Jamie orders a battery conditioner for the RS while it’s not being used regularly

My poor Focus RS has sat for the last few weeks without turning a wheel. A combination of work, poor weather, and two demanding young children (plus starting work on another imminent long-term project… more on that next month) has meant that since it was cleaned and put away for winter, I haven’t as much as looked at the RS.

But the last time I did this – during the lockdown of 2020 – when I eventually did go back to the car, the battery was totally dead. The car was just over four years old, so while not entirely unheard of, I was hoping the battery would last longer than that. Of course, it would have if I had used the car regular… Or used a trickle charger or battery conditioner.

Well, I’m not going to make the same mistake twice. So, for the last few weeks I’ve been looking at the various battery conditioners available. Prices range from the budget end for a basic trickle charger, right through to a couple for hundred quid for a top of the range full-blown battery conditioner. The top spec models offer so much more than just a recharge.

There’s one name that stands out in the world of battery conditioners; CTEK are widely regarded as the best in the business.

I jumped on the website and started looking at the various models available, and because I’m a sucker for up-spec’ing everything, I soon found myself looking at their latest CS ONE model. While I wanted a unit that packed all the latest tech and clever features, I must admit I’m not the greatest when it comes to electrics. I know two things about vehicle electrics: you can’t see it; and if get it wrong you can totally destroy a car. That’s enough for me to know not to touch them.

But, luckily the CS ONE is so clever that it does everything for you; There’s no buttons to press or modes to select, and you can’t even connect it to the wrong terminals thanks to its polarity free clamps that automatically detect which is positive and negative. You literally connect each clamp, plug it in, and turn it on. That’s because CTEK’s APTO (Adaptive Charging Technology) technology recognises the type and size of battery connected, and then automatically works out what type of charge it needs.

There’s even a dedicated app too, which allows you to run specific programmes for things like reconditioning or reviving dead batteries, or providing a constant 12v supply to ensure power during service work – ideal for OBD remapping when the last thing you want is a power cut halfway through uploading to the ECU!

All I need to do now is work out how I’m going to hook everything up on a more permanent basis (I hate trailing wires everywhere!), and when the RS is parked up for winter at least I know it’ll start again in spring.

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