CTEK Recond Mode: Ultimate Guide (Recondition Car Batteries)

Here is the Ultimate Guide to CTEK Recond Mode.

This mode has quite the reputation for rescuing dead batteries. The Car Battery Geek team knows a few people who’ve used it successfully to rejuvenate batteries and if you check out forums around the world there a plenty of stories of long-dead batteries being revived.

Since you’re here, you probably know that it’s a Mode on CTEK battery chargers. You may even know that’s used for reconditioning batteries, even rescuing dead batteries.

Since you’re here searching for info on it, you may not necessarily know exactly what the CTEK Recondition Mode does and whether you should use it. 

Luckily we’re here to help.

Without any further ado, let’s get into it then.

CTEK Recond Mode

What Is CTEK Recond Mode?

Most simply – CTEK’s Recond Mode is a special mode on CTEK’s battery chargers to recondition your battery back to health. 

This mode fixes a common lead-acid battery problem called acid stratification, most often caused by your car battery not getting enough charge, or if it’s been completely emptied of charge.

So Recon Mode cures this problem and returns energy to your battery after a deep discharge.

What problem does this Reconditioning Mode cure?

Acid stratification.

And what is that?

Well, your lead-acid battery has lead plates inside that are surrounded by free-flowing electrolyte This electrolyte is a mixture of battery acid (sulphuric acid) and water.

For the battery to work well, this mixture needs to remain a good mixture. That means you don’t want it to become separated back into acid and water.

So acid stratification is when the acid and water become separated, and the acid will accumulate at the bottom of the battery. This “starves” the top of the battery plates of contact with the acid. 

The less contact between the acid and the battery plates, the less power the battery can deliver.

This can happen naturally, even by gravity, over time. But it’s worsened if the battery doesn’t get enough charge or lies unused for a long time.

How does it work?

Basically, it puts an increased voltage through your battery, which caused a kind of controlled gassing. 

This gassing causes the battery acid and water to mix together better.

As we said earlier, a healthy a battery needs a fully mixed electrolyte (the mixture of acid and water).

So when the mixture is better, there is more contact between the lead battery plates and the acid. This process, then, returns energy to the battery. 

Car Battery that needs CTEK Recondition Mode

A car battery in dire need of CTEK Recondition Mode!

When Should I Use Recond Mode?

1.) After a deep discharge.

That means the battery is empty for whatever reason. Maybe you didn’t use for a while because you were 

2.) When your battery is showing signs of distress.

What kind of signs of distress?

Maybe it’s not holding charge very well. If it’s struggling to start your car on cold mornings. 

An early warning sign can be if your electronics – like your light or sound system – seem diminished in power.

You can check out the expected lifespan of your battery in ‘How Long Do Car Batteries Last UK‘.

You can also use a car battery tester, to check the CCA value (what does car battery CCA mean?). If it’s low, the battery is in poor health.

3.) Once per year (as a pro-active precaution). 

Give it a go on CTEK Recond Mode once every year, even if it’s absolutely fine. You might as well.

Trust us when we say it’s always good to keep your battery in good condition rather than trying to rescue it when it’s starting to suffer.

If you take action keep your car battery in the best condition – it’ll stay healthy longer and that means you’ll maximise the battery’s lifespan.

Furthermore, if you do this it’s less likely to break down or struggle to start on those icy cold winter mornings.

How To Use CTEK Recondition Mode

1.) Connect the CTEK Battery charger to your car battery.

2.) Connect the charger to the wall socket.

3.) Press the Mode button until Recond Mode is selected.

That’s it.

The CTEK charger will now run through its full 8-step charging program, including Recond Mode.

What’s the difference between selecting the normal battery charging program and selecting the Recond Mode?

Recond Mode just adds the Recond step to the other 7 steps. Making 8 steps in total. (So the normal charging program is only 7 steps). 

CTEK’s Reconditioning Process is Not Just Recond

CTEK’s chargers are the best for reconditioning batteriesbut it’s actually not only about Recond Mode.

The first step in CTEK’s full 8-stage charging process is Desulfation Mode.

That means the charger removes sulfation (the accumulation of lead sulfate deposits on your battery plates). Sulfation is the cause of death of 84% of all batteries, but it can be reversed (here are the best ways to reverse sulfation.

