running in no time.[5]

Features of Jump Starters

How to Use a Jump Starter[6]

Spring Maintenance Tips for Various Motorized Toys

As you prepare to unleash your outdoor motorized toys for springtime fun, it’s essential to perform some basic maintenance tasks to ensure they’re in top condition and ready to hit the road or water. Here are some spring maintenance tips for common types of power sports and other outdoor recreation vehicles.

ATVs, Dirt Bikes, and Four-Wheelers

Personal Watercraft and Boats

Ride-On Toys and Golf Carts

Safety First: Essential Precautions When Working with Batteries

Working with batteries, whether charging, jump starting, or performing maintenance, requires caution and attention to safety to prevent accidents and injuries. Here are some essential precautions to keep in mind when working with batteries:

Enjoying Spring Adventures: Hit the Road (or Water) with Confidence!

With your outdoor recreation vehicles charged up, maintained, and ready to go, it’s time to embark on springtime adventures with confidence. Whether you’re exploring off-road trails on your ATV, cruising the waves on your personal watercraft, or enjoying a leisurely round of golf in your cart, the possibilities for outdoor fun are endless. So, grab your gear, buckle up, and get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime!


[1] “How to Test a Car Battery with a Multimeter,” AutoZone, https://www.autozone.com/diy/battery/how-to-test-a-car-battery-with-a-multimeter, Accessed 7 March 2024.

[2] Beale, Alex, “Lead Acid Battery Voltage Charts (6V, 12V, & 24V),” Footprint Hero, https://footprinthero.com/lead-acid-battery-voltage-charts, Accessed 7 March 2024.

[3] “How Long Do Car Batteries Last,” AAA, https://www.aaa.com/autorepair/articles/how-long-do-car-batteries-last, Accessed 7 March 2024.

[4] Note: Always read and follow all instructions in the manufacturer’s user manual.

[5] Note: Marine batteries should be returned to shore before charging or engine starting.

[6] Note: Always read and follow all instructions in the manufacturer’s user manual.

[7] Nearly all vehicles manufactured since the early 1960s are negative ground.

[8] “Lead Acid Batteries,” Concordia University, https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjupe7g7eKEAxWOIEQIHaq0DnEQFnoECDEQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.concordia.ca%2Fcontent%2Fdam%2Fconcordia%2Fservices%2Fsafety%2Fdocs%2FEHS-DOC-146_LeadAcidBatteries.pdf&usg=AOvVaw11IZcsA6PqiLswYiTAibhl&opi=89978449, Accessed 7 March 2024.

Welcome to the electrifying world of Schumacher Electric, where power meets precision. As we bid farewell to 2023, it’s time to reflect on the year that was and celebrate the cutting-edge battery chargers and jump starters that stood out in the automotive realm. In this comprehensive blog, we’ll take you on a journey through the top-rated Schumacher Electric products that made it to the best-of lists, ensuring that you know which products will keep your vehicle ready to hit the road.

But that’s not all – anticipation builds as we offer an exclusive look into what Schumacher Electric has in store for 2024. Stay tuned as we unveil the products that we think will stand out in the coming year. These items redefine convenience and reliability in the realm of battery charging and jump starting. Get ready to power up and stay ahead with Schumacher Electric’s latest innovations!

Best of 2023

Schumacher SC1280 15A 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Maintainer

Named “Best in Fast Charging” by Car and Driver and “Best Overall” Motor1.com, the Schumacher SC1280 is fast charger you can rely on. It is designed to keep your batteries in top condition and features a range of built-in features for easy and worry-free charging.

Schumacher SC1281 100A 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Jump Starter

The SC1281 is no stranger to best-of lists. In 2023 it was named “Best Multi-Purpose Charger” by Forbes, “Best Car Battery Charger for Home Use” by CNET, and “Best Charger” by The Drive. It also appeared on USA Today’s list of “Best Trickle Chargers of 2023.” As all of these publications know, this Schumacher battery charger and jump starter is the foundation of a well-equipped garage. It performs diagnostic testing, jump starting, battery charging, and maintaining, covering most of your battery-related needs.

Schumacher SC1309 200A 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Wheel Charger and Jump Starter

Schumacher is an industry leader in wheel chargers designed for professional use and top-tier hobby garages. The SC1309 is a favorite of experienced mechanics because of its range of features, including a 200A engine start, a 40A boost mode, charge and maintain modes, a built-in battery and alternator tester, a digital display, and heavy-duty construction that is built to last. Popular Mechanics named it the “Best Conventional Charger/Starter” in 2023 and Motor1.com recognized it as “Best Battery Charger and Jump Starter Combo” on its “2023 Best Car Battery Chargers” list.

Schumacher DSR ProSeries DSR115 4400 Peak Amp 12V/24V Jump Starter and Portable Power Station

Lifewire chose the DSR115 for its list of “The Best Portable Car Jumpstarters of 2023,” naming it the “Beast Heavy Duty.” The DSR115 is powered by dual high-output AGM batteries that deliver 4400 peak amps, 750 cranking amps and 525 cold cranking amps at 12V,  and 475 cranking amps and 350 cold cranking amps at 24V. The 24V compatibility and high amp output give the DSR115 the ability to jump start a semi-truck, something few jump starters are capable of. It also has a 12V DC accessory outlet that will power a range of 12V devices for truly portable power.

Schumacher DSR ProSeries DSR131 125/250 Cranking Amp 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Wheel Charger and Jump Starter

Schumacher’s DSR ProSeries line is designed and built for professional users. The DSR131 is no exception. Named by GearJunkie as the “Best Premium Battery Charger of 2023,” it is a cut above the competition. In fact, GearJunkie said, “Schumacher Electric is a brand name trusted among professional mechanics and a brand you can depend on.” The DSR131 is compatible with a wide range of 6V and 12V batteries and has plenty of power to jump start and charge most automotive batteries. It’s built for pros, so whether you’re maintaining a fleet or jumping the family SUV, the DSR131 has you covered.

Schumacher DSR ProSeries DSR132 1200 Peak Amp/900 Cranking Amp 12V Hybrid Ultracapacitor and Lithium Ion Jump Starter

The combination of ultracapacitor and lithium ion power sets the Schumacher DSR132 apart. Ultracapacitors have a much longer lifespan than lithium or AGM batteries, meaning the DSR132 will still be going strong when other jump starters are destined for the recycle bin. Plus, if you’ve neglected to charge the ultracapcitors or the internal lithium battery, a weak automotive battery will still have enough power to charge the ultracapacitors, even if it can’t start your car. Then you can use the unique properties of the ultracapacitor to start your vehicle. GearJunkie put the DSR132 on it’s “The 10 Best Portable Car Jumpstarters of 2023” list and Protoolreviews.com awarded the DSR132 “Most Power” on its list of “Best Supercapacitor Jump Starters.”

Schumacher SL1639 Lithium Portable Power Pack and 1000A 12V Jump Starter

A good lithium jump starter and power pack is useful for a range of activities. The Review Wire named Schumacher’s SL1639 to its list “Best Camping Gear for 2023: Essential Outdoor Equipment.” The SL1639 is a lithium-powered portable power pack and 1000A jump starter in a compact package about the size of a smartphone. It charges a range of devices, jump starts up to 8.0L gas and 6.0L diesel engines, and even includes a three-mode LED light. Whether you take it camping or keep it in a glovebox for a roadside emergency, you’ll find multiple uses for the SL1639.

