Good inexpensive smart charger?

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200
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Chandler, AZ
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Howdy folks. The only car battery charger I have ever used in my adult life is an ancient JCPenney branded one. It is definitely not smart. Most of the time it works OK, but it doesn't do anything for marginal but not completely dead batteries. I would like to try one of the smart chargers that can desulfate and/or repair a battery. Specifically, I have a battery out of an old air cooled VW bug that is not particularly old and has not been used that much that won't charge on my dinosaur. The battery in my Subaru has continued to start the car OK, but when I had the car in at fire stone for a tire rotation etc. they said it's failing. I tried putting it on my dumb charger and it will not take a full charge. I'd like to see if I can recover either of these. I can't seem to find it now, but I was reading a post on here a few weeks ago that seemed to recommend the Tecmate Optimate chargers. I have had an Optimate 6 in my Amazon cart for a few weeks now, I would like to find something less than 100 bucks if there's anything any good. I see the Noco Genius 5is quite a bit less and seems to have similar features. Anything else I should consider? The Optimate 5 is a fair bit cheaper, but I'm not sure it has the battery recovery functionality... Thanks, Doug
 
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Member "Uncle Dave" loves Optimates. Google: <span style="font-weight: bold">Optimate Uncle Dave Bob is the Oil Guy site:bobistheoilguy.com</span> to turn up lots of results.
 
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UT
I'm quite partial to the Solar Pro-Logix chargers. I've been using one for years now and have had good results with it. https://cloreautomotive.com/product-category/battery-chargers/solar-portable-chargers/ https://www.amazon.com/Clore-Automotive-PL2320-Battery-Maintainer-20/dp/B007ESQW08/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2MP7AHS94GXT7&keywords=solar%2Bpro-logix%2Bbattery%2Bcharger&qid=1580086196&sprefix=sloar%2Bpro-logix%2Caps%2C179&sr=8-3&th=1 If I didn't already have the Pro-Logix, I would get a Ctek 5.0. Ctek makes the only in-car battery charger approved by Mercedes. And they have a huge following. I would definitely select a Ctek before a Noco or Battery Tender. https://smartercharger.com/collections/vehicle/products/ctek-mxs-5-0 https://www.amazon.com/CTEK-40-206-5-0-12-Battery-Charger/dp/B00CD44RQO/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=34BCOLAAG4XYC&keywords=ctek%2Bmxs%2B5.0&qid=1580085970&sprefix=ctek%2Bm%2Caps%2C181&sr=8-1-spons&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFHQ04yRVZDMUVQRjUmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA3NTczNTcxTk9DRVE0T0s5WllBJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA1MjU2OTQyTkRCNTBWSUZFVktVJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ&th=1
 
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Originally Posted by MCompact
I have the BMW branded equivalent of the CTEK MUS 4.3. Currently $96 on Amazon.
There you go. Two of the auto brands with some of the most demanding battery needs around. Many Mercedes have two batteries. On top of that, some have very expensive (and delicate) battery power management systems. A charger that doesn't manage power correctly can quickly damage these systems. And many are only driven occasionally, so a good battery maintainer/charger is critical. While I'm not as familiar with BMW cars, I do know that they also have very demanding electrical systems. Read the reviews for yourself. I think you will find most all are more than pleased with their Ctek chargers.
 
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200
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Chandler, AZ
Thread starter
Thanks folks smile These seem pretty equivalent, or at least positioned similarly in each company's lineup: Pro-Logix PL2320 NOCO genius5 CTEK MXS 5.0 BatteryMINDer 2012 OptiMATE 6 Right now, the CTEK Is the best deal on Amazon. I think it is also tied for the longest warranty. Go for the CTEK. Doug
 
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Great Lakes
Originally Posted by BHopkins
I'm quite partial to the Solar Pro-Logix chargers. I've been using one for years now and have had good results with it. https://cloreautomotive.com/product-category/battery-chargers/solar-portable-chargers/ https://www.amazon.com/Clore-Automotive-PL2320-Battery-Maintainer-20/dp/B007ESQW08/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2MP7AHS94GXT7&keywords=solar%2Bpro-logix%2Bbattery%2Bcharger&qid=1580086196&sprefix=sloar%2Bpro-logix%2Caps%2C179&sr=8-3&th=1
I have the 2320, and I can't recommended it. It started behaving strange after the first year or so. I have three chargers: ProLogix 2320, Noco G7200, and BatteryMinder 2012. I use the latter pretty much exclusively. The other two are collecting dust.
 
