Car Battery Charger

Hi folks, I’m looking for some helpful ideas & experience.
My old DIY battery charger went to the happy hunting ground a few years ago, & who needs a battery chargers these days ???
Think again, in these CV times, we are not using the cars anything like before, the batteries are running down & a weekly trip to the supermarket is probably doing more harm than good.
So I need a battery charger; looking around the www vendors its obvious they’ve moved on a mile or two since I wur a lad, all have small boxes so must be a SMPS inside, some just basic & some with ‘smart’ technology.
So my question - whats a good brand ?, what have you guys got that ‘does it’ for you?.
I’m looking for a charger maintainer, not a fast or boost charger, a maintainer is a something with an accurate voltage regulator that can be left connected without supervision.


Can you send me a PM?

Hi Bruce, no PM’s on this forum (??)

My car almost didn’t start at the weekend so I purchased a solar charger from halfords. You leave the panel on your dashboard or whatever and it plugs into the cigarette lighter or can connect straight to the battery. Its put my mind at rest when leaving the car sitting for long periods.

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Hi Mike,
You might take a look at a Noco Genius 5. It’s an excellent benchmark product for charging & maintaining a car battery. If you find something even better, do let me know.

Best regards, BF

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I used a CTEK when I had a Mazda MX5 which was used infrequently this charger could be left on permentaly when the vehicle was not in use for several weeks.
It came with two connecting leads one which could be left on the battery not the cheapest but it worked very well.

Trust this helps.


Only problem with that is that some cigarette and power points in modern cars turn off after so long and so wont let a charge go into the system and battery, so best to check that one out first

Good thread idea @Mike-B. Even before the lock down I’ve been doing far fewer miles this last year and have had to use a charger more than once since New Year, so I’ve also been wondering about replacing an ancient (1980s) battery charger.

Mike, I have used a Ring Smart charger for a number of years now. It’s usually left on most of the time charging up or maintaining one or other of a number of batteries used on the farm - usually the battery for the Daihatsu jeep that I use around the fields and woods (which has an alternator that’s not so great these days).

It has been brilliant and has also resuscitated a few batteries that I feared were fit for scrap. The only issue with this type of charger is that if the battery is totally dead then it won’t always work.

Just bought a CTEK charger and can confirm it can be left in place over time. After fully charging the battery it switches to a pulse mode which just tops up the charge intermittently as required.

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Depends where you live but until we’re in a legally enforced lockdown I’m extending my shopping trips (2 so far) to give the car a run that gets it up to running temp for a few minutes and keeps everything tickety-boo. It’s either a longer way to get there or go long on the return, subject to having frozen food on board.

I’m aware that some will view this as tantamount to wandering around coughing in people’s faces; it isn’t. A 15 minute trip along virtually empty rural A roads is ok and falls within my definition of a reasonable excuse - we have a terminally ill relative and will soon get the call. A non-starting car is of no use when that happens.


@Mike-B this is the one. CTEK MXS 5.0 - in regular use on my Porsche where the battery needs to be maintained I think Porsche had their own branded version which was essentially the CTEK. It’s around £70 but worth it - in addition I bought the 2.5m extention cable.


OptiMate 6 is a top quality charger/maintainer suitable for car batteries. A lead set with plug and socket is available to allow for quick connect. I’ve got a fairly ancient OptiMate charger here that’s used to maintain small lead acid batteries used in motorbikes, lawnmowers etc and it still works very well.

You can sometimes rescue a ‘dud’ battery by giving it a quick blast using an old tech charger first, then hook up your smart tech charger after the battery has been brought back from the dead.

On a general note it’s worth remembering that car batteries are meant to be kept at near full charge otherwise lifespan can be measured in months not years. Even batteries intended for charge/discharge cycling do not last long if regularly discharged by more than 50% of peak capacity.

Another vote for the CTEK 5 charger that Andy recommends. Very easy to use.

At around £50 (Black Friday deal), it’s more than paid for itself as a battery charger and also battery conditioner and reviver (has helped to revive many a deeply discharged battery - desulphonation of the lead plates). It’s in regular use here to trickle charge our Mini Clubman when not in use.

The local BMW and Mini dealerships have these connected to their cars in the showroom to keep the batteries healthy.


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Yup, that usually does the trick.

I’ve had a Ring charger for a few years (cheap, basic model from Halfords) Does exactly what it says on the tin. Unless you have very esoteric needs, why pay for gimmicks you’ll never use?

CTEK are good without a doubt but believe it or not Lidl do a really good one that appears in their stores now and again, I bought one about 2 years ago and it’s great - all the usual smart functions etc, think it was about €20!

As has been mentioned the ctek are good, I use Fronius, they do some pretty industrial ones but the smaller DIY’s are great. I have them on the bikes and cars. If they are good enough for McLaren F1 they are good enough for me !

BIG THANKS to all for the suggestions, very useful.
It seems strange for me to be asking about this stuff as a lot of my early training & following work life included batteries & charging systems. Problem is simple home car chargers was not where I ‘was at’ & the ubiquitous metal box they they used to be has morphed into little plastic blocks.

Anywayz, avoiding going out (CV rules) & a trip to Halfords, I’ve ordered one from Amazon.
I wanted a CTEK but the size(s) I was looking for were on extended delivery, so I went for a NOCO Genius G3500 & thats arriving Monday.

Thanks again, but keep the thread going for all to post and/or read.