Have you heard about our Comfort Indicator?

Have you heard about our Comfort Indicator? It’s an accessory that provides a simple way of identifying the state of your battery.

Simply connect the crocodile clips to the battery and the

CTEK Comfort Indicator will provide a very simple and immediate indication to the charge levels of the battery.

The Comfort Indicator will indicate the battery’s condition:

• Green – the battery is fully charged and does not need attention

• Orange – the battery is below 90% state of charge, charging is recommended to avoid stratification

• Red – the battery is below 80% state of charge and needs to be charged immediately, not only to be able to start the vehicle but to avoid the danger of the battery being permanently damaged through excessive discharge leading to sulphation – the biggest battery killer

The CTEK Comfort Indicator features the unique CTEK Comfort Connect system that allows it to be attached to all CTEK 12V chargers up to 7A, permitting easy access to the battery for it to be charged.

There is also an eyelet version that enables you to peramently connect the Comfort Indicator to the battery – especially handy for batteries that are difficult to access for example motorcycle batteries.

For more information on the full range of CTEK chargers and accessories visit www.ctek.com

Test & Charge to ensure you don’t ruin your summer vacation

Have you booked your summer vacation yet? Here at CTEK we wanted to remind you about the importance of undertaking a battery check and charge prior to going away on holiday – did you know that one in ten of all flat batteries are experienced by people returning to their cars after a period of time on holiday?

After the stress of travelling, the last thing you want is to arrive at the airport car park to find that you have a flat battery or for the return to work to be seriously inconvenienced by a car that won’t start. Scenarios such as these can not only cause disruption, but can also cost a lot of money, whether that is through breakdown call outs or a replacement battery.

Furthermore, most people in these situations choose to jump-start the vehicle in an attempt to get moving as soon as possible, but even such a simple action can cause lasting damage. When a vehicle is jump-started, a vast surge of voltage and current is produced and passed through the battery, energising the starter motor. The current passing through the vehicle can potentially go through the Electronic Control Unit and can cause severe damage to a vehicle’s health, meaning more harm than good.

All this can be avoided if a battery charging routine is put in place, which comprises the connection of a smart battery charger. A model such as the CTEK MXS 5.0 TEST AND CHARGE not only revives discharged batteries and breaks down sulphur build-up that prevents optimum levels of charge being held, it also tests their voltage, alternator performance and start power to avoid unexpected failures.

It’s a good idea to check and charge a week or so before departure to have peace of mind. Not only does a regular charging routine prolong a battery’s life but it also prevents the need to jump-start a car, which can cause lasting damage and a costly trip to the garage.

 

German report highlights the need for regular battery maintenance

We read with great interest a report from German breakdown company ADAC that revealed that a severe lack motorists undertaking basic car maintenance is still heavily affecting the number of battery related call-outs. The report revealed that in 2012 1 in 3 call-outs, even in newer vehicles were due to a faulty or discharged battery.

With modern vehicles full of complex and sensitive electrical equipment that constantly draw current from the battery, an ever increasing number of mechanical faults from new and older vehicles alike are battery related. Indeed ADAC reported that battery related faults were bucking the trend – in almost all other areas where there is a technical component there was a slight decrease in breakdowns.

It’s clear to see that the problems associated with batteries are growing rapidly in line with the increasing demands on batteries, as vehicles become ever more reliant upon them for all manner of tasks. It is a common misconception that these problems only affect older vehicles. In fact newer vehicles are also particularly at risk and that includes brand new models.

Unfortunately, many new vehicles experience battery discharge prior to delivery to the customer, resulting in a short term problem immediately thereafter and the customer feeling that there is a more significant problem with the vehicle. Similarly, if a vehicle is not used for a few days or only used on short journeys, the battery can become discharged leading to the expense of a replacement battery or callout charge. Given these problems can be simply and cost effectively resolved with regular battery maintainance, many consumers are choosing to add a battery charger to their essential garage maintenance kit.

Our unique range of smart chargers optimise the performance of lead-acid batteries by determining accurate readings of a battery’s charge and ensuring the appropriate action is taken to optimise the battery for use, thereby prolonging a battery’s life to the benefit of both the vehicle owner and the environment.

For further details on the full range of CTEK chargers and accessories visit www.ctek.com

We had AAAA really good show!

CTEK National Sales Manager (Australia & New Zealand), Mr Robert Briggs at the CTEK stand

We recently attended the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) Expo, that attracted almost 8,000 trade and industry visitors to the Sydney Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour. The show was extremely well attended by many of our Australian and New Zealand distributors as well as many important industry contacts.