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Northeast Nebraska
I have the older Ctek 4.3 which is no longer offered new that I can tell and has been replaced by the 5.0 for just charging. The new 4.3 is a Test and Charge but not sure it's worth the extra $20ish.
 
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Messages
200
Location
Chandler, AZ
Thread starter
So I ended up getting a CTEK MXS 5.0 from Amazon Warehouse Deals, $60.xx + tax. It didn't do anything to the only loose and previously assumed dead battery I have, oh well... Time for some dumb questions wink The charger has a reconditioning setting, would it be smart to run it on all my currently in-a-car batteries? If yes, can I leave the battery attached and in the car to do that? It would be nice to not lose all the radio pre-sets, etc. Thanks again, Doug
 
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Ca.
Originally Posted by dvancleve
Thanks folks smile These seem pretty equivalent, or at least positioned similarly in each company's lineup: Pro-Logix PL2320 NOCO genius5 CTEK MXS 5.0 BatteryMINDer 2012 OptiMATE 6 Right now, the CTEK Is the best deal on Amazon. I think it is also tied for the longest warranty. Go for the CTEK. Doug
I've heard very solid guys praise the Clore brand pro logic series - and I'll try one soon. The physical size makes it more of a stationary type charger to me than a "throw down" smart unit. Like my CTEKS a lot - I inadvertently dragged one about 100 feet and it still works fine. Hard to say anything bad about the ones I've used and Ive had many. I prefer my optimates to everyone elses throwdown- the 6 in particular has an incredibly wide range of capability from a small motorcycle battery to a 8D and everything from 1-5 amps to dole out and it seems very smart about when it lets the full 5 flow. I have over a dozen 6 's and have never had a problem with a 6 even in very harsh hot, wet and dirty/ sandy environments. I did have a problem with an optimate 7 that died, to be fair - I put it into commercial use and ran it hot every day for months on end my dealer swapped it out and Ive had no problem since. Once you get into 20 amp smart chargers you really need to have a remote temp sensor vs one in the unit that senses ambient temps, or what the large CTEK unit has - a sensor in the positive clamp. happy charging..... UD
 
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Ca.
Originally Posted by dvancleve
So I ended up getting a CTEK MXS 5.0 from Amazon Warehouse Deals, $60.xx + tax. It didn't do anything to the only loose and previously assumed dead battery I have, oh well... Time for some dumb questions wink The charger has a reconditioning setting, would it be smart to run it on all my currently in-a-car batteries? If yes, can I leave the battery attached and in the car to do that? It would be nice to not lose all the radio pre-sets, etc. Thanks again, Doug
solid choice - you'll be happy with it. no. Dont use the recondition setting while the battery is connected to the vehicle. it probably won't go into recon mode mode to begin with (an optimate wont) and you risk blowing electronics as recon usually spikes voltage for periods of time. Some Cteks have a battery symbol on them - this mode is designed to hold a constant voltage to the system so you can disconnect without losing presets window position settings etcetera. This also means you need two units to make it work without losing settings. UD
 
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200
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Chandler, AZ
Thread starter
Originally Posted by UncleDave
solid choice - you'll be happy with it. no. Dont use the recondition setting while the battery is connected to the vehicle. it probably won't go into recon mode mode to begin with (an optimate wont) and you risk blowing electronics as recon usually spikes voltage for periods of time.
Thanks UncleDave! Just to clarify, running the recon mode on my "good" batteries is a good idea, but they need to be out of the cars? The battery in my Subaru, in particular, tested out as not good but has continued to start the car okay. I'm hoping to nurse it along as long as possible. Any thoughts on whether reconditioning the AGM 12v batteries in EVs is a good idea (Fiat 500e and Chevy Volt)? Doug
 
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12,253
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Indiana
Battery Tender Jr has been recommended here before. Ended up going with them for several applications and I've been very happy with them. Normally 22-27 shipped on eBay. 20 shipped if you're lucky. They have an actual charger/ tender for about 40 I've though about trying too. Might be a bit more universal if one doesn't already have a charger.
 
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