Products to Watch

So, you’ve seen Schumacher Electric’s best of 2023, an impressive lineup that showcased unparalleled performance, reliability, and innovation. Now, buckle up as we embark on a journey into the future, eager to share our insights into the products that we believe will redefine excellence in 2024.

In the fast-paced automotive landscape, staying ahead is not just an aspiration – it’s a necessity. Our commitment to delivering top-notch products is unwavering, and as we transition into the new year, we invite you to join us in anticipating the next wave of groundbreaking solutions. From enhanced performance to advanced features, we’ll draw back the curtain on the Schumacher Electric products that are poised to become the driving force behind your vehicle’s power needs in 2024. Get ready to power up with confidence as we share the best automotive charging technology from Schumacher Electric!

All-in-Ones

Space is at a premium in the average American garage. Don’t clutter yours up with several products when Schumacher has devices that integrate multiple functions. The SL1562 Lithium Portable Power Station and 1200 Peak Amp 12V Jump Starter is four tools in one lightweight unit—USB charger, jump starter, LED light, and 150-PSI air compressor. It’s ideal around the house, plus it’s a great addition to your tailgate, camping trip, or emergency kit. If you want added functionality and more portable power, look to the Schumacher SJ1332 6-in-1 Portable Power Station and 1200 Peak Amp Jump Starter. It features an inverter and a portable power station with two AC outlets, two 12V DC accessory outlets, and a USB port. It also features a 150-PSI air compressor and an inflator/deflator for fast inflation of larger items, such as air mattresses. Other functions of the SJ1332 include an LED light and a jump starter. When a power outage hits or you need an easily portable source of off-grid power, the SJ1332 is the solution.

On-Board Battery Chargers and Maintainers

Another category Schumacher expects to be popular with consumers in 2024 is on-board battery chargers. On-board chargers can be permanently mounted under the hood of your car or truck or installed in your boat for easy, regular charging and maintaining of one or more batteries. For example, the Schumacher SC1587 1.5A 6V/12V On-Board Battery Charger and Maintainer is designed to be mounted under the hood, in battery trays, or in fender wells. It features fully automatic charging and maintaining with multi-stage charging, float mode monitoring, auto voltage detection, bad battery detection, reverse hook-up protection, and more, making it a worry-free way to charge and maintain stored batteries or for cold weather battery maintenance. For boats and charging in marine environments, Schumacher offers the Ship ‘n Shore SC1644 15A 12V Two-Bank On-Board Marine Sequential Battery Charger. The SC1644 features two charging banks that will charge two batteries in sequence with Schumacher’s time slice charging. With time slice charging, the batteries are charged in sequence in 15-minute alternating intervals. It is also dust tight and water resistant, which gives you peace of mind in marine settings.

Lithium Jump Starters

Lithium power has revolutionized jump starters. Today they are lightweight, compact, and powerful. However, quality and features vary wildly among the lithium jump starters available to the consumer. For a top-of-the-line lithium jump starter in 2024, consumers are looking to the RUGGED BY SCHUMACHER® SL1654 Lithium Portable Power Pack and 2250A 12V Jump Starter. This unit features heavy-duty construction and industry-leading features. In addition to built-in safety features such as reverse polarity, short circuit, temperature, battery low voltage, overcurrent, overload, overvoltage, and overcharge protection, the SL1654 gives users the ability to override automatic features and jump start completely discharged batteries. Most lithium jump starters on the market today lack this ability. Other notable features include pre-heating, which warms batteries in cold conditions for better cold-weather performance and pre-boost technology, which adds a pre-charge to deeply discharged batteries for easier jump starting.

Off-grid Power Solutions

More Americans than ever before are taking to the road in converted vans and RVs. Whether they are 21st-century digital nomads working from a new location every week or families looking to make travel a part of their children’s day-to-day existence, reliable off-grid power solutions are a necessity. Schumacher offers a solution that allows these modern day rovers to charge their auxiliary and storage batteries as they drive. The Schumacher SDC371 40A 12V DC-DC Intelligent Battery Charger harnesses your vehicle’s alternator to charge your van or RV’s storage batteries, generating power that you can use to power the modern necessities when you stop driving for the day. It also features a Solar Priority button, which allows you to switch between charging from your alternator or charging from your solar panels. And when your vehicle’s engine shuts off, the SDC371 will automatically switch to solar charging. So, if the road beckons to you, the SDC371 will help you make the most of the journey.

The Future is Bright with Schumacher

Looking ahead to 2024, the future appears even brighter with Schumacher Electric poised to deliver cutting-edge products that promise to redefine the landscape of battery charging and jump starting. Whether you’re a seasoned automotive enthusiast or a casual driver, Schumacher is the brand you should trust with your power needs. Power up, stay connected, and drive confidently into the future with Schumacher Electric – where performance meets precision, and every journey begins with a fully charged battery.

Powering today’s technology

Many consumer products on the market today tout their lithium batteries as a selling feature. Is this an actual selling point? Are lithium-powered products really better than those that run on other battery types? The short answer to both questions is, yes, lithium batteries offer major advantages over other battery types with very few drawbacks. Here, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of lithium batteries, as well as examine a few types of products that have been improved by incorporating lithium technology.

What is a lithium battery?

Basically, a lithium battery is one that uses lithium ions as a key component of its electrochemistry. In a lithium battery, lithium atoms are ionized and separated from their electrons. The lithium ions then move from the anode through an electrolyte until they reach a cathode, where they reassemble with their electrons.

Higher energy density

One of the greatest advantages of lithium batteries is that they have much higher energy density than other rechargeable battery technologies. Energy density is the amount of energy stored in a given volume or weight, and it’s usually expressed as Wh/kg (watt hours per kilogram). Lithium ion batteries in use today have the highest energy density of any battery technology, usually ranging from 100-265 Wh/kg.[1] Some of the newest lithium EV batteries in development have an even higher energy density of up to 315 Wh/kg and can recharge up to 80% in just 10 minutes.[2] In comparison, lead acid batteries have an energy density ranging from 30-50 Wh/kg, Ni-Cd batteries boast an energy density of 45-80 , and Ni-MH batteries have an energy density of 60-120 Wh/kg.[3]

Lighter and more compact

Due to their higher energy density, lithium ion batteries are lighter and more compact than other battery types. In fact, they make much of today’s technology feasible. Imagine if smartphones weighed 10 lbs. (4.5 kg) instead of the 6.07 oz. (172 g) weight of the iPhone 14.[4] Would they be as ubiquitous as they are now? Without small, lightweight lithium batteries everyone’s life would look very different. So, if you’ve ever slipped a battery-powered device into a pocket, purse, backpack, or glove box, this was largely made possible by the development of lithium ion batteries.

Ideal for high-power applications

Lithium ion battery technology is also advantageous for high-power applications, where a battery needs to deliver large amounts of current, such as jump starting a vehicle. Lithium ion batteries deliver up to 3.6 volts, which in comparison is three times higher than the voltage delivered by Ni-Cd or Ni-MH batteries.[5]

Recharge faster and hold a charge longer

If you want a device that will recharge quickly and hold a charge for months or years, then look for one powered by a lithium battery. The chemistry of lithium ion batteries allows them to accept current at a faster rate, allowing them to charge much faster than other battery types.[6] For example, charging a lead acid battery might take more than 10 hours where, depending on the battery’s size, a lithium battery can recharge in three hours or even a few minutes.

