As mentioned in the introduction, CTEK is consistently on the cutting edge. You’ll find features like smart charging and multi-stage battery recovery programs on CTEK chargers that other brands don’t offer.
That’s not the only thing that draws people to these chargers, though. One big advantage of CTEK design is you can count on their chargers to be safe in all use circumstances. They’re also fast, efficient, and powerful enough for any vehicle battery. Let’s take a quick look at the best features of CTEK battery chargers:
Most CTEK chargers have specialized programs for reconditioning your battery. This typically involves a process known as desulphation. You can think of desulphation as decluttering the cells of your battery, removing lead sulfate crystals that build up there over time.
By removing these crystals, CTEK chargers improve battery performance. They also extend the maximum life of a battery. The better the cells are able to store energy, the longer it will continue to perform. Under the right conditions, a car battery can last 10 years or more, far beyond the typical, expected lifespan of 5-7 years.
Advanced safety features
Most battery chargers have a polarity protection feature that prevents shocks and surges if the clamps don’t connect to the right terminals. CTEK chargers take this a step further with spark protection. Their chargers shut down automatically if the clamps touch accidentally, which helps keep you safe while you’re using them.
Another safety advantage of CTEK battery chargers is that the input current is smoothed to avoid spikes. This means you can charge your battery while it’s still installed in the vehicle without worrying about damage to sensitive electronic components.
All CTEK chargers automatically choose the right charging mode, proceeding through the steps without any user input. Many will also let you know valuable information about your battery, with indicators telling you the sulphation level and overall battery status.
You’ll find lots of brands that claim to offer smart sensors. Many of these are lacking, though, and don’t always take an accurate reading of the battery’s level. This can lead to overcharging, which can lower your battery’s overall capacity—the opposite effect you’re looking for.
The sensors in CTEK batteries are more advanced than those used by other brands. You can trust the accuracy of its readings, and that gives you peace of mind when you use one.
What you should think about before getting a CTEK charger
Still not sure whether you want a CTEK battery charger—or which one is right for you? Here are some other questions to ask yourself as you’re evaluating your options.
What do you expect out of your machine?
This question is two-fold: what you expect from your vehicle and what you want in a charger. How you use your car or truck can help guide what kind of charger you need. If you tend to use the electrical components of your vehicle a lot, especially when it’s off, your battery will need periodic maintenance.
What counts as electrical components? Basically, anything that’s not run by the engine. Both exterior and interior lights use the battery, as do the radio and any charging ports in the car. Smart vehicle systems like GPS or dash cams are also battery drainers.
The second part of the question has to do with what you need from the charger itself. If you’re mostly interested in improving the battery’s health in a regularly-used vehicle, the maintenance functions will be of most value to you. On the other hand, battery tenders, a trickle-charge option, are better for long-term maintenance. If you want to maintain a battery that’s used seasonally or occasionally, this is what you want to look for.
Are you new to charging batteries?
It’s not hard to use a battery charger, but you can damage the battery (or yourself) if you don’t know what you’re doing. For those with less experience, a smart charger is the best bet. This way, you’ll never risk overcharging the battery or using the wrong setting. Just plug the charger into the battery and let its sensors do the rest.
Less experienced users will also want to look at the charger’s safety features. At a minimum, you want a charger with reverse polarity protection. Spark-proof clamps and protections against over-voltage or over-charge are also helpful.
Don’t forget to review the manual for your battery charger before using it, especially if you’ve never used one before. Knowing everything you can about the charger’s features and use will help make sure you’re getting the most out of it.
Do you want your battery to serve longer?
The best way to extend a battery’s lifespan is to keep it fully charged as often as you can. Your battery’s stored energy takes a big hit every time you start your car. It can also lose charge over time, a process known as self-discharge that occurs in all batteries.
People who drive every day don’t usually have trouble keeping their car or truck’s battery full. As you drive, the alternator refills the charge taken from the battery. Self-discharge takes a couple of days to start affecting, so daily drivers won’t need to give their battery as much attention.
Even with daily use, though, lead sulfate crystals can accumulate inside your battery. If you notice signs of a dying battery, like dim interior lights or sluggish starts, a recovery program can bring it back to full health. That spares you the need to buy new batteries as often.
Do you need the best performance?
High-performance vehicles demand more out of every system, and the battery is no exception. Using a battery maintainer when your car isn’t in use will ensure it’s ready to meet those high demands.
High-performance car batteries typically have a higher capacity and can provide more power than regular 12-volt lead-acid models. They’ll need a correspondingly powerful battery charger to maintain them. A larger, more powerful charger like the CTEK MXS 5.0 below will be ideal for keeping it running its best.