A battery charger isn’t the sexiest gizmo for vehicles, but it can be a lifesaver and can turn an hours-long ordeal into a problem solved in mere minutes. Bosch’s C3 is a departure from the old-school clunky charging boxes of the past, serving up a slew of features in a much more portable and user-friendly package, albeit with a sacrifice in speed.
Bosch C3 Battery Charger
- Available at: Canadian Tire, Bosch.ca
As much as the average car aficionado who thinks of everything will appreciate the C3, its simplicity is more beneficial to drivers who either lack the knowledge or are intimidated by anything under the hood. Given how bitter a Canadian winter can be, having something that performs simply can avoid a bigger problem.
That’s why it’s especially helpful that the C3 knows what you’re actually charging because of the microprocessor inside. Whether it’s a 6V or 12V battery, a car, truck, motorcycle, boat, snowmobile – it just knows. The manual says it can handle “all types of 6V/12V lead acid batteries” that include AGM, WET, GEL, open and VRLA. All the buttons and symbols are clearly shown on the top of the charger. Choose which one you want and go from there.
People who might be confused wouldn’t necessarily have to because the C3 can detect when your battery dips between 8-10V, and automatically shift to a pulse charge to at least try to get the car running again (depending on how much juice your battery lost). Once it fully charges the battery, it reverts to a trickle charge without you having to touch anything. The catch is that it can’t bump up the speed of the charge, like others do. Expect a rate of about 3.8 amps for batteries of 14-120Ah, which would hardly be enough to get you back up and running in a short time.
This means that the C3 isn’t a quick fix to battery loss, but can be used for overnight charging or whatever other situation you find yourself in. It does have a special mode for charging in the cold, which is good, and the fact it’s agnostic to vehicle type is a plus, too.
As are the cables and alligator clamps. There’s reverse polarity and overcharge protection, and the clamps will have no current if they’re not connected properly. The power cord and DC charging cable are nice and durable, though perhaps a bit short, and the hook attachment is handy for hanging the charger from the hood latch or any other hook you can find.
While you won’t get high current charging with the C3, you do get a versatile charger that would be great for keeping a battery topped up overnight. As long as your vehicle has one of the batteries the C3 supports, there’s really nothing else to get in your way.