All battery types will lose charge or self-discharge over time. However, lithium ion batteries have an extremely low discharge rate of only 1.5% to 2% a month. In comparison, lead acid batteries lose about 5% of their charge in a month and nickel-based batteries will lose 10% to 15% of their charge in the first 24 hours and then 10% to 15% a month after that.[7] Practically, this means that if you charge a lithium battery pack and then store it in a drawer for the next year, at the end of the year the battery pack will retain between 76% and 82% of its full charge.

Increased lifespan

Battery lifespans can vary greatly although all batteries will degrade over time and lose effectiveness as they age. Usually measured by battery cycles, lifespans or cycle life are the number of complete charges and discharges a battery can experience before it will no longer hold a charge.[8] Therefore, discharging a battery to 50% and then recharging it to 100% would only count as half of a battery cycle. For example, consider a boat battery. If you compare an SLA battery (a type of lead acid battery often used in boats) to a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery you will get a greatly different total number of charge cycles. The difference in chemistry between the SLA and LiFePO4 battery will result in the SLA battery lasting between 50 and 500 cycles, while the LiFePO4 battery will last from 1,000 to 10,000 cycles.[9]  Many affordable lithium ion batteries used in consumer products ranging from flashlights to speakers will deliver at least 300 to 500 full discharge/charge cycles before the battery’s capacity drops below 80%.[10]

Also extending the lifespan in lithium batteries is the lack of memory effect. Nickel-based rechargeable batteries, for example, will gradually lose their capacity to store energy if they are only partially discharged. The “memory” of the partial discharge reduces the capacity of future chargers and thus negatively impacts battery lifespan.

Lithium batteries also hold the advantage for depth of discharge, which is the percentage of the battery charge that can be safely drained without causing damage to the battery.[11] Lithium batteries can be safely discharged of 85% of their total capacity, while lead acid batteries can’t be discharged past 50% without negatively impacting the battery’s lifespan.[12]

All these factors combined can easily give a lithium battery a lifespan of 10-15 years vs. 3 to 12 years for a lead acid battery.[13]

Disadvantages of lithium batteries

Despite all the advantages lithium batteries possess, they do have a couple of significant drawbacks, namely the increased fire risk and their greater cost.

Because lithium batteries simply contain more energy, they also have more energy to release when something goes wrong. In fact, the higher a battery’s energy density, the more dangerous it has the potential to be.

One of the largest risks of lithium ion batteries is their susceptibility to thermal runaway. In thermal runaway the lithium battery begins an uncontrollable self-heating state, which can result in extremely high temperatures, fire, and even explosion.[14] Depending on a lithium battery’s chemistry, some are more dangerous than others. For example, lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries are less likely to overheat than other lithium battery chemistries.[15]

Compounding the threat posed by a thermal runaway reaction, the liquid electrolytes used in lithium batteries are highly volatile and increase the risk of fire. That’s why most lithium batteries include built-in safety features and self-imposed limits on just how energy dense they can be.

The other major drawback to lithium batteries is a higher up-front cost than lead acid and other battery types. However, the cost advantages for other battery types can disappear when usage patterns and battery lifespans are factored in

It’s time to switch to lithium batteries

Lead acid batteries were first developed in 1859 and have enjoyed more than 160 years of popularity since.[16] The first viable lithium ion battery was patented more than a century later in 1976.[17] Since the first lithium battery was introduced sales have taken off and lithium batteries have made themselves indispensable to our daily lives. They power our smartphones, laptops, and even our homes. In addition, each year sees improvements to their efficiency, lifespan, and safety, while seeing a decrease in their associated costs. Today’s lithium batteries are superior in almost every way to other commercially available battery types. With this in mind, why would you choose any other battery?


YouTuber Faye Hadley Demonstrates How to Jump Start a Vehicle with a Portable Lithium Jump Starter

The beloved host of Pistons and PixieDust, Faye Hadley, walks her viewers through jump starting a vehicle using a Schumacher Rugged Lithium portable jump starter. Faye shows viewers how to diagnose a dead battery, how to prevent damage from a reversed connection, and how to choose the right portable jump starter for your needs. Then she demonstrates a successful jump start of a 1996 Toyota Hiace diesel 5-speed, four-wheel drive camper.


Lithium-Powered Products to Buy Today

For superior power, lifespan, and fast recharging, in a lightweight, compact package, look for lithium-powered consumer products. Here are a few of our top picks.

Schumacher SL1638

Lithium Portable Power Pack and 800A 12V Jump Starter

Schumacher SL1654

Rugged Lithium Portable Power / 2250A Jump Starter

Schumacher SL1460

330Wh Portable Lithium Generator


[1] “Lithium-Ion Battery,” Clean Energy Institute, University of Washington,  https://www.cei.washington.edu/education/science-of-solar/battery-technology/, Accessed 29 March 2023.

[2] Kennedy, Ryan, “EV battery has 50% more energy density than traditional lithium-ion, 10-minute charge,” PV Magazine, https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2023/02/08/ev-battery-has-50-more-energy-density-than-lithium-ion-10-minute-charge/, Accessed 29 March 2023.

[3] “Battery Cell Comparison,” epec Engineered Technologies, https://www.epectec.com/batteries/cell-comparison.html, Accessed 29 March 2023.

[4] “iPhone 14,” Apple Inc., https://www.apple.com/iphone-14/specs/, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[5] “Lithium-Ion Battery,” Clean Energy Institute, University of Washington,  https://www.cei.washington.edu/education/science-of-solar/battery-technology/, Accessed 29 March 2023.

[6] “Spot the Difference: Lithium Ion Versus Lead Acid Battery Electric Technology,” Cummins Inc., https://www.cummins.com/news/2019/06/17/spot-difference-lithium-ion-versus-lead-acid-battery-electric-technology, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[7] “BU-802b: What does Elevated Self-discharge Do?,” Battery University, https://batteryuniversity.com/article/bu-802b-what-does-elevated-self-discharge-do, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[8] Veldboom, Bryan, “How Do Battery Charging Cycles Work?,” Batteries Plus, https://www.batteriesplus.com/blog/power/battery-discharge-cycle, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[9] Veldboom, Bryan, “How Do Battery Charging Cycles Work?,” Batteries Plus, https://www.batteriesplus.com/blog/power/battery-discharge-cycle, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[10] “BU-801b: How to Define Battery Life,” Battery University, https://batteryuniversity.com/article/bu-801b-how-to-define-battery-life, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[11] “Lead-acid vs lithium-ion battery comparison,” Energy Sage, https://news.energysage.com/lithium-ion-vs-lead-acid-batteries/, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[12] “Lead-acid vs lithium-ion battery comparison,” Energy Sage, https://news.energysage.com/lithium-ion-vs-lead-acid-batteries/, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[13] “Lead-acid vs lithium-ion battery comparison,” Energy Sage, https://news.energysage.com/lithium-ion-vs-lead-acid-batteries/, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[14] “What Causes Thermal Runaway, Electrochemical Safety Research Institute, UL Research Institutes, https://ul.org/research/electrochemical-safety/getting-started-electrochemical-safety/what-causes-thermal, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[15] Murphy Kelly, Samantha, “Lithium-ion battery fires are happening more often. Here’s how to prevent them,” CNN Business, https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/09/tech/lithium-ion-battery-fires/index.html, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[16] “Can the Lead-acid Battery Compete in Modern Times?,” Battery University, https://batteryuniversity.com/article/can-the-lead-acid-battery-compete-in-modern-times, Accessed 30 March 2023.

