Attention to detail in Smart Charger selection!
330GTC10573 – From the brief research I did before Wraithman provided me with the link to CTEK (see above), I got the impression that the cheap ‘trickle chargers’ like the Harbor Freight and Battery Tender products simply ‘push’ current at low amps(<1 A) into the battery as long as the battery voltage (electrical pressure) is lower than the charger’s. As such, they can overcharge the car’s battery if their voltage is too high. The CTEK products are more complex as they apparently use a microprocessor to control their ‘interaction’ with the battery. They can both charge (with higher current) and maintain (with lower current) the battery. …. I hope this is an accurate summary – if not, someone will hopefully correct me.
BUT, there are also differences among the CTEK products. Unfortunately, I think I ordered the wrong one! I read the various CTEK descriptions on their website, watched the various videos and read user feedback on Amazon, etc. I ended up buying the MXS 5.0 as it seemed to be the best combination of everything and the company touts it as their ‘most effective and versatile consumer charger’. It arrived today.
The following is an interesting observation of how one’s brain works: Reading the instructions, it says to push the ‘Mode’ button to select one of four modes.The order is motorcycle, car, AGM and Recond….. at this point I recalled that one of their units resets to the last mode it was in if somehow interrupted. I read this somewhere or saw it in a video when initially researching the whole brand. Of course, I didn’t recognize the importance of this statement at the time and don’t remember which unit this was. Now I can’t find that statement! The point is that if the source AC power is interrupted over the 6 months that I’ll be away, my particular unit might just restart at the first mode – motorcycle. (Not car.) I’m not sure what effect this will have, but that mode is designed for a smaller capacity battery.
My advice is this– be more thorough than me in determining your specific need before you buy! I don’t need a charger or ‘reconditioner’, just a maintainer – but one that can be left unattended for 6 months plus. I’ll test the MXS 5.0 tomorrow to see how it reacts to a supply power failure. If poorly, I’ll see if I can return it and try to find out which CTEK unit reverts to the original mode and order that.Hopefully it’ll get here before I leave.