CTEK MXS 5.0 Review (Battery Charger, Fully Automatic)

Next up for our Car Battery Geek watchful eye is a CTEK MXS 5.0 Review.

It’s a fully automatic battery charger for 12V lead-acid batteries. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re certainly in the right place.

CTEK battery chargers come with a good reputation, that’s clear. Does the MXS 5 live up to that, and in what ways does it meet or not meet those expectations?

We’ll talk about the good things, the bad things, and come to a decision, together, if this is the one you need.

The Definitive CTEK MXS 5.0 Review: What’s Good?

8 Stages of Battery Charging Heaven

If you’ve read any of our analysis of CTEK’s battery chargers then you’ll know we’re big fans of their 8-stage charging process. For our money, it’s the best, smartest, most sophisticated there is.

The average battery charger is like a Big Sam Allardyce team compared to CTEK’s Pep Guardiola team. The Big Sam team will get some wins through sheer, honest trying. But the Pep Guardiola team will craft, analyse, find solutions and probe its way to win after win. Apologies to non-football fans, but it’s the best analogy we could think of! 

Football analogy for MXS 5.0 sophistication

Why is this important? Because vehicle batteries come in so many different types and, even more importantly, every battery is in a different state of charge and condition. 

Your battery is impacted by everything it’s been through – any cases of under-charge, over-charge, extreme highs and lows of temperature are reflected in the battery chemistry and the physical state of the battery plates.

These days, the standard of battery chargers is much higher than, say, 10 years ago (here’s the best battery chargers in the UK for your perusal). 

A more basic charger is now clever enough not to bombard the battery with charge and risk overcharge. But the MXS 5.0 UK battery charger is light years ahead of all others for charging at the right pace at the right time. 

And this care and sophistication results in your battery lasting longer and even being healed (more on that later).

Suffice to say, we like it a lot.

Toughness and Reliability

If you’ve been around the block like we have, with a fair experience with battery chargers, you’ll notice the difference with a CTEK product, compared to the average charger. The MXS5 feels like a high-quality piece of kit. 

Robust casing and protection from the elements is something that CTEK invest plenty of resources in. Something to do with those harsh Swedish winters, perhaps.

The MXS 5.0 has been around for a while and the industrial users we know speak highly of its reliability. They last for a long time and very rarely break down. 

There’s a reason CTEK chargers are used for OE equipment by the prestige manufacturers, like Bentley and Porsche.

The MXS 5 Is Not Just A Charger, It’s A Healer

Almost all batteries are sulfated to some degree, and suffering from acid stratification to some degree. 

The CTEK MSX 5.0 battery charger is like a doctor that analyses its condition and automatically sets up the charging process to best remedy that condition. 

Car battery reconditioning

This results in your battery being not only charged, but healed. It maximises the future charge that the battery will take, and your battery is likely to last longer than if you’d used a more basic charger.

What are the modes that heal your battery?

1) Desulfator Mode (removes sulfation)

This is the very first process the CTEK 5 will do. That’s how important it is. 

What is sulfation? It’s the build-up of lead sulfates on your battery plates. It’s a natural process that happens over time to all lead-acid batteries, and can be worsened by things like long periods of undercharge. 

The MXS5 charger emits high-voltage micro pulses which remove the lead sulfate from your battery plates.

Pulse of desulfating charger

It does so very well; it’s one of the best battery desulfation methods.

Car batteries are actually capable of lasting at least 5 years, and can achieve anything up to 10 years. Sulfation is almost always the reason for your battery dying (conservative estimates say at least 80% of batteries). 

Removing sulfate from the battery plates is the kiss of life for your battery. This CTEK charger’s process, then, is reconditioning your battery.

2) CTEK MXS Recond Mode

This is where things get shaken up. Battery overcharge (and period of battery inactivity) causes acid stratification. This is when hydrogen and oxygen (within the battery acid’s water content) split up, causing the acid to become heavier. 

What does this mean? It means less contact between your battery plates and the acid, so the battery will deliver less power. 

The Reconditioning Mode of the CTEK MXS 5 puts a short, sharp voltage through the battery, which effectively re-mixes the battery acid. Better mixture means better battery health, better ability to charge the battery closer to its maximum possible voltage.

Recon mode of MXS 5.0

Online batteries of this model will sometimes have people saying their batteries just seem to be lasting longer since they started using the CTEK 5, it’s a mystery. Well, now you know why.

MXS5 Is Genuinely Fully Automatic

You can really trust that this battery charger is fully automatic. It’s genuinely a case of set and forget. You just turn it on, and it will work out exactly what type of charge is needed, and how long to do it for.

Trickle Charging/Maintaining You Can Rely On

If your situation requires the car battery to be charged pretty much all the time, the MXS 5.0 charger has got you covered. You can leave it connected, without concern. 

With the exceptional intelligence of the 8-stage charging process, combined with the overall quality of the components, you’ve got nothing to worry about. 

Suitable for Calcium and AGM batteries

Charging Calcium batteries requires a special type of charging because of their unique chemistry.

AGM battery Charging, likewise, requires a charger that is specifically made for AGM, and the MXS 5 certainly is.

Weaknesses of this CTEK MXS 5.0 charger?

No Lithium Mode

It charges all kinds of lead-acid batteries but it can’t charge Lithium batteries.

So if you have one or you’re planning to go that way in future, you’ll either need to get the made-specifically-for-lithium (which has benefits) CTEK Lithium XS battery charger

Or you can get the NOCO Genius 5 or Genius 10 that can charge both lead-acid and lithium batteries.

Severely Discharged Batteries? That’s A Problem

For the MXS 5.0 to charge a vehicle battery, the minimum voltage the vehicle battery can be is 2 volts. Anything below that, and it may not charge.

The NOCO Genius high-range models (such as the Genius 5) have a special function, called Force Mode, that can perform a mini-kick on the battery to jump the voltage high enough to charge. It will work as low as 0 volts. The MXS 5 doesn’t have anything like this.

Old car batteries that need reconditioning

To be clear, below 2 volts is low, much lower than most people will ever encounter. The battery generally has to be very old, or in serious disrepair, to encounter a voltage this low.

Is There Any Other Battery Charger That Would Suit Me Better?

If you’re a professional user, that often encounters extremely highly-discharged batteries, then we recommend the NOCO Genius 10 for your needs. It has Force Mode and the 10 Amp charging has the ultimate power on the market, and is faster. That model is also the one for you if you have old batteries that you’re trying to revive.

If speed, power and capacity are especially important to you, then there’s the larger CTEK MXS 7 charger or the even larger CTEK MXS 10 battery charger has the same functions as this model, except with 10 Amp charging, effectively double the power. And it can act as a 12V power supply (10A).

Anything Else I Need To Know?

It comes with both eyelets and clamps, both of which are strong and durable.

The 5 year warranty is the best we’ve seen on the market.

Safety features are all those that you’d expect of a top-end charger – it’s spark-proof, has reverse polarity protection and short-circuit protection.

The End of Our CTEK MXS 5.0 Review Is Nigh

When all’s said and done, it’s a good ‘un.

You can get it on Amazon here

CTEK MXS 5 fully automatic battery charger specs

That’s about it for our CTEK MXS 5.0 review. Interested? This is where you can buy it on Amazon.