[17] “John B. Goodenough,” Fuergy, https://www.fuergy.com/blog/john-b-goodenough-the-inventor-of-the-li-ion-battery, Accessed 30 March 2023.

This Mother’s Day Give the Moms in Your Life a Power Boost with the Latest in Portable Power – From Jump Starters to Power Stations

Every mother has superpowers. They can do a dozen things at once, have eyes in the back of their heads, and can cope with any emergency. Moms also seem to have vast stores of energy to get through their seemingly endless list of tasks, responsibilities, and activities. This Mother’s Day give your mother a gift to boost her powers and make her days a bit easier.

Schumacher Electric has a wide array of products to manage an emergency, provide power on the go, and just make life more comfortable when you walk out your door. With Schumacher, mom doesn’t always have to be the hero. We can come to the rescue if she has a roadside emergency, recharge her tablet before book club, and power all her tailgating accessories during a Saturday soccer game.

Your Mom Can Be Her Own Hero

A dead battery can happen to anyone, but for moms it can be especially challenging. Imagine a mom you know with a car full of kids. Then, when she tries to turn on the vehicle, she finds a dead battery. Maybe it’s a hot day or the kids are especially cranky. Or maybe the mom you’re picturing is older and alone in an unsafe location. In these situations, it’s not always practical to wait for a tow truck or a good Samaritan to come to the rescue.

It’s easy to give moms the power to provide their own rescue. Simply gift them a Schumacher SL1648 1250A Rugged Lithium Jump Starter and Portable Power Pack this Mother’s Day. This jump starter features a compact size that fits in most center consoles and glove boxes, along with 1250 amps of jump starting power suitable for up to 6.0L gas and 3.0L diesel engines. It’s easy to use and also features a USB port to charge devices like a cranky toddler’s tablet. With this jump starter, mom will have the peace of mind of knowing a dead battery won’t slow her down for long.

Another option for on-the-go moms is the CRAFTSMAN CMXCESM256 Portable Power Station and 1200 Peak Amp Jump Starter. With this tool, Mom can tackle a range of emergencies and emerge victorious. In addition to a powerful jump starter, the unit also serves as a portable power station, letting mom power a range of devices including smartphones, tablets, and power tools with the 12V DC port, 120V AC household outlet with 200W inverter, and four-port USB hub. Mom can also defeat a flat tire or a deflated beach ball with the built-in 100-PSI automatic air compressor.

With either of these handy tools, mom will be prepared for any roadside emergency that comes her way.

Take Mom’s Seat on the Sidelines Up a Notch

For moms with active children, weekends are often spent on the sidelines cheering their offspring on to victory (or at least a participation trophy). This doesn’t have to mean an uncomfortable camp chair under a blazing hot sun in the summer or shivering from a cold north wind in the winter. With a little help from Schumacher, you can help the moms in your life elevate their tailgating prowess and make their children’s athletic activities something to look forward to.

Compact and lightweight, the Schumacher SL1638 Lithium Ion Portable Power Pack and 800A 12V Jump Starter will make any basketball, football, baseball, or soccer game more comfortable and a lot more fun. With the SL1638, there’s no need to worry about a dying smartphone battery. The unit’s 2.4A USB port lets you charge all of your mobile devices two times faster than a standard USB port. Mom will be able to make it through an all-day tournament with ease.

Moms Don’t Stop When the Sun Goes Down

Unlike solar panels and sundials, mothers don’t quit working when it gets dark. They are still busy, helping with homework, cooking dinner, or shuttling kids between ballet and karate. While moms have tons of superpowers, seeing in the dark isn’t one of them. So, give a mom in your life a little help with the gift of a handy portable area light. The Schumacher SL923 LED Rechargeable Work Light is compact and powerful, easily able to illuminate any area where mom needs to boost the ambient lighting. It’s perfect for emergencies, such as helping complete Timmy’s class project during a power outage or shining a light on the hijinks of Susie’s backyard camp out. And for those times when mom’s smartphone is almost out of juice, the SL923 has a discrete USB output on the back capable of restoring a full charge.

Mom, the Green Warrior

Many moms are becoming green warriors to ensure their children will have a sustainable future. Whether this means solar panels on the roof, organic local produce in the refrigerator, or an electric vehicle in the garage, these moms are committed to saving the planet.

A busy mom will put many miles on the odometer as she runs from ballet lessons to soccer practice to the grocery store. With an EV, a busy Saturday of errands and children’s activities mean mom may have to add a charge to her car while attending a birthday party or while sitting on the sidelines at a soccer game. With the Schumacher SC1455 Level 1 and Level 2 Portable EV Charger, mom can fill up almost anywhere. She can plug her EV into any 120V AC household outlet or 240V NEMA 6-20P outlet and charge up before she heads to her next destination.

The Power of Thank You

Unlike superheroes, moms rarely get accolades or blockbuster films based on their adventures. They don’t have huge fan bases or cosplayers dedicated to replicating the outfit they wore to their last parent-teacher conference. However, you can show the moms close to you that their fan bases, while small, are devoted. This Mother’s Day give her something that will make her life a little easier, give her peace of mind, and show her just how much she is appreciated.

Since it’s National Car Care Month, I got to thinking about automotive maintenance and the many mistakes I made as a car owner in my teens and twenties. When I was a new driver, my parents ensured I knew the basics of auto maintenance. I learned how to change a tire, how to jump a battery, and even how to change my oil. But if you’re like me you never learned anything about routine battery maintenance. For most of my life, I assumed that my battery was a maintenance-free component of my vehicle. My car either started or it didn’t. If it didn’t start, I either needed a jump start or a completely new battery. That was the complete extent of my battery knowledge.

In the years since, I’ve learned that proper battery care involves more than just also making sure you turn your headlights off when you turn off your ignition. Here are 13 steps for easy battery maintenance.

1. Clean the battery terminals

Dirty or corroded battery terminals are a leading cause of battery failure. Corrosion can hamper power flow from your automotive battery. In extreme cases, it can be extreme enough to prevent the battery from providing enough power to start your vehicle. Corrosion can also cause the terminals to overheat, which can cause damage to the battery and battery cables.

To clean your battery terminals, start by identifying the positive and negative terminals. Completely disconnect the battery, starting with the negative terminal followed by the positive terminal and making sure that neither of the battery cables touch metal during the process. Make a mixture of equal parts baking soda and water. Apply the mixture with a hard-bristle brush to both battery terminals. When finished, wipe the terminals down with a wet rag, removing all the baking soda and water mixture. Then wipe with a dry cloth. Reconnect the battery cables, starting with the positive terminal.

2. Use terminal spray to prevent future corrosion

An easy way to help prevent the buildup of dirt and corrosion on your battery terminals is to use a battery terminal spray. After cleaning your battery terminals as explained in step 1 and before reconnecting the battery cables, simply apply the terminal spray to both battery terminals and the terminal ends of your battery cables. Then reconnect the battery cables.

3. Make sure the battery and cables are tightly secured

Too much vibration can damage batteries and battery cables. Make sure everything is tightly secured to prevent this from happening.

