CTEK is a leader in high efficiency, easy use battery charges.
We’re going to look at three of the most popular CTEK models. We’ll compare their features and help you choose the one that works best for you.
The CTEK MUS 7002, CTEK MUS 4.3, and the CTEK MXS 5.0 will all charge a variety of 12-volt batteries, but as you’ll see, there are big differences between these three chargers.
Key Things CTEK 7002 Vs. CTEK MUS 4.3 Vs. CTEK 5.0
CTEK offers products with a similar design. As such, they have many common traits in features and interface.
CTEK chargers all have a unique design. They look very much alike, with similar footprints, cable lengths, and weight. All share an inline style that features a charger that resembles a TV remote more than the traditional box design most users are familiar with.
CTEK starters all have the same basic features that will all charge and maintain a battery with suitable charging levels.
They all have charge indicator lights, clamps, and eyelets for use with batteries in various formats. They all have the same approximate length of time to take a battery with a minimum of two remaining volts to a full charge.
All three models offer reverse polarity protection. Reverse polarity is created when the positive lead from the charger is placed on a negative battery terminal, and the negative charger lead is attached to the positive battery terminal. It protects chargers from creating a short circuit.
In early models from different manufacturers, the charger was destroyed by the reverse voltage. CTEK took care of this problem with this standard feature reverse polarity protection. Suppose you’ve ever seen someone reverse jumper cables between two vehicles, with subsequent sparks and melted jumper cable clamps. In that case, you know what damage this can create.
Any gas-powered car or truck operating with a standard 12-volt electronic system and an engine up to 5.7 liters will work with all three chargers. Even hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius will work with these CTEK chargers.
8-Step charging process
With an eight-step automatic switch, along with four separate charge modes, you have the variability you sometimes require in charging a battery. Fast charges work to get a vehicle started but don’t build up the battery amperage to full capacity as a slower but longer charge will.
A trickle charge will keep the battery maintained at full capacity without the worry of overcharging the battery. An overcharged battery is a damaged battery. They can lose function, drip, or spill battery acid, and you’ll end up buying a new battery to replace it.
CTEK 7002 vs CTEK 4.3 vs CTEK 5.0: Key Differences
Complete Comparison Table of 3 Ctek Models
CTEK MUS 4.3
CTEK MXS 5.0
|Battery capacity||1.2Ah up to 110Ah||1.2Ah up to 110Ah||14Ah to 150Ah|
|Type of charger||Fully automatic – 8 step process||Fully automatic – 8 step process||Fully automatic – 8 step process|
|Reverse polarity protection||✔||✔||✔|
|Pros||+ Charges depleted batteries|
+ 4 charging choices
+ Best for heavy use
|+ 7A fast charging|
+ Battery test
+ Alternator test
|+ Cheapest price
+ Temperature sensor
+ Fastest rated charging time
+ Pulse charge mode for long term maintaining
|Cons||- No testing feature|
- Higher price
|- A complicated user interface||- Shorter battery clamps
- The float charge light is dim in sunshine
Ctek 4.3 has two current modes: 0.8A and 4.3A. These two low-rate charge modes are helpful for small batteries.
CTEK 5.0 charger is the next generation of the 4.3 with several different amps: 0.8A; 1.5A; 2.5A; 4.3A, and switches automatically based on which phase of the charge cycle it is in.
Whereas the Ctek 7002 7A peak charge rate and a supply mode. This is to keep the car powered while changing batteries. However, there is no way to reduce the charge rate for smaller batteries.
SUPPLY Mode In Ctek 7002: Allow Charging A Too Low Battery
The advantage of the 7002 over its CTEK cousins is the SUPPLY MODE, which will deliver a steady 13.6v and up to 7 amps of power to charge a battery if it is too low or dead.
Other smart chargers do not attempt to charge a dead or severely discharged battery because they are equipped with the spark protection feature. This feature is to make sure the leads are correctly connected. When the battery is outputting a very low voltage, the smart charger does not detect and recharge it. This is why many people have two chargers, a smart one and a dumb one for nearly dead batteries.
SUPPLY mode makes the 7002 act like a dumb charger. In SUPPLY mode, Ctek 7002 outputs voltage and charges a dead battery if the battery can accept a charge. Once charged the battery up enough, switch the 7002 to RECOND mode to recondition the battery back to a reliable condition.