People visiting our stand were able to hear about the new products that we will be launching over the next 12 months, meet with key CTEK staff and learn about how by using the CTEK unique charging platform, consumers and professionals alike can ensure that batteries are charged to maximum capacity to deliver peak power performance every time the vehicle is started. We were delighted to welcome CTEK Category Manager Peter White to the stand – visitors really enjoyed hearing from him about the many different charging solutions, such as storage, battery maintenance and DC-DC onboard charging, that can be delivered through our extensive product range.

Our presence at the show was further boosted by three of our distributors Ashdown-Ingram, Bainbridge Technologies & Low Voltage who all reported that they had a good show and handed out many of our new product brochures.

All in all a good show was had by all – the automotive aftermarket sector is looking forward to the future with lots of positivity and optimism. We would like to say thank you to everybody who supported the show or visited our stand, we look forward to seeing you at the next one!

Conductance Testing V Load Testing

Following the introduction of the CTEK 12V Battery Analyzer, we have been asked the question what makes conductance testing (found in the CTEK 12V Battery Analyzer) a safer method compared to the more traditional load testers?

Conductance Testing
Conductance test technology used in the CTEK 12V Battery Analyzer looks to establish the battery’s ability to produce current. It passes a very low current across the battery terminals – there is no discharge of the battery that could potentially upset the ECU or create dangerous sparks. This very passive test method is safe, solid and repeatable – the battery does not need to removed from the vehicle to undertake the test. By undertaking a test in this manner, vehicle owners are given an easily understood picture of battery capability – in other words rather than a set of figures that may not mean a great deal to vehicle owners, the CTEK 12V Battery Analyzer provides a simple explanation of battery capability that eliminates guesswork.

Load Testing
‘Load testing’ does exactly what it says on the tin – it delivers a ‘load’ or current across the battery cells and measures the output delivered back to the tester. This will provide an indication of battery capacity. It is worth remembering though that this method has been around a long time – certainly much longer than an Electronic Control Unit (ECU)! A load test is looking to identify any weakness in the battery by deliberately short circuiting it, placing the battery under severe stress for between 10 – 15 seconds. Apart from being an unreliable way of testing it is also potentially dangerous to the vehicle by posing risk of damage to the sensitive vehicle electronics (ECU) and to the user through sparking and gas explosion. That’s why load tests are only able to be undertaken once the battery has been removed from the vehicle.

Not only is the CTEK 12V Battery Analyzer easy on the battery, it’s also easy on the user too!

The CTEK 12V Battery Analyzer uses patented test functions to safely test the battery in seconds providing an instant on screen result which advises what action should be taken, either:

  • Battery Good – the battery is in good condition and there is no need to charge the battery;
  • Good Recharge – the battery is in good condition but charging is required to restore capacity;
  • Charge and Retest – charge the battery and test again (the Battery Analyzer wants to ensure the battery can retain the charge) or
  • Replace Battery – the battery can no longer be relied upon to provide adequate service and should be replaced immediately

So, with its state of the art electronics platform, ease of use and 2 year warranty, the CTEK 12V Battery Analyzer provides the home workshop with a safe, quick and easy picture of battery health without risk of damage to the battery, the user or the vehicle. By regularly checking battery health and taking the appropriate action to maximise the power and lifetime of the battery, vehicle owners can extend the life of their battery by up to 3 times.

Here are seven good reasons…..

So exactly why should you buy an award winning CTEK smart battery charger? Well here are seven good reasons for a start!

Performance: CTEK chargers use smart technology to ensure that batteries are charged to maximum capacity to deliver peak power performance every time the vehicle is started.

Intelligence: Using advanced, patented technology to measure the battery’s power and health, the CTEK charging system will ensure that the appropriate action is taken to maximise the power and lifetime of the battery,

Versatility: CTEK battery chargers repair, revive, charge, condition and maintain all types of vehicle battery including wet/flooded, calcium, gel, and the latest Start-Stop AGM and EFB technology

Reassurance: Battery related problems are the number one reason for breakdown assistance call-outs. Regular use of a CTEK charger will ensure that the battery is kept in optimum condition, protecting against the cost, inconvenience and frustration of unexpected breakdown

Simplicity: All CTEK chargers are fully automatic, easy to use and require no specialist knowledge or monitoring simply connect and forget. An easy to read LED display makes the charging process simple to follow.