Start by opening the hood and carefully shake the battery. If there is no movement, you’re finished. If the battery moves, then your battery hold-down is probably loose. Tighten any bolts securing the hold-down and check to see if this has eliminated all battery movement. There are a variety of different hold-downs ranging from a simple bar across the top of the battery, to a hold-down pad at the base of the battery. If this doesn’t eliminate movement in your battery or if your hold-down is damaged, replace the hold-down.

4. Keep the battery warm

When the battery drops below the freezing point, your battery faces a host of challenges. However, it comes down to this. Your battery must work harder in winter and cold climates. One contributing factor to this is that cold temperatures reduce battery capacity, meaning that it is harder for the battery to generate the amount of energy needed to crank the engine and activate the starter motor. In fact, batteries lose about 20 percent of their capacity when the temperature is around 32°F and it gets worse the lower the temperature falls.[1]

During cold weather, your battery also recharges at a slower rate, requiring more time for the alternator to fully recharge the battery. Cold temps also equal more demand on your battery. Each accessory draws power and running your heater, defroster, or windshield wipers will increase the demand for power, which lengthens recharging time even further. Finally, when temperatures are low engine oil thickens, so your car battery must work harder to crank your engine.

One way to combat the drain cold temperatures cause, is to keep your battery warm. A battery heater is a simple way to do this. Some battery heaters are similar to a heating pad that you might use on a sore back but are instead wrapped around your battery to insulate it and heat your battery to a temperature above freezing. They generally will plug into any standard AC outlet. Other battery blankets are simply an insulated fabric that wraps around the battery.

In addition, some jump starters and battery chargers are equipped with pre-heating technology to warm your battery prior to starting or jump starting. For example, the Schumacher SL1648 Rugged Lithium 1250A Jump Starter warms the battery, making it possible to jump start even in extremely cold temperatures.

5. Check battery fluid levels

The are several common automotive battery types, including lead-acid wet cell (also known as standard lead-acid), lead-acid gel cell (or dry cell), absorbed glass mat (AGM), lithium-ion (Li-ion), and Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH). Of these battery types, lead-acid wet cell are the most common and the only type that will need to have its battery fluid levels checked. If you’re unsure of what type of battery you have, check the battery itself. It should be clearly labeled.

Before you get started, make sure you’re wearing gloves and protective eyewear. Then look at the labeling on the battery for any warnings or indications whether the battery can be opened and serviced. Once you confirm that your battery can be watered, check the water level in your battery. There should be just enough water to cover any exposed plates. If the plates are covered, close any caps or coverings you’ve opened, and then you’re done.

If any part of the plates are exposed, you will need to completely charge your battery before continuing. You can use a product like the Schumacher SC1280 15A 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Maintainer to do this. Then, add enough distilled water to completely cover the battery place but not reach the bottom of the vent. Do not over water. This can cause the battery to overflow and reduce the battery’s capacity and performance.

6. Reduce load when the vehicle is turned off

An easy way to be kind to your battery and prevent damage is to unplug devices when the car isn’t running. Leaving smartphones, GPS navigators, and other accessories plugged in can drain power, leaving you with a dead battery. It’s also a good idea to turn off headlights and interior lights when you turn off your engine. They will also drain power from the battery. Also, make sure you start your car before turning lights back on, which reduces the strain on your battery during starting.

7. Avoid short trips and drive your car regularly

Your car battery will recharge as you drive. How long it will take for a full recharge depends on a range of factors, such as the percent of charge after starting, battery health, the amperage produced by the alternator, and the number of your car’s accessory systems that are running. Short trips often don’t allow your car’s alternator enough time to fully recharge your battery. At least once a week take a 20-30 minute drive to ensure your battery is recharged.

8. Monitor your battery’s output voltage

Test your battery regularly. You can do this with a multimeter or a battery charger that has a built-in battery tester like the CRAFTSMAN CMXCESM253 100-Amp 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Jump Starter. Using a multimeter, connect the red (positive) lead or clamp to the battery’s positive terminal, then the black (negative) lead to the negative terminal. Set the meter to the DC volt setting and check your results. Batteries with a reading of at least 12.4 volts are sufficiently charged and should work as intended.[2] If the battery has a reading below 12.4 volts, attempt to charge the battery. If it cannot be recharged, replace the battery immediately. Alternatively, you can take your vehicle to a professional garage or service center. They have more sophisticated equipment and can quickly tell you if a battery should be replaced.

9. Use a maintainer/trickle charger for stored/unused batteries

If you use your vehicle infrequently or will be storing a vehicle, it’s a good idea to use a battery maintainer or trickle charger. The maintainer is plugged into a regular AC power outlet and delivers power when needed to keep the battery fully charged and in top condition.

If you are looking for a reliable maintainer, a good option is the Duralast 2A 6V/12V Battery Maintainer (DL-2D). The DL-2D battery maintainer is ideal for use with motorcycle, car, and marine batteries and features fully automatic operation

10. Do not overcharge your battery

Overcharging a battery will negatively impact its health and longevity. Most fully automatic battery chargers on the market today are intelligent enough to detect when your battery is fully charged and will stop feeding power to it. However, some older chargers/maintainers or manually operated units cannot detect a full battery and will keep sending power past the point where it is fully charged. To avoid this, look for a battery charger and/or maintainer that features float mode monitoring, which ensures that once a battery is fully charged that the unit will only supply power if the battery voltage drops below a certain point.

For a battery charger that employs float mode monitoring, check out the Schumacher Pro 12V Battery Charger and 80A Jump Starter (SPR1629).

11. Properly maintain your entire vehicle

Your battery is just one part of your vehicle. All your vehicle’s systems must work together for optimum performance. Routine maintenance such as regular oil changes and replacing spark plugs can have a positive impact on battery health. 

12. When buying a new battery, check the manufacture date

When it is time to replace a battery, make sure you check the date of manufacture and purchase a battery no more than one month old. You don’t want to purchase a battery that has already lost a good portion of its service life sitting on a shelf in your local auto parts store. Buy your battery at a high-volume seller that always has fresh stock and check the manufacture date on the battery before you complete your purchase.

Add battery care to your routine vehicle maintenance

Now that you know how to care for your car battery, it is easy to apply your knowledge and add battery care to your car’s regular maintenance schedule.

Warning signs of battery problems

While your battery might die abruptly, usually there are signs that it may be struggling. The following are four signs that your battery may need to be replaced soon.

1. Grinding or clicking sound when you crank the ignition

The most common reason for the rapid clicking sound when you try to start your vehicle is a bad battery. The clicking noise can be caused by the starter motor pinion gear connecting with the flywheel because your battery doesn’t have the power needed to spin the engine.[3] The first thing you should check is if your battery is still good. If it is, you can probably just jump start the battery. If the battery is bad, the problem can be eliminated by simply replacing the battery.

2. It takes longer for your engine to start

This most likely indicates a weak battery. Your battery may be reaching the end of its lifecycle or have another issue that has impacted its health. Have your battery tested and replaced if needed.

3. Headlights dim when idling and then brighten when you rev the engine

A common reason for headlights that dim during idling but brighten when the engine is revved is a low voltage supply.[4] Start by checking the battery. Are the battery terminal connections secure? If they are, check the battery to see if it needs to be replaced. Often, replacing the battery will fix the issue. However, in some cases dim headlights can indicate a problem with the alternator or your car’s charging system.

4. Your battery is old

No battery will last forever. Most automotive batteries will last for 3 to 5 years. So, if your battery is on the older side of that range it may need to be replaced.


