Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CTEK 3300 Battery Charger Review

ByGregory Evans

The CTEK 3300 is an intelligent lead-acid battery charger designed for 12 volt applications in the form of many vehicle types like everyday cars, trucks and motorcycles to boats and ATVs. This versatility also extends to all types of lead-acid 12 volt batteries. That includes GEL, MF, Wet, and AGM batteries.

Being an intelligent charger, the 3300 will care for the battery using a four-step process. It is this multi-step process that CTEK was built on as a company. The charger will analyze, repair, and recharge batteries with care so that the battery isn't harmed and has the longest life possible.

A normal, simple fast charger and even some trickle chargers don't take care to manage the voltage and charge level of the battery. When care is not taken by the charger, the battery will lose life due to excess heat. In a worst-case scenario, this could mean a completely dead battery that cannot be charged again.

Instead, the 3300 constantly monitors the battery's condition as it quickly charges. Once the battery reaches 80% charge, the charger slows down the charge and trickle charges the battery up to 100% capacity. At this point, the charger will cease charging and will begin maintaining the battery. It does this by "pulse-charging" the battery when it detects discharge and by doing so will keep the battery in peak operation. This is the core process for the safe and gentle charging of a battery.

But that's only telling half the story about CTEK's multi-step charging process. One of the major problems with a lead-acid battery is that as the battery is discharged, lead sulfate crystals will form in the acid of the battery. These crystals inhibit charge, and with more build up a battery will have reduced charge life. If the battery is stored for a significant amount of time with little or no charge, these crystals will continue to grow and could completely kill your battery.

The 3300 will work to dissolve these crystals as it charges the battery, restoring old dead or nearly dead batteries to operation.

For about $74.99 retail, you also get a number of other features specific to CTEK battery chargers. For one, you get a very durable unit that can resist water and dust, and can withstand shocks and extreme temperatures. CTEK claims a normal operating temperature range of -4F to

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