CTEK is the first name that usually comes to mind when it comes to car battery chargers, and they have an abundance of car chargers for any number of situations… From the more heavy-duty options to outfit your workshop with to high-tech, automatic, all-in-one battery chargers that’ll do most of the thinking for you. As they say, innovation never stops, and CTEK has showcased that determined spirit of ingenuity with what they now claim is the world’s first car battery charger, the CTEK CT5 TIME TO GO, which’ll tell you exactly when your car’s battery will be topped up and is ready to go.

This stand-out feature on its own is more valuable than you might think, given that pretty much all car battery chargers take a while to charge a battery. Realistically, no one really knows just how long it takes, and even the best battery chargers encounter unexpected variables that’ll slow down and hinder your charging times. These may include the battery charger not being able to consistently hit its peak amperage, not to mention the condition of your battery, and so on. Consequently, a lot of the time, I’d just be staring at my battery charger, not realising when it might be done charging. Now, CTEK has a solution.

Specs-wise, the CTEK CT5 TIME TO GO outputs at 5.0A, and as such, it won’t charge your car’s 12V battery as fast as a higher-powered 10A charger for example. Nonetheless, 5.0A should still be more than sufficient for most cars. And depending on how much voltage your car’s battery needs, it outputs 14.4V, 14.7V, or 15.8V. This should make it suitable for a diverse array of different 12V batteries that you’d find on most passenger cars, among other smaller vehicles. At the very top of the CTEK CT5 TIME TO GO is where you’ll find its unique selling point, the countdown timer that lets you know precisely when your battery will be done charging.

Makes Charging Your Car A Lot More Predictable

By comparison, most car battery chargers that you’d normally come across show which part of the battery cycle it’s in now as it continues charging. This is a bit harder to estimate just how much left is needed for the battery to charge compared to a simpler, hourly countdown timer. On the CTEK CT5 TIME TO GO, there’s a series of LEDs that’ll light up corresponding to how long your car’s battery has left before it’s done charging. This goes from >8 hours on the scale, to approximately 4 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour, or less than an hour. Once the LEDs light up ‘GO’, then your car’s battery is fully charged and it’s ready to go.

On top of that, if you continue to leave the CTEK CT5 TIME TO GO plugged in, it’ll light up ‘CARE’, which is its trickle charging mode. On the other end of the scale, if you notice the LEDs lighting up ‘TRY’, it’s the charger’s way of telling you that you can attempt starting your car once. In other words, your car’s battery charge is too low, but you could still give it a try and turn it over. Aside from that, there are extra charging and maintenance programmes built-in, too. There’s ‘NORMAL’ for medium-sized lead-acid batteries, as well as ‘AGM’ for medium-sized AGM-type car batteries, and ‘RECOND’ for reconditioning batteries that have been deeply discharged.

Best of all, the CTEK CT5 TIME TO GO is superbly easy to use, even for folks who’ve never before used a battery charger. It’s pretty much plug-and-play, so just connect it to your car’s battery and let the charger automatically top up your 12V battery, allowing it to breathe life back into the battery. As is expected, CTEK has included a vast number of safety systems, including a temperature compensation system, non-sparking clamps, reverse polarity protection, short-circuit proofing, and more. Speaking of, CTEK supplies two different cables that you could use with your car as it’s charging the battery.

Effortless To Use, And Just As Reliable And Durable

One of them is a traditional set of crocodile clamps that you can clamp onto your car’s 12V battery. And, there’s also a hardwire solution that you could cable to your battery terminals, allowing you to more easily plug it into the CTEK CT5 TIME TO GO the next time around. Either way, there’s a good bit of length in these cables, making it easier to reach your car. Moreover, the adapters on either end of each cable, as with a lot of CTEK products, are equally very good, as well. Alternatively, CTEK also sells cable extensions, where you could lengthen the in-the-box cables even more if you otherwise can’t reach your car.

As for the packaging of the CTEK CT5 TIME TO GO, it’s actually pretty small and lightweight, so there’ll be no issue stuffing this in your glovebox or your boot for emergencies if you need that added peace of mind. As is a given now, pretty much like other CTEK products, it’s superbly solid and well-built. Furthermore, with IP65 dust and water resistance, there should be a decent amount of weather-proofing, should you need to charge your car outdoors. Overall, for an MSRP of £100, the CTEK CT5 TIME TO GO is one of the best car chargers that you can get for the money, particularly so should you value ease of use and robust quality.

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