[1] “How to Help Prevent 4 Common Cold Weather Battery Issues,” Firestone, https://www.firestonecompleteautocare.com/blog/batteries/preventing-winter-battery-issues/, Accessed 5 April 2023.

[2] “5 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Car Battery,” Reader’s Digest Canada, https://www.readersdigest.ca/cars/maintenance/extend-life-car-battery/, Accessed 5 April 2023.

[3] Lacivita, Bob, “Why is My Car Making a Clicking Noise When Starting?,” Family Handyman, https://www.familyhandyman.com/article/car-clicks-when-starting/, Accessed 5 April 2023.

[4]Why do my dim headlights brighten only when I rev the engine?,” Torque, https://www.torque.com.sg/advice/why-do-my-dim-headlights-brighten-only-when-i-rev-the-engine/, Accessed 5 April 2023.

The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about finding that perfect gift for everyone on your Christmas list. For the perfect gifts, look no further than Schumacher Electric – the leading innovator in automotive power solutions. This year, Schumacher has an impressive lineup of gifts that are sure to impress any car lover. From lithium jump starters and portable power packs to battery chargers and maintainers to a versatile 6-in-1 power station, jump starter, and air compressor, Schumacher Electric has you covered. Whether your loved one is hitting the open road for a long road trip, going off-grid for a camping excursion, maintaining their ATV or personal watercraft in the off-season, or just needs a reliable backup power source, Schumacher Electric has the perfect gift for all their power needs this holiday season. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the most innovative gifts from Schumacher Electric that are sure to delight anyone on your holiday gift list!

Compact Portable Jump Starters

A portable jump starter bestows peace of mind to anyone who has one. With a jump starter that is made to travel in your glove box or backpack, there’s no need to worry about being stranded by a dead battery. Plus, all of Schumacher’s portable jump starters double as a power pack for charging smartphones and other devices, making them a gift anyone would appreciate.

RUGGED BY SCHUMACHER®  Lithium Portable Power Pack and 2000A 12V Jump Starter (SL1612)

Give a gift to keep your loved ones safe this holiday season. The RUGGED BY SCHUMACHER SL1612 Lithium Portable Power Pack and 2000A 12V Jump Starter combines three functions in one compact device that fits in a glove box or center console. The SL1612 lets your loved one deal with a dead battery in minutes, easily jump starting up to 10.0L gas and 8.0L diesel engines even in cold weather. Plus, it doubles as a USB power source that will charge a range of mobile devices, ensuring that they always have the power to recharge their devices, no matter where they are. It also features a three-mode LED light with settings for steady, SOS, and strobe, throwing light on any roadside emergency or dark parking garage. So, slip the RUGGED BY SCHUMACHER SL1612 under the tree this Christmas and give your loved ones the gifts of safety and security.

Schumacher Lithium Portable Power Pack and 1000A 12V Jump Starter (SL1639)

If you’re looking for a smaller, more lightweight jump starter and power pack, look no further than the Schumacher SL1639 Lithium Portable Power Pack and 1000A 12V Jump Starter. Small enough to slip into a Christmas stocking, the SL1639 still packs enough power to jump start up to 8.0L gas and 6.0L diesel engines up to 30 times on a single charge. Plus, the device is simple to use. Plug the smart clamp housing into the main unit, connect the battery clamps to the battery, and when the LED turns green, crank the engine. It’s perfect for anyone who lacks a lot of automotive know-how. It also features dual USB power ports for extra-fast charging of electronic devices, an emergency three-mode LED light, an extra-large LCD display, and numerous built-in safety features.

Portable Power Stations

Schumacher 6-in-1 Portable Power Station and 1200 Peak Amp Jump Starter with Air Compressor (SJ1332)

Whomever you decide to surprise with the Schumacher 6-in-1 Portable Power Station and 1200 Peak Amp Jump Starter (SJ1332) this Christmas will be thanking you for years to come. The SJ1332 is essential equipment for any garage and incorporates multiple functions, making it an extremely versatile gift. The device is designed to be a jump starter, a portable power station, an inverter, an air compressor, a fast inflator/deflator, and an emergency light all in one. Whether they are jumping a battery on a cold day, using the unit as a portable power station on a camping trip, or inflating an air mattress for an unexpected houseguest, your loved ones will be able to turn to the SJ1332 to get the job done. Pick up one today and make the thank you on Christmas morning the first of many.

Schumacher Lithium Portable Power Station and 1200 Peak Amp 12V Jump Starter with Air Compressor (SL1562)

If you’re looking for a lightweight and compact power station, the lithium-powered Schumacher SL1562 Portable Power Station and 1200 Peak Amp Jump Starter is an ideal choice. It’s a perfect gift for college students, downsizing seniors, or anyone with limited storage space. The SL1562 packs a lot of functionality in its small package – a jump starter, a USB power station, a 150-PSI air compressor and pressure gauge, and an LED light. Plus, the SL1562 is easy to use, even for those who’ve never jumped a vehicle or used an air compressor before. The unit features multiple built-in safety features, including reverse polarity, short circuit, low voltage, high temperature, and reverse charging protection, to ensure safe operation. So, add this compact powerhouse to your holiday shopping list today.

Schumacher Pro 5-in-1 1200 Peak Amp 12V Jump Starter and Portable Power Station (SPR1631)

Give someone on your gift list the Schumacher Pro 5-in-1 1200 Peak Amp Jump Starter and Portable Power Station (SPR1631) this Christmas and they’ll be prepared for anything. With the SPR1631, they can respond to emergencies such as dead batteries, flat tires, power outages, and more. Or they can use the power station and inverter functions to power fun adventures such as camping trips, tailgating, picnics, or a day at the lake. The SPR1631 features five built-in functions that include a jump starter, an inverter, an emergency light, a 100-PSI air compressor, and a power station with a 12V DC outlet, a 120V AC outlet, and a four-port USB hub optimized for Android™ and Apple® devices. So, this holiday season, power a loved one’s adventures all year long with the gift of the Schumacher Pro SPR1631.

Battery Chargers and Maintainers

For the amateur mechanics, car enthusiasts, bikers, and power sports riders on your holiday gift list, a battery charger and maintainer ticks all the boxes. These devices let them keep their vehicle batteries in top condition and ensure that their vehicle – whether it’s a personal watercraft, a classic car, or motorcycle – is ready to hit the road, water, or off-road track whenever adventure calls.

Schumacher 10A 12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Maintainer (SC1282)

If you want to gift a well-rounded battery charger and maintainer that works with a wide range of battery types, the Schumacher SC1282 is a great choice. It features fully automatic operation and employs an advanced multi-stage charging algorithm. It also has float mode monitoring, which automatically switches to maintain mode when charging is complete and thereafter only adds charge as needed to keep the attached battery at a full charge. Anyone who knows the importance of vehicle maintenance will deeply appreciate the gift of the Schumacher SC1282.

Schumacher 0.8A 12V Battery Maintainer (SC1299)

Everyone knows someone who loves the feeling of wind in their hair and the pulsing adrenalin of an exciting ride. If you find one of these people on your list, add the Schumacher SC1299 0.8A 12V Battery Maintainer to your shopping cart. For those who patiently wait all winter for spring to return, so that they can hit the road on their motorcycle or take their ATV off road, a reliable battery maintainer is an amazing gift. When you attach a maintainer like the SC1299 to a vehicle battery that is stored for winter, it keeps the battery healthy, charged, and ready to go. Plus, this maintainer is small enough to slip into a stocking. Give the SC1299, so that when the first nice spring day arrives, your adrenalin lover is ready to ride.