Safety: The advanced electronics of CTEK mean it is completely safe for the user and the vehicle. No need to disconnect the battery to charge it

Endorsed: CTEK supplies chargers to the world’s most recognised manufacturers including Audi, Bentley, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren, Mercedes, Porsche, and Rolls-Royce.

To view our full range of CTEK chargers and accessories please visit www.ctek.com

How to look after a battery in storage…

Whilst regular battery maintenance is becoming more commonplace as part of a regular vehicle service, batteries in storage are more often than not left unmaintained, reducing performance and lifespan. By making sure that batteries in storage are charged and maintained, you considerably reduce the risk of battery failure.

It’s a startling fact that around 70% of batteries returned during warranty are returned due to battery discharge rather than fault. Here’s some battery storage best practice:

Temperature: The recommended storage temperature for most batteries is 15°C; the extreme allowable temperature is –40°C to 50°C for most chemistries. Lead acid must always be kept at full charge during storage.

Voltage: Since all batteries gradually self-discharge over time, it is important to regularly check the voltage, and then apply a charge when the battery falls below 100% charge. Failure to do this will lead to sulphation. This occurs when the battery is left undercharged and the electrolyte solution begins to break down, converting into lead sulphate crystals that coat the battery plates, reducing the batteries ability to accept and hold a charge.

Storage: Stock should be used on a first in first out (FIFO) basis. Best practice is on wooden pallets– this is to allow circulation of air at ambient temp (if stored on a cold concrete floor this can create a heat sink). No stacking of batteries – stacking can cause damage to casings/ handles and in extreme cases shorting of the battery below.

Keep Clean: A dirty battery can discharge more quickly than a clean battery (small amounts of voltage can track across the moist dirt to earth speeding the discharge process). Always clean off dirt and moisture

CTEK chargers revive, charge, condition and maintain all types of 12V lead-acid batteries including maintenance free types and all chemistries including Wet, Calcium, GEL and AGM. Chargers are fully automatic, foolproof to connect, spark proof and reverse-polarity protected, for user safety – making them the smart choice in battery care.

Don’t make it a jump start!

With modern vehicles using ever more sophisticated and expensive electronics, there is an increased risk of damage to vehicles from jump starts – our advice is just don’t do it!

Here at CTEK we have always been aware of the dangers of jump starting. When a vehicle is jump-started a huge surge of voltage and current is generated that passes through the battery to energise the starter motor. This can potentially get through to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and cause irreparable damage. And we aren’t the only people aware of the dangers, many airports for example who have traditionally offered a complimentary jump start service, are insisting that vehicle owners sign a form to disclaim against any damage caused through jump starting a vehicle.

It’s very easy for a battery to go flat, especially if it stands idle for a few days and other factors such as cold weather conditions make this even more of a risk. The high power demands of modern vehicles and the drain from parasitic loads such tracking devices and alarms means that a battery can potentially become flat in a matter of days. To protect against a flat battery we recommend a regular charge to bring the battery up to maximum capacity. This will extend your battery life by as much as 300% and prevent the need to jump start your vehicle.

The CTEK Multi XS 5.0 offers a unique eight step-approach to battery care, that is simple to use and will ensure that any lead-acid battery is optimally conditioned and charged. Furthermore, there is no need to disconnect the battery before use as it regulates mains voltage to protect any sensitive electrical equipment

If you do find that you have a flat battery however, there is another way to bring it back to life without jump starting. It’s much better to use a charger to bring the battery back to life – the CTEK MXS 5.0 for example, can bring a flat battery to sufficient charge levels to start a vehicle in under ten minutes in a safe way. This is only a temporary fix however and the vehicle will need a good charge and condition to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

Including a battery charge in routine maintenance on cars and can prevent unnecessary and dangerous jump starts whilst also improving efficiency of vehicles.

 

CTEK comes out on top in GTÜ test

We are delighted to announce that the CTEK MXS 5.0 has been identified as the top performing charger in a recent independent battery comparison test. Undertaken by GTÜ in Germany, the test compared 8 different chargers, involving 25 different test stages.

Charger functionality, quality, visual test and performance, as well as cost formed the basis for the 25 different test stages – each test stage involved chargers being awarded a pass or fail mark.

