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Frequently asked questions
Battery Failure is often reported and the number one cause for breakdowns around the world. As a result, motorists are unnecessarily paying for call-out charges and more expensively, replacement batteries.
With modern vehicles full of complex and sensitive electrical equipment that constantly draw current from the battery, an ever increasing number of mechanical faults from new and older vehicles alike are battery related. However, the expense and inconvenience of Battery Failure could be heavily reduced by regular battery maintenance.
CTEK’s unique range of smart chargers optimise the performance of lead-acid batteries by determining accurate readings of a battery’s charge levels and ensuring the appropriate action is taken to ensure the battery is constantly ready for use.
All CTEK chargers go through a number of stages to charge, condition and maintain the battery, extending batteries life and, most importantly, ensuring that vehicles are able to start first time, every time and eliminating the problem of Battery Failure.
With each product intended for unsupervised use, foolproof to connect, spark proof and reverse-polarity protected, there is no need to even disconnect the battery during use – it’s simply ‘plug and play’.
With vehicle technology developing at a pace, increasing strain is being placed on the battery just to keep the vehicle operating as it should. As a result, regular Battery Maintenance is more important today than it ever has been before.
Battery technology has developed hugely over the past couple of years and, is continuing to do so. However, the consequence of these developments is that batteries need to be charged and maintained in a very specific way but, not all chargers are suitably adapted to do this.
Traditional battery chargers are generally unsuitable to perform Battery Maintenance as they treat all batteries in the same way and just provide a steady but unregulated current to the battery. This can easily lead to over, or under, charging of the battery and thereby decrease its lifespan.
Conversely, CTEK makes Battery Maintenance a quick, simple and extremely effective process. Its range of smart chargers constantly reads and communicates with the battery, charging only to its direct needs and therefore avoiding any possibility of incorrectly charging the battery and, by ensuring the battery is conditioned as well as charged, extending its life significantly.
There are a variety of Car Batteries currently available, Wet Cell, Calcium and AGM to name a few, each needing to be maintained in a slightly different manner but, all can be dealt with, with a CTEK 24V or 12V battery charger
For car batteries, a 12V battery charger such as the MXS 5.0 will charge but also condition the battery through a series of stages that first removes the sulphur from the internal plates and then breaks it down and mixes it back into the acid solution. As a result the battery will be given a new lease of life. For trucks and other larger vehicles a 24V battery charger from CTEK will perform the same task.
Wet cell, Calcium and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) are all various versions of the lead-acid battery that have different advantages, disadvantages and maintenance requirements.
Wet cell Car Batteries, or flooded battery as they’re also known, still dominates a large proportion of the car battery market. Despite the first wet cells typically being fragile glass containers with lead rods hanging from an open top, developments in manufacturing, and of course safety, techniques have seen the wet cell progress in to an affordable, reliable and, if recharged and maintained correctly, long lasting vehicle battery.
Calcium batteries also take up a large proportion of the battery market and have the same generic make-up of wet cell batteries except both the positive and negative plates are replaced by calcium alloy. By doing this, the fluid loss is about 80% lower than that of a normal wet cell battery and the self-discharge rate is also considerably lower which, in turn, provides huge advantages to those storing the units.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) or ‘dry’ batteries as they’re also known are the latest step in the evolution of lead-acid batteries. Instead of using water or a gel, an AGM uses a fibreglass separator to hold the electrolyte in place.
GEL batteries (GEL)
GEL batteries use a gelified acid. GEL batteries can withstand deep discharging and are for example used in vehicles with demanding electric equipment, electric wheelchairs and as consumer batteries on boats.
All of these Car Batteries possess different technologies that are going to suit the differing needs of the vehicle however, they all have one thing in common in that they need to be carefully maintained to ensure once in use, they provide the energy needed. None of them are free from self discharge and all will therefore require a charge at one point or another and, a CTEK 24V or 12V battery charger will fulfil all of its requirements.
Unlike many battery chargers available on the market, a CTEK 24V or 12V battery charger will react only to the needs of the battery meaning that every CTEK charger is suitable to charge, condition and prolong the life of all of the above Car Batteries.
Undertaking a Battery Check Due to the complex technologies built into modern vehicles, the demand placed on a battery is greater than ever. Undertaking a simple battery check from time to time provides you with the knowledge to take appropriate action, which can ultimately save you from that inconvenient breakdown or the cost of a new battery.
You can find out a battery’s state of charge by checking the voltage, but that doesn’t tell you if your battery is healthy. All batteries need charging from time to time and not caring for them, as you would other parts of cars, can easily lead to them becoming damaged and their lives will be considerably shortened. However, overcharging can also cause considerable damage so undertaking battery check first is always advised.
The CTEK 12V Battery Analyzer is designed so you can quickly and easily carry out a battery check. It tests a battery in seconds and tells you whether a battery is in good condition, requires charging, can correctly hold a charge or if it should be replaced. Like all CTEK products it produces no heat or sparks and specialist knowledge isn’t required; it is compatible with any 12V lead-acid battery ranging in size from 200A to 1,200A, so just connect and follow the on screen instructions.
If you can’t wait until next year, you can now purchase the CTEK MXS 5.0 TEST & CHARGE. It combines the award-winning features of the CTEK MXS 5.0 charger with an alternator and battery check function. After you’ve determined the health of the vehicle charging system and battery, the appropriate charging, reconditioning and maintenance stages can be delivered to ensure your battery has maximum performance power.
To avoid premature battery failure, add battery check to your list of regular vehicle maintenance inspections and keep it at its optimum charge.
Car Battery Charger
Finding the Right Car Battery Charger for You A car battery charger shouldn´t be there to take up space in your garage, only to be used when your vehicle won´t start. Just as you carefully look after other parts of your car, such as its tyres, in order to avoid the inconvenience and cost of replacements, your car battery must also be cared for and using the correct battery charger can help you to do this.
Whilst there are a number of different types of car batteries, all require charging from time to time. CTEK´s wide range is suitable for conditioning, charging and maintaining all types of lead-acid batteries. A 12V car battery charger is likely to meet your needs but there are a few to choose from.
A smart car battery charger not only charges, it undergoes a series of other stages, such as reconditioning, to prolong the life of a battery and keep it in optimum condition. Whether sulphur has built up on the plates inside or the battery is suffering from discharge due to infrequent or short journey use, a CTEK smart battery charger will give your battery a new lease of life.
MXS 3.6 – Although one of CTEK´s more basic models, it provides all-round charging through a 4-step charging cycle that comprises a desulphation feature and maintenance charging.
MXS 5.0 – A state-of-the-art charger with 8-steps in its cycle. This includes a special reconditioning function and it also offers a battery diagnosis so you know the charge state and whether the battery can hold its charge properly. As with all CTEK chargers it has an optimised charging mode for when more power is needed during cold weather.
MXS 7.0 – A great universal charger with slightly more power, including a battery capacity of 14?150Ah up to 225Ah for maintenance. This is also an 8-step charger and has a power supply mode, which allows the battery to be disconnected from the vehicle without losing important configurations.
These are just three of CTEK´s smart battery chargers – click here for more details and to view the full 12V range. They don´t require specialist knowledge to use and they can also be safely left connected for long periods of time, even months, as they meet the needs of the battery. They are fully automatic and protected from reverse polarity and sparking, so you can be sure peace of mind is included, whichever CTEK car battery charger you choose.