Full-function Charger With A Battery Tester: Unique Feature Of The CTEK 4.3
The CTEK MUS 4.3 is a full-function charger with a battery tester included. This fully automatic charger can test battery condition, then revive the battery with a complete charge. It offers three test programs that will check battery condition, performance, and existing power. But it won’t work with completely depleted batteries.
The testing capability of this charger isn’t available in the other two models reviewed.
A caveat comes with these chargers. There must be a minimum of two volts in the battery for the charger to function.
While it won’t function with dead batteries, it will recondition those holding a slight charge with a line conditioning system. This is to prevent spikes, surges, and sparks, making a very safe charging situation.
Temperature Sensor: CTEK MXS 5.0 Unique Feature
The CTEK 5.0 is a moderately priced 4.3 amp battery charger to regulate charge levels based on the outdoor temperature with a temperature sensor.
The temperature sensor that keeps the charging from damaging itself in long charging periods is a key feature of this charger, separating it from the other two chargers in this review.
Warranty and Price
All three models carry 5-year limited warranties.
CTEK 7002 and CTEK 4.3 retail on Amazon for around $100, and CTEK 5.0 is the lowest-priced model at $80.
Which One To Buy?
With all these features presented, the big question is which one should you buy?
CTEK 7002: You Pay For What You Want When Buying It
- Can charge a depleted battery
- Four charging choices
- Best for heavy, professional use
- Can recondition batteries
- No testing feature
- Highest priced charger
This model is the one to choose if you’re an experienced user. The four charging modes, desulfation feature, and ability to recharge a completely depleted battery are a plus for mechanics, people with various vehicles, or someone who stores recreational equipment for a long time, allowing batteries to drain.
CTEK 4.3: Versatile Charger To Charge, Recondition & Test Battery
- 7 amp charging current
- Battery test feature
- Can test your alternator
- A complicated user interface
At the lowest price of the three models we’re comparing, CTEK MUS 4.3 might be just the ticket if you’re looking for an inexpensive charger to maintain a battery, charge a low voltage battery, or recover a nearly depleted battery to a full charge.
CTEK 5.0: An Upgraded Model of CTEK 4.3
- Lowest price
- Fastest charging time
- Be equipped with temperature sensor
- Pulse charge mode for long term maintaining
- Short battery clamps
- The float charge light is dim in sunshine
The complete sealed unit is spark-proof. The reverse-polarity protection is a nice feature, especially if a novice might use the unit with little experience in charging 12-volt batteries.
With reinforced strain relief, high-quality cables allow rough usage without damaging the charger, cables, or clamps.
Can these chargers be used while replacing a battery to keep car electronics from resetting?
Yes, they can.
SUPPLY mode will keep your preset radio stations, built-in GPS, and any other electronics if you connect the Ctek charger to your battery cables before removing them from the battery. The cables will have a full 12-volt charge, so don’t ground yourself and touch the positive lead.
How does CTEK 7002 recondition a battery in desulfation mode or in normal mode?
Desulfication is done in the initial charging sequence and only if it is needed. If desulfation isn’t necessary, the charging sequence moves on to the next phase.
Do you have to disconnect the battery from the vehicle to charge it?
This is a common question, and the answer is no for all CTEK models in this review. Just connect the positive charging cable to the positive (red) terminal on your battery and the negative (black) to the negative battery terminal.
You might hear a few bells and see the hood light come on if the battery was severely depleted, but those are good things.
Will these work with the 12-volt system on a Prius?
There shouldn’t be any problems. The 12V Prius battery, will charge just like any other 12-volt battery the CTEK chargers are designed for.
Will the alternator test on CTEK MUS 4.3 work on a motorcycle?
Yes, if you have a fully charged battery.
Switch the mode button to the alternator, start the bike and rev it to 2000 RPM. If the alternator is charging less than 13.3 volts, it will light up as bad. If it’s above 14 volts you have a good alternator. Something in between means you should have the alternator tested at a shop.
What is the cord type on CTEK chargers?
If it is an American model, it comes with a two-pin cord, designed for 120 volts. If it is an English model, it will have a three-pronged pin, with a heavier cord for 240 volts.
Can I use this charger with a 50-foot, 14 gauge extension cord?
The short answer is you shouldn’t do this unless it’s the only way to get your battery charged.
Use the heaviest gauge extension cord you have. A 14/3 will suffice, but don’t go smaller than 18 gauge.