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Thread: CTEK & Battery woes

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    CTEK & Battery woes

    Well, I've got myself in a bit of a pickle and I'm not convinced I'm thinking it through properly.

    The hallowed CTEK was taken off the Jag and used to breathe life into younger son's Pug. The CTEK was not returned to its rightful place in good time, and now the Jag's battery is absolutely dead. I can get into the car & the boot on the emergency key and I have reconnected the CTEK, (which quickly goes to Stage 2, CTEK fans).
    The problem is that all the sidelights, number plate lights, etc, are permanently on whilst charging. This means that, after a few hours, the CTEK gives up and goes into error mode. What is my best course of action to get the CTEK to stay charging? Is it to remove Fuse F5 from the Central Junction Box? Or is it go the whole hog and remove Fuse 175A F from the Battery Junction Box?

    All helpful suggestions will be gratefully received,
    Rob
    2006 XK Convertible, 4.2, Indigo Blue with Ivory/Slate Blue, 20" Sentas, chrome grilles & gills, XK60-type body kit & exhaust tails.
    2019 VW Arteon Elegance, 2.0 TDi, Turmeric Yellow.

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    Senior Member trw999's Avatar
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    Rob, I may be wrong (I often am!) but my understanding is that the CTEK is a battery conditioner and that for a dead battery you’ll need a good old fashioned charger.

    Tim

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    Senior Member Neilr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trw999 View Post
    Rob, I may be wrong (I often am!) but my understanding is that the CTEK is a battery conditioner and that for a dead battery you’ll need a good old fashioned charger.

    Tim
    A "CTEK" is a charger with varying charging current capabilities depending on the model, so should normally work but may take a long time if it is a small model charging a big battery.

    My first worry would be why are lights on as long as the lights are normal and not LEDs that don't somehow match, etc.

    I would also be tempted to disconnect the battery from the car, charge it and try again. Next step would be to get the battery tested.
    S-Type 3.0 Manual MY2001 in Pacific Blue with Cashmere Leather Sport Seats, Sunroof, Melbourne Alloys, Premium Sound plus some other stuff ... 55k miles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by trw999 View Post
    Rob, I may be wrong (I often am!) but my understanding is that the CTEK is a battery conditioner and that for a dead battery you’ll need a good old fashioned charger.

    Tim
    I am using the MXS 5.0, which is both a Charger and a Conditioner. I know that CTEKs will not help a battery that has been left for months, but in this case it was left for 3 weeks, so I would expect the CTEK to be OK.
    2006 XK Convertible, 4.2, Indigo Blue with Ivory/Slate Blue, 20" Sentas, chrome grilles & gills, XK60-type body kit & exhaust tails.
    2019 VW Arteon Elegance, 2.0 TDi, Turmeric Yellow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neilr View Post
    A "CTEK" is a charger with varying charging current capabilities depending on the model, so should normally work but may take a long time if it is a small model charging a big battery.

    My first worry would be why are lights on as long as the lights are normal and not LEDs that don't somehow match, etc.

    I would also be tempted to disconnect the battery from the car, charge it and try again. Next step would be to get the battery tested.
    I think you're right and disconnecting the battery is the only way, Neil.

    On a side note, the lamps are normal. When the original battery decided to fizzle out 3 years ago, one of the neighbours reported seeing all the lights on the car during the night - I've just assumed its an XK thing, just when the battery needs it least
    2006 XK Convertible, 4.2, Indigo Blue with Ivory/Slate Blue, 20" Sentas, chrome grilles & gills, XK60-type body kit & exhaust tails.
    2019 VW Arteon Elegance, 2.0 TDi, Turmeric Yellow.

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    Senior Member Daverichardson's Avatar
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    Have you tried setting it to recondition before charging? I have the CTEK MXS10 and believe that you have to choose that option if you want to recondition.
    2006 XK Indigo Blue with Caramel seats and Sable carpets

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    Senior Member Neilr's Avatar
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    It is possible that one of the cells has shorted out causing odd symptoms. That would mean new battery time.

    Mine doesn't get used a lot and sometimes just one or two deep discharges has killed a battery
    S-Type 3.0 Manual MY2001 in Pacific Blue with Cashmere Leather Sport Seats, Sunroof, Melbourne Alloys, Premium Sound plus some other stuff ... 55k miles.
    XKR 5.0 Speed Pack MY2011 in Polaris White with Ivory/Charcoal Leather, Nevis Alloys and R-Performance Interior plus some other stuff ... 17k miles.
    Hyundai Tucson 1.6T AWD MY2016 in White Sand. Basic, comfortable and surprisingly fast and competent ... 12k miles.
    FIAT Coupe MY1997 in Steel Grey with Tan Leather ... 55k miles.

