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How To Charge A Car Battery – CTEK Explains

The 12V battery is a fundamental component in an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car, powering various electrical systems like lights, radio, and the vehicle's computer system. So, how do you charge a car battery? Charging this battery is a straightforward task achievable with a compatible charger. Regular maintenance enhances the battery's lifespan, preventing unexpected starting issues. In this guide, we'll explore effective steps for charging a 12V battery in an ICE car.

1. Locate the Battery: 

Open the car's hood to find the 12V battery, typically situated in the engine bay. Identify its location, commonly on one side or in the center. Knowing your battery type is crucial, as charging methods may differ. Check this CTEK guide for assistance: Find my car battery – A CTEK guide

2. Check the Battery Condition:

Examine the battery for damage, corrosion, or leaks. Address any issues before attempting to charge the battery. Efficient charging requires specific voltage and current, which should be considered.

3. Prepare the Charger:

Connect the red (positive) clamp to the battery's positive terminal and the black (negative) clamp to the negative terminal. It’s critical to do this correct unless you have a CTEK charger which is reverse polarity protected, which means that nothing happens if you get it wrong! Set your charger to the appropriate battery type if applicable.

4. Temperature Compensation:

Extreme temperatures affect charging efficiency. CTEK’s MXS 5.0, equipped with temperature sensing capabilities, ensures optimal charging conditions by preventing excessively high or low temperatures.

5. Adjust Charger Settings:

Depending on your charger, adjust settings like charge rate and voltage. For automotive batteries, a low charge rate is typically recommended.

6. Charge the Battery:

Initiate the charging process by activating the battery charger. Monitor the battery voltage periodically. Once it reaches a sufficient charge (usually between 12.6 and 12.8 volts), halt the charging process. CTEK’s products allow extended charging periods without the risk of overcharging. This means that the user does not need to monitor the voltage because the charger is smart enough to handle it.


Introducing the MXS 5.0, a cutting-edge battery charger that combines a host of impressive features to redefine your charging experience. With a charging capacity reaching up to 110AH and the ability to maintain larger batteries up to 160AH, this charger offers versatility for various battery sizes.

1. Unique reconditioning mode

One standout feature is the unique reconditioning mode, specially designed to optimize battery performance. Equipped with built-in temperature sensing capabilities, the MXS 5.0 ensures precise charging tailored to the specific needs of your batteries.

2. 8 step charging program

The charger is not only compatible with AGM batteries but also supports new EFB (enhanced flooded battery) charging. Its 8-step charging program provides comprehensive battery care, covering everything from charging to maintenance.

3. Spark-proof and reverse polarity protected

Safety is a top priority with the MXS 5.0, featuring a sealed unit for enhanced protection. The charger is spark-proof and reverse-polarity protected, ensuring a secure charging environment. It delivers clean voltage and current, guaranteeing the health of your batteries.

4. Premium input and output cable

Practicality meets durability with the inclusion of a premium input and output cable, complete with robust strain relief. And for added peace of mind, the MXS 5.0 comes with a generous 5-year warranty, making it a reliable choice for your battery charging needs. Upgrade to the MXS 5.0 and elevate your charging experience to a new level.

Maintaining a 12V battery in an ICE car is a crucial element of routine vehicle care, and the choice of charger plays a pivotal role in this process. The CTEK MXS 5.0 emerges as a dependable solution, distinguished by its advanced features and user-friendly design, ideal for the upkeep and revitalization of automotive batteries. By grasping the complexities of battery charging and opting for a high-quality charger like the MXS 5.0 car owners can guarantee reliable vehicle starts and optimal performance of electrical systems.