Using a desulfator charger like CTEK’s MXS 5.0 and MXS 10 (more on them later), can effectively remove this sulfation. More on battery sulfation and how desulfators work here.

This is the first step in all charging programs, it will always perform the Desulfation. That’s an indication of how important this step is. 

Sulfation will always naturally gather on battery plates, and it’s worse if the battery goes a long time unused, or is undercharged.

So it’s absolutely crucial to perform desulfation on car batteries for them to last longer and remain healthy, CTEK know this.


There’s a Recond AGM Mode.

Yet AGM batteries (check out the best AGM battery charger UK) don’t need Recond Mode since they don’t suffer from acid stratification.

That’s because their acid is absorbed on fibreglass mats, not free-flowing around the battery). 

How can this be?

The answer is simple. The combination of AGM Mode and Recond Mode is for Calcium (Silver Calcium) batteries.

Calcium batteries also need a high voltage charge, like AGM batteries. And they do suffer from acid stratification (as their insides have free-flowing acid electrolyte).

Therefore, the Recond AGM Mode is ideal for reconditioning Calcium batteries.

Do other battery chargers have a Reconditioning Mode?

Yes NOCO’s Genius range do. They’re the only other maker we’ve seen with results close to CTEK.

They’ve also got a wealth of proven results in terms of reviving and rejuvenating batteries. 

You can check out the 5A Genius 5 UK or the 10A Genius 10 UK. Or this analysis of CTEK vs. NOCO chargers.

NOCO are one of the top battery accessories companies in the world, with the best jump starters (see this NOCO GB50 review).

But CTEK’s reconditioning is still the best, in our estimation. 

Which CTEK battery chargers have Recond?

There’s the CTEK MXS 5.0 Recond Mode. We’ve done a full review of the MXS 5.0.

And the CTEK MXS 10 also has Recond Mode. Guess what? A full review of the MXS 10 is right here on Car Battery Geek too.

These two chargers are a bit special – in our experience, and many others, they’re not just battery chargers, they’re battery doctors. They can heal your battery.

If you’re not sure how many Amps of charging you need for your battery, here’s: What Amp car battery charger do I need?

Then there’s the new CTEK CS Free (a combined charger and jump starter, of sorts!).

This is because of Recond Mode, combined with Desulfation Mode. 

And even better, they can make it last longer. For plenty of people, these chargers actually make their car batteries last considerably longer than they otherwise would, even 2 to 3 times longer.

Since it’s a hardy, well-made piece of kit, these chargers can save you on your battery costs, and even more significantly, lessen your chances of breaking down (50% of all breakdowns are battery-related), or failing to start on cold mornings.

Click on the pic if you want to check it out the MXS 5.0 on Amazon.

Click on the pic if you want to check it out the MXS 10 on Amazon.

What are the signs that show I should use this Mode?

Use Recond Mode any time you identify that the battery is showing signs of weakness, not starting at times, or having some difficulties with starting. Here’s how to know if your car battery needs to be replaced?

However, much better than that is to have a battery monitor that you can check any time, and it’ll show you the health of the battery.

In the past, monitors would only show voltage, which has limited value, but there’s now a high quality 12V battery monitor that you can check any time using an App, it connects via Bluetooth. It’s on our list of the best car battery monitors.

Is Recond Mode In CTEK’s Chargers The Best Solution?

It’s certainly one of them.

Some people may find a battery desulfator is more effective.

A desulfator is a device that attached to your battery and puts a high-frequency pulse across the battery plates that removes sulfation.

The difference is that a desulfator is permanently attached to your battery. It works every time you use your car – sending this pulse that breaks down the lead sulfate, and stops sulfate from forming.

A desulfating battery charger is only working when you’re charging the battery, whereas a desulfator is always working to do so. Prevention is better than cure, as they say.

Here are the best battery desulfators UK (that actually work).

Are there any other solutions for battery reconditioning?

If you’re concerned about your battery failing, you can keep a jump starter in the car. Check out this Topdon JS3000 Review. It’s small, light and highly powerful.

CTEK Recond Mode: A Summary

We hope that answers all your questions about CTEK Recond Mode.

It’s an excellent feature of CTEK battery chargers, playing a significant role in keeping batteries healthy. And even rejuvenating batteries that seemed dead to the world.

Now you know what it does, when to use and how it works. Enjoy using it!