CTEK MXS 5.0
Vehicle batteries in Canada take a sh*t kicking. Frozen solid in winter, baked in summer heat and stressed with A/C loads, plus the ever-increasing number of additional accessories like winches, lights and compressors. Then we often leave them unattended for months in our off-road rigs, quads, RV’s and motorcycles as we wait for the winter to thaw and spring to return. Or the snowmobile as it sits waiting for a decent snow base.
Battery chargers with maintenance cycles have been around for decades, but recent advances in Smart chargers are beginning to help us extend the life of these batteries (up to two or three times), so we’re not dropping hundreds of dollars at Canadian Tire every three to five years (or sooner). The MXS 5.0 from CTEK is the most technologically advanced smart charger to date, adjusting the charge rate based on the ambient temperature. Bobbie DuMelle, executive VP of CTEK North America explains, “Cold batteries need a higher charge voltage in order to push current into the battery plates and electrolyte, while warmer batteries require a lower charge voltage to eliminate potential damage to cells and reduce unnecessary gassing.”
We hooked it up to one of our heavily abused batteries. The unit has an eight-step battery care program designed to restore discharged batteries back to peak condition and then maintain them indefinitely.
One of the important benefits of this type of charger is you can leave it on the battery for months while the battery is in the vehicle, without damaging the advanced electronics standard in many vehicles. It works for all types of 12V lead acid batteries including wet, calcium, gel, EFB and AGM. So if you, like me, dust off the thirty year old charger and hook it up to your vehicle in the spring to get it going, it might be time to spend some dough on one of these smart units and proactively maintain the batteries through periods of non-use.