Review of CTEK MXS 5.0 Car Battery Charger

This is a review of the CTEK MXS 5.0 Battery Charger, we find out whether its just what you need for an emergency flat battery situation.

Description

The CTEK MXS 5.0 Battery Charger is a small compact charging unit  that comes with crocodile clip cables, eyelet cables and a mains plug power attachment.

 

CTEK MSX 5.0 unpacked

The MXS 5.0 has the ability to charge a 12 volt lead acid battery, covering most cars, motorbikes and campervans. As this battery charger is a Smart charger that means once your battery is fully charged the charger will monitor and maintain the charge level. It can take more than several hours to get to this point, but once it does, you’re safe in the hands of the smart functionality.

Making it go through each of the 8 stages encourages and allows you to recondition your battery once a year, maintaining and prolonging your car batteries life. This is where this battery charger shines, it’s main purpose is to bring life back to your battery and check it’s condition as you charge it.

What is in the box

  • Mains cable
  • Clamps
  • Eyelet M6
  • The charger
  • Cloth pouch
  • User manual

Specs:

Voltage: 12 volts, which is the standard voltage for most car batteries.

Charge stages: The charger has a multi-stage charging process that includes a desulfation stage, a soft start stage, a bulk charging stage, an absorption stage, and a maintenance stage which allow it to charge batteries safely and effectively while extending their lifespan.

Reverse polarity protection: It is equipped with reverse polarity protection, which prevents it from being damaged if the battery is connected incorrectly.

Spark-free connections: This CTEK has spark-free connections, which prevent sparks from occurring when the charger is connected to the battery; this helps to prevent fires and other hazards.

Water and dust resistance: IP65 rating, which means it is protected against water and dust.

 

Charging With the CTEK MXS 5

Firstly to begin you need to connect your crocodile clips, make sure to read your car manufacturers recommended guidelines on how to connect to your battery.

If you accidentally put the crocodile clips on the battery the wrong way this will not cause you any safety issues or problems, the charging unit will simply display a red light indicating they are the wrong way round, making it pretty fool proof for anyone whether you are car savvy or not, this is a great  feature we think.

You then need to put your charger plug into the mains, once turned on at the mains it comes on automatically that is why its a good idea to connect up and be ready to go before plugging in.

Simple to use, the CTEK MXS 5.0 has an 8 step process that is highlighted on the front panel with LED’s that light up one by one from stage 1-8. Depending on your battery type and how discharged it is depends on how many stages it will need to go through and where the charging will start from.

CTEK MXS 5.0 Battery Charger

 

The 8 charger stages are:

  1. Desulfation – This stage is designed to break down sulfation, a buildup of lead sulfate crystals on the battery’s plates that can reduce its capacity and performance. The charger uses a high-frequency pulse to vibrate the crystals, breaking them down into smaller pieces that can be more easily dissolved in the battery acid. You can find more about this process here:
  2. Soft Start -This stage helps to gently bring the battery up to its optimal charging voltage, reducing the risk of damage or overcharging.
  3. Bulk Charging – During this stage, the charger supplies the battery with a high-current charge, bringing it to around 80% of its full capacity.
  4. Absorption – The absorption stage follows the bulk charging stage and involves a lower current charge to bring the battery to the total capacity. The charger also monitors the battery’s voltage and temperature to ensure it is charged safely and efficiently
  5. Analyse – In this stage, the charger checks the battery’s condition and determines if additional charging is needed. The charger will move to the float stage if the battery is fully charged. If not, it will continue with the charging process.
  6. Reconditioning – If the charger determines that the battery is sulfated or otherwise damaged, it may enter a reconditioning stage to attempt to restore the battery to its full capacity. This stage involves a series of high-current charges and discharges to break down the sulfation and help to restore the battery’s performance.
  7. Float – The float stage is used to maintain the battery at full charge. The charger supplies a low-current charge to compensate for any losses due to self-discharge or load on the battery.
  8. Pulsatile maintenance charging – This stage involves a series of short charging and discharging cycles to help maintain the battery’s health and extend its lifespan. Maintaining the battery at 95–100% capacity. The charger monitors the battery voltage and gives a pulse when necessary to keep the battery fully charged

With the 8 stage charge process, this battery charger has the ability to bring some of the most stubborn car batteries back to life. If you are in a rush the charger can get to stage 3 and it would be suitable to un-attach the leads, start the car and be able to drive off.