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    Senior Member Jimbov8's Avatar
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    Here is the user guide for your CTEK, page 3 will help you understand what’s going on. https://www.manualsdir.com/manuals/3...50.html?page=3

    Disconnect the battery from the car, no need to remove it just disconnect it. Select the recondition mode and try that. If the CTEK still does not get past stage 2 after the max time allowed then, as Neil alluded to, you may have a dropped cell, in which case it’s time to renew.

    The CTEK is a charger/conditioner/maintainer.
    Jim.
    2012 XKR Black pack, Speed Pack, Aero pack, Rat pack. Past:-87'XJS 3.6L, 93'XJ40 3.2L gold, 95'XJ6 4.0L sport, 00'XJ8 3.2L sport, 2005 XK8 4.2L coupe, 2009 XK 5.0L Portfolio in that order and enjoyed all of 'em.

    I do not offer advice, I only say what I would do with the set of circumstances presented. Your choice always.

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    Had the same issue so i disconnected the battery. I also bought a CTEK 10, i think the 5 is too weak for our huge batteries. I did have success with a bike optimate but only with battery disconnected

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    As others have said, the CTEK is a battery charger which automatically varies its charging current/voltage to suit the state of charge of the battery, as distinct from an older battery charger which was either
    - a 'bulk' charger which fed a lot of current into a battery and therefore charged it quite quickly, but kept on doing so even when the battery was fully charged, and which therefore had to be manually switched off (to avoid 'cooking' the battery) when it had done its job; or
    - a 'trickle' charger which fed a small current into the battery which could therefore be left connected for much longer - almost indefinitely - and therefore could serve as a 'battery maintainer', but which would take ages to recharge a heavily discharged battery.

    The CTEK is therefore described as an 'intelligent' battery charger which can not only do both jobs (and actually do either job better than either an old bulk charger or a trickle charger) but also automatically adjusts itself to do either job as needed, and do so at the optimum rate of charge in all circumstances.

    It is therefore a 'battery maintainer' and a 'battery charger' which does either job automatically as needed, and does either/both jobs superbly. (It can also be set to go through a special routine to 'refresh' a battery, but that is a separate, additional feature. See later.)

    Sorry to labour this point, but people sometimes (and repeatedly!) say the 'the CTEK is not a battery charger, it is just a battery maintainer'. It is BOTH, and in many ways better than either because it is automatic. This is why it is so effective, so popular, and so frequently recommended. It is really kind to your battery.
    _ _ _

    Having said all that: the CTEK will not even begin to charge a really severely discharged battery, presumably because its internal 'logic' is programmed to look for a certain minimum voltage before it will recognise that it genuinely has a battery connected to it at all. So you may have to stuff some initial current into a severely discharged (almost completely 'flat') battery to get its terminal voltage up to a level where the CTEK will recognise it and begin to charge it. A crude, old-fashioned 'bulk' charger might be able to do this, or you could start the car with a good battery and a set of jump leads (leaving the heavily discharged battery in place, in parallel) and let the car's alternator try to put some initial amps into it.

    However it's worth remembering that even if a severely discharged battery can be 'recovered' it will almost certainly have suffered a degree of permanent damage, and will never be as good as it was before or should be.
    _ _ _

    There are circumstances where a CTEK will start to re-charge a battery but apparently come to a stop before completing the job, and that may be the case described by the OP (Villkanova27). This sometimes happens with a battery which has been compromised, or which has previously been severely discharged. I guess the CTEK's internal logic senses that something 'isn't quite right' about the battery, and will therefore not continue to complete the re-charging process or to misleadingly indicate that the battery is satisfactorily charged.

    The fix may be to use the CTEK's 'refresh (or 'recon' feature) mentioned above. Disconnect the charger, wait a short while, then re-connect it, set it to 'refresh' (or 'recon') and start again. This usually works for me; the CTEK programme presumably kicks enough life into the battery to get it into a good enough state for the CTEK to then be willing to complete the charging process.

    Just remember, though, that even though the battery will then apparently be fully charged, it will almost certainly have suffered permanent damage and this supposedly 'full' charge may not actually amount to many useful Ampere-hours in the case of a compromised battery. Probably time for a new battery, from Tayna or whoever.

    Hope all thus waffle helps - good luck!
    Last edited by Titus; 01-10-20 at 10:37.
    Jaguar 2007 4.2 litre XK (X150) convertible
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