 

Charge quality

Each charger was evaluated to ascertain the quality of charging and charge retention. GTÜ awarded a pass mark to chargers that delivered a safe charge and included a voltage adjustment phase to achieve a 100% charge. GTÜ also needed to see a maintenance mode that constantly retained an optimal charge to award that all important pass mark – this was only achieved by CTEK MXS 5.0 and JMP 4000.

Battery maintenance

For long-term operation such as the winter charging of batteries in vintage cars, the devices identified as most suitable (and therefore awarded a pass mark) were those by CTEK and JMP, but also the Cartrend MP 3800 mastered this test. Chargers not awarded the pass mark failed for a number of reasons including inability to 100% maintain the battery in cold weather conditions and unsafe leads or connections.

Charger versatility

The CTEK MXS 5.0 was recognised for its versatility of charging and its ability to repair, revive, charge, condition and maintain all types of vehicle battery including wet/flooded, calcium, gel, and the latest Start-Stop AGM and EFB technology.

Battery revival

Of the top devices tested, it was only CTEK and one other charger that succeeded in restoring deeply discharged batteries with a residual voltage of 3V.

It is clear to see that the testing involved in the GTÜ independent test reflects the growing abilities of today’s chargers and so we are absolutely delighted that the CTEK MXS 5.0 has come out on top!

 

Our survey identifies shift in attitudes to battery charging

We have been undertaking a test pilot with motorcycle owners, which has identified a positive shift in attitudes to battery charging, an attitude strongly influenced by previous experiences of dead batteries.

Preliminary results of the test pilot revealed that nearly all participants had at some point experienced a flat battery – and all respondents acknowledged that battery care was worth the time; reassurance of a quick start and reduced spend on batteries were identified at the main reasons for this attitude.

The survey did identify however that whilst there is a commitment to regular maintenance charging, motorcycle owners were unaware of developments in battery technology and therefore weren’t aware of the importance of choosing the right charger – only 50% understanding the risks involved in unmonitored ‘trickle’ charging and only 25% of those surveyed knew about the dangers of sulphation, the single biggest battery killer.

Whilst it is really encouraging to see that motorcycle owners are placing an importance on winter maintenance charging, our survey really highlights the need to use the right charger. Motorcycle owners don’t just need a traditional ‘trickle’ maintenance charger but instead a charger to condition and charge and also hold a battery at maximum capacity to ensure optimum performance – this is something that can’t always be achieved by using some of the chargers out there in the market. By delivering too little charge the battery can become discharged and if the charger delivers too much charge there is a risk of the battery drying out – both of which can kill the battery. In other words – don’t get tricked by a trickle charger!

Whilst 100% of those surveyed were committed to winter maintenance charging, there was very little awareness of the dangers associated with improper summer charging – only 45% of those surveyed were committed to regular charging over the warmer months. Motorcyclists are lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to the state of their battery during the Summer months. Regular charging is still essential – it is a common misconception that the regulator will fully charge the battery, it won’t! If the battery is undercharged during the warmer weather it will still probably be able to start the vehicle as it doesn’t need as much energy to get the engine started. Motorcycle owners don’t realise therefore that their battery is becoming discharged, resulting in a flat battery at the end of the summer, the moment temperatures begin to drop.

When charging during the summer months however, consideration should be given to the way that a charge is delivered – there is big risk that you could dry out the battery through overcharging, particular if using an unmonitored trickle type charger. When a battery is getting full the current should be reduced to slowly finish filling it. A CTEK charger for example undertakes this ‘absorption’ in a unique way to safely deliver 100% charge to the battery. Many trickle type chargers will undercharge at this point – combatting the problem of drying out the battery but placing the battery instead at risk of sulphation through undercharging – the biggest battery killer.

The CTEK XS 0.8 charger was developed to offer advanced battery recovery for motorcycle batteries and a sophisticated maintenance programme for all batteries up to 100Ah.

A key benefit of the XS0.8 is that it uses ‘switched-mode’ technology to perform its functions. This advanced microprocessor controlled inverter technology offers far more flexibility over traditional ‘linear’ transformer type units which remain popular in the motorcycle battery maintenance market in particular.

The patented CTEK six-stage battery charging system maintains and conditions the battery and can be left attached indefinitely without risk of over, or under charging. Intended for unsupervised use, the XS 0.8 is simple to connect, spark proof and reverse-polarity protected to protect the user and also the battery. Furthermore, there is no need to disconnect the battery before use as it regulates mains voltage to protect any sensitive electrical equipment.

For more information or to find your nearest stockist, visit www.ctek.com