Battery conditioners

Why do I need a battery conditioner?

If the seasons are approaching winter any battery that is not being used and charged may be susceptible to being run down and becoming unuseable. It may be that even a seemingly healthy battery that has been fine in the summer will not start a car in the autumn or winter because the engine needs more power to turn it over when it's very cold.

With a battery in poor condition this extra drain will very quickly discharge the battery and so the vehicle won't start and could mean a costly call out or very inconvenient situation for the driver.

Due to the chemical processes in the battery slowing down, as a battery approaches 0°C a standard lead-acid car battery will lose about 20% of its capacity and at -30°C it will have lost about 50% of its capacity. People using a battery that is not the correct capacity for the vehicle may have made a saving at the time that they replaced the battery but will then find that they have more expense or inconvenience during the colder months. So the message is keep the correct capacity battery in the vehicle and also keep it in good condition.

Having a battery in a low state of charge or poor condition can cause sulphation, in turn sulphation accounts for around 87% of battery failures due to the reduced active surface area of the battery plates.

Not only does low temperature affect how a battery discharges it will also affect how it charges and so even when a battery is in use in a vehicle it's charge rate may be significantly reduced if it already has problems. As well as that, if a battery is not in good condition and the specific gravity of the electrolyte is low it can become more like normal water and will have a tendency to freeze in cold weather, which of course is a disaster waiting to happen. When somebody attempts to start the car and it appears that there is not enough charge in the battery, the standard response is to get a 'jump' start from another vehicle. If the battery is frozen it could be very dangerous.

Which one do I need for my car?

It comes down to what you want to do with the battery conditioner. If it is a case of simply wanting to maintain a 12v battery on a classic car that is being stored for a period of time then the CTEK XS 0.8 would be ideal, if it is a 6v battery then go for the CTEK XC 0.8.

If the battery has been fully drained then you would need to buy the CTEK MXS 3.6, this has the capacity to charge a discharged battery and then to maintain it.

If you want a device that will charge a battery, maintain a battery but will also give a 12volt supply to the vehicle for instance when you need to remove the battery for replacement, then the CTEK MXS 7.0 is the one for you, this allows for things like the radio code to be maintained even when the battery has been removed.