Not all batteries will need to go through this process, infact the whole process is recommended for when reconditioning your battery. There is a MODE button on the charging unit which you press to state your battery requirement from “Car” “Car in AGM” “Car in Reconditioning” ” Car in AGM Reconditioning” this will then therefore analyse and determine which stages will be needed out of the 8 available. There is also the options to do the same as the above but for a Motorcycles.

THe MXS 5.0 comes with the added function of automatic temperature compensation this means it will charge even in very hot or very cold environments. Making it a very robust piece of kit whatever the season.

The one thing that his charger needs however is a mains connection, therefore using while broken down or trying to charge a battery on a boat will not be an option with this charger.

TH CTEK MXS 5.0 is great for home use as a battery charging device with your car plugged up in your garage. One downside we noticed is that of lead length, they are quite short. You will definitely need an extension lead to get this charger to your car if you don’t have a garage.

CTEK MSX5.0 battery charger lights meaning

What do the lights on a CTEK mean?

 

CTEK MXS 5.0 buttons and lights explained

 

Error LED – it it is on, in most cases the battery clamps are incorrectly attached (typically reverse polarity). Another options are the charger is not connected to a battery or the charging has been somehow interrupted in step 1,2 or 5.

If the battery is stuck in step 1 and error LED is on it might mean that the battery is heavily sulphated and may need to changed.

If the battery is stuck in step 2 while the error LED is on, it can’t accept any charge and probably is far beyond saving.

If the battery is stuck in step 5 while the error LED is on, it means that the battery has issues holding the charge.

Power LED

  • Steady light – the mains cable is attached to mains and all is well
  • Flashing light – the charger is in “energy saving” mode – this happens if you don’t connect a battery to it within 2 minutes.

Mode button – allows you to navigate through individual charging options below:

  1. Small battery between 1.2–14Ah – motorbikes, jetskis, lawnmovers’ etc. batteries
  2. Normal battery program 14–160Ah – Wet batteries Ca/Ca/MF, Gel and many AGM car/truck batteries
  3. AGM option – use for AGM batteries such at Optima or Odyssey
  4. Recond option – this is used to return energy to WET and Ca/Ca batteries when totally or close to dead. Choose the Recond program to add the Recond step to the charging process. During the
    Recond step voltage increases to create controlled gassing in the battery. Gasing mixes the battery acid and gives back energy to the battery.

1-7 LEDs explained:

LED 1-3 means the battery is too low to even try starting a car with it, it might work for a small car but generally not quite there yet

LED 4 – the battery is ready to start the engine

LED 7 – the battery is fully charged

 

How long does charging take with the CTEK MSX 5.0?

The time to charge depends mostly on the battery itself – how depleted it is, in what condition, how big, etc. All these play into the time required for charge but the general estimates for an empty battery to be charged to 80% are as follows:

Battery size Time to charge to 80%
2Ah 2 hours
8Ah 8 hours
20Ah 4 hours
60h 12 hours
110Ah 26 hours

 

Ideal For:

  • Individuals seeking a reliable, high-quality battery charger for personal or professional use.
  • Owners of multiple vehicles with different battery types.
  • People living in regions with extreme weather conditions.
  • Those needing a maintenance charger for vehicles not used regularly.

 

Pros & Cons

PROS:
  • Safe and simple to use
  • Portable
  • Sturdy build
  • 5 year warranty
  • LED flashlight provides a good safety feature
  • Suitable for all types of car batteries
  • Shock and dust proof
CONS:
  • The leads are quite short
  • Needs to be attached to a 240 mains supply to charge

Conclusion & where to buy

The CTEK MXS 5.0 Battery Charger is a compact a really well developed smart battery charger that can also evaluate the battery status and help revive even the most discharged battery back to life. For use this is a must-have for everyone who wants to make sure their batteries are in a good condition and charged well. It is easy to use, is largely “stupid-proof” so anyone can use it. It does what it says on the tin and it does it well. By the end of the day, it is more than just a battery charger; it’s a comprehensive battery care system. Its combination of advanced technology, versatility, and ease of use makes it an essential tool for anyone looking to extend the life and performance of their vehicle’s battery. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or simply someone who values reliability and efficiency in vehicle maintenance, the MXS 5.0 is a worthy investment.

Where to buy it in the US & Canada

Where to buy in the UK 

 

CTEK MXS 5.0 Battery Charger with Automatic Temperature Compensation

£94.99
£79.90
9 new from £79.90
Amazon.co.uk
as of April 10, 2024 2:25 pm

Dimensions:

5 inches x 3 inches

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Rachel
Rachel

Adventure-loving mother of two and an auto-enthusiast who thrives in the great outdoors with passion for cars and other self-propelled things.

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