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What Trickle Charger/Conditioner


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Winter coming and this year I have a garage with power so I thought it would be a good idea to get a couple of trickle chargers that will also look after the batteries when the cars are not in use. What do people here go for and any other advice on best practice using them (considering alarms, immobilizers, etc) would be appreciated?

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I have 4 full electronic / "self thinking" trickle chargers from "Lidl" in permanent operation (and a spare one for "if")each one purchased for €19,99 = GBP 14,50 .(2x per year they are limitedly offered).

It is a Chinese made charger from the same region where the chargers of CTEK are produced............however CTEK's marketing is outstanding

They are individually connected with my Esprit Turbo SE, Classic Saab 900, Mazda RX-8 HP and my Honda Goldwing.

All connections by a male/female 12 v plug in the front spoiler ........

This makes me sure that they are permanently 100% loaded even if a certain car is not used for a longer period for instance 2 months.

I have them over 15 years and they never left me down.......CTEK has the name and is unnecessary expensive......

The charging principles of the CTEK (which is not a high-level sience at all) are copied by this Chinese charger manufacturer, selling his charger under different names by different outlets as Lidl, Aldi, Hallfrauds and many giant autoparts / general store chains.

They produce hundreds of thousands units each year and their qualitycontrol is high standard.

I have/had never problems with the batteries..............however btw. if your battery is fully unloaded/absolutely flat then in principal it is simply dead; even CTEK can not help him to operate further as an adequate battery ...... of course some / a little life can be extruded but it remains a disabeld aggregate. 


regards, Ruud

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  • Gold FFM



As above.

I've had or used 3 different CTEKs as well as a number of other chargers. The CTEK never let me down it paid itself back by reconditioning several batteries that were deemed dead. Very sturdy to, I once (accidentally) ran over a CTEK with my Range Rover and it survived! Not sure it was still waterproof though...

A friend who borrowed mine recently commented that it seemed to charge better and faster than her generic one, despite having a lower spec.

I like the fact I never have to second guess a CTEK: leave on trickle for months or years without worry, use it in standard mode and be sure the battery is as full as it will get or try recondition and know you'll squeeze every drop of life out of the battery (even if other chargers don't seem to manage). Not saying there aren't other good chargers, but if you look around  CTEK doesn't have to be expensive. I got my last one from, an MX10 for €100 + VAT. :cheers:  If you don't need high power or reconditioning, you can find one for as little as €50.

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.


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Thanks guys. CTEK ordered from Amazon. One of the reviews says it can be plugged into the cigarette lighter - sounds convenient, is this correct?

Yes, however make sure that without the ignition key in/activated, the cigarette lighter shows 12v tension (Is connected to the battery)..........

Congratulations, Ruud

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Of the 3 x 12V sockets on the Evora only 1 can take the charger.  (The boot) Having said that I was still blowing the odd fuse I noticed on high loads.  I was using my older Porsche tickle charger but through a timer plug (like you use on a Xmas tree) and having it come on for an hour a day for the 30 days offshore.


So have invested just about 6 months ago in the CTEK and the battery connection leads pack which are directly attached and lead out the compartment into the boot.  Nice and simple plug in and no fuses to blow.  I fitted  second connection pack to the other car an Evoque so as not to remove the battery compartment cover when charging.

A LEGS man and proud to declare it! Lotus Enthusiasts Group Scotland

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I have done mine the other way round.......

I have put in battery cut off switches........


one car has a discarnect...the others have big red battery cut off keys


also works as an anti theft device......



The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)


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The only 2 issues with that are that it resets the ECU each time and be sure to give the car a couple of mins after switching off for the ECU to completely shut down or you'll kill it mid process. 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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yep......the only one I need to worry about is the M100.....

the Evora hasn't got one on.....and the others don't have ECUs........

The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)


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CTEK with extension cable from the battery on both Lotuses. Very convenient on the Esprit which has a hole in the trunk. Haven't found any similar hole in the Evora so there I just let it come out of the trunk while gently closing the lid.

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Can't beat a CTEK.


Their technology might be copied but they're changing it as well, so the copied stuff will probably be an old generation.


Where I originally thought in the same lines (good marketing, same old trick) I found out my 'old' 3600 wasn't capable of reviving an old battery, so when I needed a secondary charger, I thought I'd hook it up and the silly thing got it back working.


Opened them (as one needs to know ;)) and found completely different electronics which to me looked pretty complicated for just a charger.


I've recently had one die on me, four years old, called our supplier, explained.. no questions asked, new equivalent charger was delivered next day. They didn't even ask for the old one.

I reckon there's some influence because we buy these in quantities but still, I think they're pretty good at what they do :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

FWIW....CTEK are very good, though I bought this one (motorcareltd on ebay- £33.99) (not because I think it's better...I just liked the look of it !)  :


Ring RSCA4
Intelligent Battery Charger

8 Stage charging process

Suitable for all types of battery including batteries for stop/start vehicles

8 stage smart battery charger to deliver optimum battery charging. This smart charger has a built in microprocessor that analyses the battery condition and regulates the battery charge to ensure maximum battery performance

The charger has specific charging modes for different types of battery. The modes suit lead acid, Gel and AGM batteries. It is also suited to charging more complex batteries fitted to vehicles with Start/Stop technology

Includes a power supply mode to maintain a constant battery voltage when devices are connected to a vehicle and draining battery power, this mode enables you to leave the charger connected permanently to the battery to maintain the voltage in a safe and efficient way

The RSCA4 features LED charge indicators to show what stage you are at in the charging process, giving you clear indication to when the battery will be fully charged. 

Temperature compensation is also a clever feature on the RSCA4 which adjusts the charging voltage depending on the ambient temperature.

The RSCA4 is supplied with battery clamp leads and also ring terminal leads for a more permanent connection

Input Voltage: 220 - 240v AC

Output:    7.2v - 1a
               14.4v - 1a
               14.4v - 4a
               14.7v - 4a
               13.8v - 4a 

Types of battery: Lead Acid, Gel, EFB, Calcium, AGM
Battery Size: 10aH - 120aH

Protection: IP65 


Being forgetful and stupid), I've had to use it 3 times on a FLAT, FLAT battery...seems to have done the's on permanently now...

Edited by Eosman
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Have used the C-TEK for 3 years only problem was with the charger adaptor for the cigarette lighter in my car as its not really deep enough so have had to put 4 O Rings on the end of the adapter to stop it falling out  and extend the leads otherwise all good 




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  • 4 months later...

Ok.....2nd time this winter I've had a flat battery.........

Think I'm going to get a ctek......questions.....

Which one?....there seems to be a few options

Which cigarette socket is the permanent live?.........

Can I leave it in place with the battery cover on?....

I've got an Evora.....



The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)


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