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Good inexpensive smart charger? #5333027 01/26/20 06:12 PM
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dvancleve Offline OP
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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


1962 & 1968 VW sunroof Bugs
2007 Subaru OBXT Ltd. 5MT, ~75K mi
2013 Chevy Volt, ~130K mi
2013 VW Beetle 2.0 gas turbo convertible, ~36K mi
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: dvancleve] #5333041 01/26/20 06:33 PM
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doitmyself Offline
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Member "Uncle Dave" loves Optimates. Google: Optimate Uncle Dave Bob is the Oil Guy site:bobistheoilguy.com to turn up lots of results.

Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: dvancleve] #5333052 01/26/20 06:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 38,597
Quattro Pete Offline
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2002 530i   2015 Q5 3.0T   2018 Charger SRT
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: dvancleve] #5333065 01/26/20 06:54 PM
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MCompact Offline
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I have the BMW branded equivalent of the CTEK MUS 4.3. Currently $96 on Amazon.


Mine:
2014 M235i
2009 Cooper Clubman
1999 Wrangler Sahara
1995 318ti Club Sport

Wife's:
2015 X1 xDrive28i M Sport


Son's
2009 328i

Buy what makes you smile...
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: dvancleve] #5333066 01/26/20 06:55 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
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BHopkins Offline
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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


In God we trust. All others bring data.

2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i - M1 HM 0W-20 & NAPA Gold filter
2014 Mercedes E350 M276 - M1 European 0W-40 & Purflux filter
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: MCompact] #5333082 01/26/20 07:07 PM
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BHopkins Offline
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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.


In God we trust. All others bring data.

2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i - M1 HM 0W-20 & NAPA Gold filter
2014 Mercedes E350 M276 - M1 European 0W-40 & Purflux filter
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: dvancleve] #5333092 01/26/20 07:20 PM
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Onetor Offline
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U get what u pay for! FYI


N = R* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x L
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: dvancleve] #5333094 01/26/20 07:21 PM
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Greggy_D Offline
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Ctek all the way.


Greggy D.

Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: dvancleve] #5333113 01/26/20 07:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,612
Bud Offline
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Been very happy with my Ctek. I have the 7002.


2016 Honda Pilot EX-L with NAVI.....Mobil 1 0w20 AFE and Honda OEM Filter
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: dvancleve] #5333152 01/26/20 08:15 PM
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Posts: 193
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dvancleve Offline OP
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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


1962 & 1968 VW sunroof Bugs
2007 Subaru OBXT Ltd. 5MT, ~75K mi
2013 Chevy Volt, ~130K mi
2013 VW Beetle 2.0 gas turbo convertible, ~36K mi
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: BHopkins] #5333160 01/26/20 08:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 38,597
Quattro Pete Offline
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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.


2002 530i   2015 Q5 3.0T   2018 Charger SRT
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: BHopkins] #5333378 01/27/20 06:53 AM
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Trav Offline
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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/


+1, I like them a lot and never had any problems with them. Optimate is also very good, I had one for my MC for many years and it also never failed.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: dvancleve] #5333925 01/27/20 04:24 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,246
Duffyjr Online Content
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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.

Last edited by Duffyjr; 01/27/20 04:24 PM.

89 GMC Sierra Advanced 5w30/51036 Wix
08 Lucerne CX Advanced 5w30/1040 Gold
18 Toro Super Recycler T5 10w30
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: dvancleve] #5344532 02/08/20 10:57 AM
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dvancleve Offline OP
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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


1962 & 1968 VW sunroof Bugs
2007 Subaru OBXT Ltd. 5MT, ~75K mi
2013 Chevy Volt, ~130K mi
2013 VW Beetle 2.0 gas turbo convertible, ~36K mi
Re: Good inexpensive smart charger? [Re: dvancleve] #5344592 02/08/20 12:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,673
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UncleDave Online Content
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Posts: 2,673
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


Uncle Dave
Cat 3126/2 MB3500/Titan/RX400H/17 Ridgeline
700HP V10/ 725HP BBC/ Raptor 700/ KFX450/ YZ250/Onan 8K/ Cat3011C
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