For more great gift ideas, visit Schumacher Electric’s Amazon Stocking Stuffer page

Welcome to Schumacher Electric’s comprehensive guide on dealing with car battery woes in cold weather. As winter chill settles in, the frigid temperatures can wreak havoc on our vehicles, especially car batteries. Whether you’ve already experienced the frustration of a dead battery or want to stay proactive in preventing such issues, this blog post has got you covered. We’ll dive into the impact of cold weather on car batteries, provide step-by-step instructions for reviving a dead battery, offer tips for safeguarding your battery from the cold, recommend essential equipment to keep your battery in top shape, and more. Don’t let winter catch you off guard – read on to discover how to keep your car battery healthy and your vehicle running smoothly even in the roughest winter conditions.

Understanding the Impact of Cold Weather on Car Batteries

If it seems like every winter your car is harder to start or experiences more battery issues, you aren’t imagining things. Colder weather does negatively impact a battery’s performance, for several reasons.

  1. Heat damage – It may seem counterintuitive to blame winter battery issues on the heat, but oftentimes damage caused by high summer temperatures can reduce your battery’s lifespan. This can result in a battery that just can’t make it through the winter.
  2. Diminished Battery Capacity – To start your vehicle, your battery must provide a certain amount of energy to successfully crank the engine. In cold temperatures, this will require even more energy from your battery, making it work harder to provide the energy needed to activate the starter motor and crank the engine. And while your battery needs to provide more energy in the cold, its capacity also diminishes. In fact, when the temperature is at 32°F, your battery will lose about 20 percent of its capacity and will lose even more capacity as the temperature falls.[1]
  3. Slower Recharge Rate – In normal conditions, your car’s alternator will recharge the battery while you are driving. However, during winter or periods of low temperatures the alternator will take more time to recharge your battery, meaning a short trip may not give your battery enough time to be fully recharged.
  4. Amplified Power Requirements – When it’s cold outside it’s likely that you will use more accessories in your vehicles—windshield wipers, defrosters, heaters—which will increase the power demand on your battery, which further slows the recharge rate and lengthens the time required to fully recharge your battery.
  5. Thickened Engine Oil – Engine oil must flow smoothly through your engine in order for your car to start. When it is extremely cold outside, it thickens, which makes it harder to crank the engine and strains your battery.

Signs of a Dying Battery in Cold Weather

Now that you understand why cold weather is so tough on your battery, be on the lookout for signs that your battery is failing. It is always better to catch the problem early than to find yourself stranded in a dark parking lot with a dead battery on a cold evening.

  1. Engine cranks slowly – If while cranking your engine seems to be sluggish, this could be a sign that your battery is in trouble. It can also be a sign of more serious issues, such as a problem with your vehicle’s electrical system or a failing starter motor. So, if you experience this symptom, drive straight to a mechanic shop or auto parts store to have your battery tested and replaced if necessary.
  2. Headlights and interior lights appear dim – If you notice that your car’s headlights seem weaker or dimmer than usual, a failing battery may be to blame.
  3. The car’s electronics malfunction – Some newer vehicles will shut down non-essential functions when they detect a failing battery. So, if your radio stops working you might just need to replace your battery.
  4. A warning light comes on while driving or stays illuminated after starting – Many newer cars can detect a low battery charge and will turn on a battery light or flash a message about your battery. In older cars, you might get a more general “check engine” warning. If warning lights start to flash, don’t ignore them. Have them checked immediately.
  5. The battery appears swollen or damaged – Extreme temperatures or other damage can cause your battery to leak, swell, vent gasses, and, in extreme cases, explode. If you notice visible damage to the battery, do not drive your vehicle until the battery has been replaced.
  6. Your battery is old – Vehicle batteries have a finite lifespan, usually 3 to 5 years, although they can fail sooner or last beyond that window. If your battery is older than three years, have it tested to ensure it is up to the challenge of winter weather or if it needs to be replaced.

Reviving a Dead Battery in the Cold: Step-by-Step Guide

If you have a dead battery, the only short-term solution is to jump start the battery. To do this, you’ll need either a jump starter or a set of jumper cables and someone with a running car who is willing to give you a jump.

The easier of the two options is to use a modern jump pack. These portable lithium-powered units are compact and lightweight, so you can take them with you in a glove box, center console, or backpack. For those in colder climates, you should consider a jump starter that has a pre-heat function to warm up your battery before jump starting and one with enough power to start your vehicle in cold weather. Modern jump packs are also easy to use. While exact operating steps will vary (refer to the jump pack’s user manual), you will usually connect the clamps as directed, press a button, and then start your vehicle.

If you choose to use jumper cables, make sure you use cables with a low AWG (American Wire Gauge) number as these will conduct energy more efficiently, especially in cold weather.

  1. Position the two vehicles close enough that your cables can reach the battery in each vehicle.
  2. Turn off the ignition in both vehicles, as well as all accessories, such as headlights, radios, heaters, etc.
  3. Engage both vehicles’ emergency brakes.
  4. Raise the hood or access to the vehicle battery and locate the battery terminals. If the terminals are corroded, remove the corrosion with a wire brush.
  5. Connect the clamps as directed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. This will usually be the red clamp to the positive terminal in both vehicles. The black clamps to the negative terminal in the donor car and to the vehicle chassis in the car that won’t start.
  6. Start the engine of the donor car first. Then crank the engine of the second vehicle.
  7. After it starts, disconnect the battery cables.
  8. Drive the car that was just started for at least 20 minutes to recharge the battery. Note: This will take longer in cold weather.

Preemptive Measures: How to Safeguard Your Battery from the Cold

While there are remedies for a dead battery, prevention is better for your battery’s health and lifespan and safer for you, the driver. Here are nine easy steps you can take to prevent a dead battery.

  1. Drive your car regularly – When your car is parked for extended periods, such as a week or longer, it can self-discharge. If you must leave your vehicle idle, using a battery maintainer will combat self-discharge and help maintain a full charge and battery health.
  2. Avoid short trips – In moderate temperatures it will take 20-30 minutes of driving at highway speeds to fully recharge your vehicle’s battery. It takes even longer in low temperatures. Short trips won’t give your battery the opportunity to fully recharge, so the next time you start your vehicle you’ll do so with a partially charged battery.
  3. Park in a garage – This is one of the easiest things to do to protect your battery from hot or cold temperatures. A garage helps your battery maintain a more moderate temperature, especially in the cold overnight hours.
  4. Choose a high-quality battery suitable to your climate – A battery with a high cold cranking amps (CCA) rating will deliver more energy to your vehicle during starting and better withstand a heavier load from accessories such as heated seats. A premium battery can also last up to twice as long as a standard flooded battery.
  5. Perform regular battery maintenance – It’s important to do a monthly visual inspection of your battery. This can identify damage or signs of battery corrosion. Corrosion will make your battery work harder, which is especially detrimental during cold weather.
  6. Test your battery – It’s a smart move, especially if you live in a climate with temperature extremes, to regularly test your battery. Most auto parts stores will test the battery for you, or you can test it yourself at home with a battery tester. If you test at home, batteries with a reading of at least 12.4 volts are sufficiently charged and should work as intended.[1] If the battery has a reading below 12.4 volts, attempt to charge the battery. If it cannot be recharged, replace the battery immediately. Regular testing, however it occurs, helps you identify potential problems before they happen.
  7. Insulate your battery – Using an insulation kit or thermal barrier will help your battery maintain a stable temperature and provide protection from extreme cold.
  8. Don’t run lights or accessories with the ignition off – Reduce the load on your battery by turning off non-essential items such as lights and car radios. Even items like phone chargers can be a drain on your battery.
  9. Use a battery charger and maintainer – Battery chargers and maintainers are ideal for vehicles that will sit unused for more than a week. Once your battery reaches a full charge, they will supply your battery with only enough power to offset its discharge rate. A good automatic charger/maintainer will keep your battery in top condition, extending its lifespan and making sure it starts on the first try.

