Posted: August 24, 2013
CTEK Multi US 7002 Battery Charger Review
The Benefits Of Upgrading To A Smarter Battery ChargerBy Dan Sanchez
While lead-acid batteries in cars, boats, and trucks haven't changed much in over 100 years, it's great to see that battery chargers have become smarter, lighter and more efficient. One of the newest to come into the market is the CTEK Multi US 7002. It's one of several battery chargers made by CTEK that can be used on cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, and boats to provide diagnostic and proper charging to extend battery life.
Most battery chargers are bulky, and feature a trickle charge, normal charge and vehicle start settings. But the CTEK battery chargers are completely different. The 7002 for example is more than half the size of a typical charger, and fits into a small stuff-sack that can easily fit into the door panel pocket of most trucks and SUVs. The 7002 charges the battery in eight steps that varies the amount of amperage and voltage delivered to the battery. This delivers a better state of charge, and in the process prevents sulfation and reconditions battery cells for optimum performance. This process can't be accomplished with a typical trickle charger.
Step charging has been used on industrial batteries for many years. It's a proven method that is still being used to charge multiple batteries on golf cart fleets, lift and access vehicles and more. The CTEK Multi US 7002 has some of these features used in expensive, industrial style chargers, but is optimized for everyday use, and is very affordable.
Using the CTEK is very easy. It has high-quality connector clamps that open wide and securely latch on to a variety of vehicle battery terminal charging points. This came in handy when we tested using the charger on a 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee, where the battery is located in a compartment under the passenger seat. The plastic coated connector clamps prevent sparking and when using it on the Jeep, we were easily able to connect them to the remote charging terminals located under the hood, away from the battery. For vehicles like the Jeep where the battery is difficult to get to, CTEK provides an additional harness that allows you to permanently mount the positive and negative charging wires to the vehicle's battery, or charging terminals, and plug in the charger whenever you need to perform maintenance.
When you attach the CTEK and turn it on, the system automatically checks the state of the battery. Then it applies the correct amount of charge, up to 14.4 volts, needed to bring the battery to full capacity. A cold mode can be selected for charging a battery during cold temperatures around 41 degrees F. In this mode, it simply applies a slightly higher voltage, 14.7 volts.
While all you really need to do is hook up the charger's terminals and push the start button, the CTEK 7002 has other functions that come in handy for the truck, RV and boat owner. We especially liked the Supply mode, that allows the CTEK to deliver 12 volts of power to act as a power supply to your vehicle, up to 7 amps. This comes in handy if you're changing a battery, or performing maintenance on you vehicle in which you need to unplug the negative battery terminal. The CTEK's Supply mode provides the power so your vehicle can maintain the current computer readings, radio settings and more.
The Reconditioning mode is used to recover batteries that have been severely discharged and the acid in the battery's electrolyte has separated and settled at the bottom of the battery case, (a condition called stratification). The Reconditioning mode charges the battery and then applies up to 15.7 volts that causes the electrolyte to vent and bubble, remixing the acid and water within the battery. Normally this is done with the battery outside of the vehicle to prevent any damage to electrical systems, but it's a great way to save a battery, and it works with AGM or spiral cell-type batteries too.
The LED indicator lights on the face of the CTEK show you what stage the charger is in, and the condition of the battery. A handy instruction booklet is also included and offers important suggestions on using the charger in a variety of conditions and modes. The CTEK charger can also be used to maintain a battery on a vehicle that has been in storage, as it constantly monitors the battery's condition and keeps it healthy.
The CTEK 7002 is definitely much easier to use, compact and much smarter. Add in the fact that by extend the life of the battery, and it's also a money saving device too. For more information on the complete line of CTEK battery charger products, visit www.smartercharger.com.