The Black & Decker BC15BD is the fastest battery charger we found for less than $60. This 5-amp, fully automatic charger can charge a dead battery to a useable state in less than 10 minutes – some chargers we researched take up to 10 hours to charge a dead battery to 80 percent capacity. It also has a 40-amp engine-start feature that can restart most vehicles in 90 seconds or less.
The BC15BD uses a three-stage charging process that automatically selects the proper charge rate setting based on the battery’s remaining charge capacity. To bring your serviceable battery back to life, all you have to do is connect the alligator clips and press the Smart Charge button, which is located on the front panel to the left of the LCD screen. As the battery charges, the screen shows a gauge that indicates the battery’s charge level.
One of the BC15BD’s unique features is its alternator check function; once the battery is fully charged, the device can make sure your car’s alternator works – if you run your vehicle with a bad alternator, you risk draining your battery into an unserviceable state. To test the alternator, you just press the Alternator Check button, connect the charger to the battery and wait for it to either tell you “Alternator Good” or “Alternator Bad.”
The LCD screen also alerts you to possible safety issues. Similar to the NOCO Genuis G3500 and the Deltran Battery Tender, if you connect the charger to the positive and negative terminals incorrectly, a status LED lights up red and you will hear a continuous warning tone until you remove the clips from the battery. The screen also lets you know if the connections are on the right terminals but not making a good connection, either because the terminals are dirty or you need to adjust the clamps.
You can reach Black & Decker by phone or email if you have any questions about your battery charger. The BC15BD has a five-year warranty against defects or workmanship if you purchase it from an authorized retailer. This is an average warranty for a battery charger.