Essential Tools and Equipment for Cold Weather Battery Maintenance

Having a few battery care tools on hand can ensure that your battery makes it safely through the winter season. Whether it’s a simple battery tester, a portable jump starter, or battery charger/maintainer for your garage, these tools will each decrease your chances of becoming stranded in the cold by a weak or dead battery.

Battery Tester

Schumacher 100A 6V/12V Battery Load Tester and Voltmeter (BT-100)

It’s important to regularly test your battery, especially if it is over 3 years old or exposed to extreme temperatures. The Schumacher BT-100 is designed to test 6V and 12V batteries up to 1000 cranking amps and will also test your vehicle’s charging system. This tool will let you test load, battery condition, and starter motor draw with a 50A load test for 6V batteries and a 100A load test for 12V batteries. It’s also simple enough for even novices to use. Simply connect the unit’s clamps and follow the steps for your chosen test. The results will appear on the full-color analog meter.

Jump Starters

Schumacher Lithium Portable Power Pack and 1000A 12V Jump Starter (SL1639)

Designed to start up to 8.0L gas and 6.0L diesel engines, the Schumacher SL1639 jump starter is compatible with a range of vehicles including cars, motorcycles, boats, SUVs, and trucks. However, its major advantage is its small size. Due to its compact and lightweight nature, the SL1639 can be easily carried in a purse or backpack, added to your car’s winter emergency kit, or placed in your vehicle’s glove box. It’s also long lasting with a fast recharge, allowing up to 30 jump starts on a single charge and then recharging in 2.5 to 4 hours. The unit also functions as a power bank that recharges smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other items that might be essential in an emergency. Plus, there’s a built-in LED light with three modes – steady, flashing (SOS), and strobe – to increase your visibility after dark.

Schumacher SL1562 Lithium Portable Power Station and 1200 Peak Amp 12V Jump Starter (SL1562)

If you’d prefer a multi-function jump starter that is still relatively compact and lightweight, you should look to the Schumacher SL1562. This device is a jump starter, USB power station, 150-PSI air compressor, and emergency light all in one. The SL1562 is perfect to keep on hand in your garage and will help you perform a range of tasks. The 1200 peak amps will jump up to 8.0L gas and 6.0L diesel engines in cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, marine batteries, SUVs, ATVs, and more. The 2.4A USB port charges up to two times faster than a standard USB charger[1] and is perfect for tailgating, camping, and emergency power. With the 150-PSI air compressor you can ensure your tires are always properly inflated or fix a flat soccer ball before after-school practice. The LED light comes in handy when jump starting a vehicle and can also serve as a vital source of light if the power goes out.

Rugged by Schumacher 2000 Peak Amp 12V Portable Lithium Jump Starter and USB Power Pack (SL1612)

This winter, if you want the peace of mind brought by a seriously powerful jump starter, consider purchasing the Rugged by Schumacher SL1612 2000 peak amp jump starter. This jump starter is powerful enough to jump start just about any passenger vehicle up to 10.0L gas and 8.0L diesel. Plus, it features Schumacher’s Pre-Heating technology that warms batteries in cold temperatures for better starting conditions. It also has a Pre-Boost feature that adds a pre-charge to deeply discharged batteries to deliver easier starting. Other advantages of the Rugged by Schumacher SL1612 are three times faster recharge time[2], seven times lighter weight[3], six times longer shelf life[4], up to 45 jump starts on a single charge, and a 2.4A USB port for two times faster charging[5]. It also boasts a built-in LED area light, 36-inch heavyweight jumper cables and multiple safety features for easy and safe jump starting.

Battery Chargers/Maintainers

Schumacher 100A 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Jump Starter with 30A Boost Mode (SC1281)

If preventing battery issues is your preferred approach, a battery charger and maintainer is the tool for you. The Schumacher SC1281 is a fully automatic battery charger/maintainer and jump starter in one. It even features a built-in battery and alternator tester. The SC1281 delivers 100 cranking amp engine start, a 30A boost, and 6A<>2A charge/maintain rates that are suitable for a wide range of vehicles with standard, AGM, gel, and deep-cycle batteries. Fully automatic, this charger features multi-stage charging, float mode monitoring, and reverse hook-up protection, all designed to maintain battery health and extend your battery’s lifespan. With this device, you’ll have a complete set of tools to keep your battery in top condition all year long.

Schumacher 6A 6V/12V Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Maintainer (SC1357)

For basic battery charging and maintaining needs, you can’t beat the Schumacher SC1357. It features 6A charge (12V), 2A charge (6V), and 3A maintain rates. It’s also fully automatic for easy and safe charging with features such as multi-stage charging, auto voltage detection, float mode monitoring, and reverse hook-up protection. It’s compatible with 6V and 12V standard and AGM batteries.

Schumacher 2A 6V/12V Two-Bank Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Maintainer (SC1410)

Instead of purchasing multiple battery chargers/maintainers to charge and maintain multiple batteries, choose a multiple-bank charger that will charge batteries simultaneously. The Schumacher SC1410 is a two-bank charger that can charge and maintain two batteries at once, with each bank outputting 2A for a total output of 4A. With fully automatic operations, the SC1410 features auto voltage detection, multi-stage charging, float mode monitoring, reverse hook-up protection, bad battery detection, non-sparking clamps, and a desulfation mode to help recover sulfated batteries. It also features LED indicators, a hook attachment that lets you hang the device out of the way for added safety, and mounting slots that allow the device to be mounted to a wall or other flat surface. It also comes with two sets of quick-connect battery clamps and two 18-inch, non-fused ring lead harnesses with weather caps.

Enjoy the Winter Season Without Worry

Winter may be the most challenging time of the year for your car battery, but with the right knowledge and precautions, you can efficiently manage any issues that arise. Whether you choose to take a proactive approach by winterizing your vehicle or need to revive a dead battery, the information in this blog will help you do so effectively. Remember, a little preventative maintenance can go a long way in avoiding car battery woes in cold weather. Stay safe, stay warm, and enjoy all the season has to offer with a reliable car battery on your side!


[1] “How to Help Prevent 4 Common Cold Weather Battery Issues,” Firestone, https://www.firestonecompleteautocare.com/blog/batteries/preventing-winter-battery-issues/, Accessed 5 April 2023.

[2] “5 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Car Battery,” Reader’s Digest Canada, https://www.readersdigest.ca/cars/maintenance/extend-life-car-battery/, Accessed 5 April 2023.

[3] 1A USB port

[4] Than traditional AGM jump starters

[5] Than traditional AGM jump starters

[6] Than traditional AGM jump starters [1] Than a 1A USB port

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