Product Test: Traction Charger MPL50-Li

Product Test: Traction Charger MPL50-Li

Tony Powell AEE MIMI, owner of A P Autodiagnostics has spent a month with Traction Charger’s MPL50-Li. Here’s how he got on.

On first opening the box and on first sight of this charger my expectations weren’t high, purely down to the compact size of it. You automatically assume that a small unit with low weight just won’t have the power or grunt to do the job.

Once in use, though, this very compact and light charger has proved to be a little diamond. It has coped with everything we have thrown at it from totally dead batteries on Vauxhall Vivaro, Renault Trafic and Nissan Primastar vans that have been parked up for extended periods of time awaiting repair to Jaguar F-Types with the low battery warning on and lithium batteries. What’s more, dead flat batteries are something we come across regularly when travelling out to do injector removal and replacement work.

This charger is very simple to operate and most of the time it just needs connecting to the battery, plugging in and turning on. You have a choice of LiFepo4, Ca/Ca, Ca/Ag, AGM, GEL and conventional lead acid batteries (PB) and it gives a constant 13.4 V in battery support mode.

My first impression has been proven wrong in a big way and the light, compact machine has outperformed all my expectations. The size and weight are both impressively small and the added bonus of long leads that can be disconnected from the charger for storage etc. all go in its favour.

Product Test: Traction Charger MPL50-Li

The battery support option is also a bonus as these days you simply cannot do without it: all modern vehicles need their battery supported when doing diagnostic or programming work or you risk a flat battery at the worst possible time, usually half way through an expensive ECU reprogramming that is a one attempt only unit. A normal battery charger does not provide a stable enough power source to support a system in this way. Not using a support unit like the MPL50-LI whilst undertaking ECU reprogramming is simply madness. It is a must even for simple diagnostic work like code reading where cars now insist on having their headlights and ignition on, draining a minimal sized battery.

The build quality is high and we don’t have a single complaint on that front. It comes in black with bright LED indicator lamps and an LED countdown in 10s for amperage readings from 50 to less than 10. All from a company that has been around for years with an excellent reputation for quality and reliability.

Having used it on Vauxhalls, Renaults, Nissans, Peugeots, Volvos, Fords, Mercedes, Jaguars and Range Rovers without issue, we couldn’t find any reason to knock it down and are full of praise for this little unit.

All in all, I would have no qualms in purchasing the MPL50-Li for general day-to-day use in the workshop or even one of our mobile vans (where the low weight is an added bonus). The prices I have seen are not out of step with other machines and based upon our experience are in fact relatively cheap.

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