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Friday
May092014

CTEK Battery Chargers connect with 'comfort'

A car battery charger system that's simple to use and easy to connect

If your car does a low mileage and spends more time parked at home than on the road, then a nagging problem is how to maintain its battery in good condition.

Short trips and low use means the starter motor can really hammer a battery and during winter-time, the lights, heater and heated screens all take their toll on the vehicle’s electrical system and the battery doesn’t charge fully. Same is true for boats, motor-homes, vintage cars and electric-start lawnmowers or ride-ons - their batteries need charging to maintain their condition when out of season.

CTEK MXS 5.0, cigar lighter adaptor, Comfort Connect LED leadHaving had my fair share of battery problems, not helped by the fairly low mileage I do these days, I searched for a fit-and-forget battery charger system that was as convenient as possible, didn’t need the car battery disconnecting (messy!), and would condition car batteries mindful of their modern chemistry. More than anything, I needed the confidence that the battery would be charged and ready to go whenever I wanted to use the car, especially during winter-time.

CTEK Charger, basic 6mm eyelet battery lead is also supplied (not shown)The CTEK MXS 5.0 is an electronic charger that can plug into CTEK’s special matching connector wired under the bonnet.  In eight steps it assesses, fully charges and conditions the battery, followed by a maintenance pulse charge phase. The CTEK can re-condition deep-discharged batteries, and has a desulphation action that extends life. The MXS 5.0 handles 12V batteries up to 110Ah capacity.

It claims to be water-resistant and spark-free (important near traditional lead acid batteries, where sparks can ignite hydrogen gas) and is reverse-polarity and short-circuit proof, and there’s a cold temperature setting (eg for Scandinavia).

LED display shows 8-step charging processOptional LED Comfort Connector, fused - choose the correct eyelet size to fit your battery clamps.CTEK also sells “Comfort Connectors”, their own two-pin plug leads with 6mm (supplied), 8mm or 10mm eyelets that clamp under the battery clamps’ screwheads. Special extension leads and alligator clip connector leads are also available, plus a cigar lighter lead that lets you connect 12V equipment (eg a lamp or tyre inflator) directly to the car battery under the bonnet.

A panel-mounting connector might interest caravanners or boat owners, and you can use the CTEK battery charger on motor mowers, scooters, motorcycles etc. by selecting the correct mode.

Connecting a CTEK Comfort Indicator under the (6mm) bolts of my car battery clampsComfort Indicator connected to the charger. I protected the wiring with flexible conduitI’ve permanently wired a CTEK traffic-light “Comfort Indicator” LED connector to the car battery, using plastic conduit (ebay) to protect the leads, though even on a new battery the LEDs tends to flash amber not green. Should it flash red, then I know it’s time to take a look.

I think the two-pin connectors could maybe be shrouded better to prevent accidental contact with the pins, but there’s a rubber overcap and otherwise it’s robustly made. I recommend using the fuse-protected leads only, and check beforehand the correct bolt size on your battery clamps (probably 6mm or 8mm). I see no point trying to DIY with a cheap crimp terminal here when quality moulded leads are available.

I used the supplied croc-clip leads to connect the CTEK charger to my old car battery which I keep as a spare in the garage.  I didn't want to use the supplied 6mm unfused battery lead on my car (I used the 6mm fused LED connector accessory instead), so I adapted it with male & female crimps to fit the 12V lead of my lawnmower battery, so I can trickle charge that through winter as well.

Storage kitbag is includedNow I just need to lift the bonnet and plug the charger in every now and then, or it could stay on maintenance charge if desired. More than anything the CTEK charger offers superior convenience and peace of mind, and there is a CTEK charger for everything from golf trolleys to cars, trucks, buses and even tanks.

The CTEK MXS 5.0 Battery Charger as supplied, has:

  • Mains unit hard-wired to a 1.3m mains lead and 1m quick-connector lead
  • An unfused car battery connector - Comfort Connect with M6 (6mm clearance) eyelets to fit under the battery post clamp nuts. Other sizes available.
  • An unfused croc-clip lead to connect to battery posts
  • A storage kit bag
  • A 5 Year Warranty

The range of CTEK battery chargers are available on Amazon (carousel of images below), ebay and online.

 

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