Even if you have purchased the best car battery available, it will never last forever. However, before you chuck it away, it is worth using a car battery tester to check the load, temperature, cold cranking amps and the voltage to see if it is worth fixing.
The best battery tester is the FOXWELL BT705, which is designed for all car batteries and features an intuitive interface that is able to carry out various tests.
Before you choose a battery tester, you will want to ensure if work for all types of batteries such as AGM, gel cell, spiral, deep cycle and others. Most premium examples will work with them all but be careful with the cheaper alternatives.
Table of Contents
- Best Battery Tester
- FOXWELL BT705 Car Battery Tester
- ANCEL BST500 Automotive Battery Load Tester
- Clore Automotive 1876 Carbon Pile Battery Tester
- Schumacher BT-100 Battery Tester
- CARTMAN 12V Battery & Alternator Tester
- Car Battery Tester Buying Guide
Best Battery Tester
|Car Battery Tester||Data Output||Battery Voltage|
|FOXWELL BT705||Digital LCD||12V & 24V|
|ANCEL BST500||Digital LCD||12V & 24V|
|Clore Automotive 1876||Analog Dials||6V, 12V & 24V|
|Schumacher BT-100||Analog Dials||6V & 12V|
|CARTMAN Tester||LED Indicators||12V|
In terms of the different car battery tester devices, many differ in terms of their display. The pricey examples will have a large display that outputs all real time data whereas the cheaper alternatives may only indicate the health via an LED indicator. This is something to consider as most people will want as much data as possible.
If you already own an automotive car diagnostic scanner, you may want to check whether it already has a battery tester functionality. Many come with the connector leads that can be plugged into the diagnostic scanner.
Below is a list of the best car battery testers that will allow you to test various aspects of your battery that include load, voltage, CCA and more.
FOXWELL BT705 Car Battery Tester
Foxwell are a well known brand within the automotive technology industry and the BT705 battery tester is popular device that they have developed. It is designed for both 12V and 24V batteries that include regular flooded, AGM flat plate, AGM spiral, GEL and deep cycle types with a capacity of 100 to 2,000 CCA. Therefore, it covers the majority of batteries found in both cars and trucks.
Features of the Foxwell BT705 battery tester includes:
- Checks battery status, CCA, voltage, cranking time, charging test and more
- Bluetooth connection for printing data
- 7.8 feet tester cable with alligator clips
- Accurate test results in just 3 seconds
- Large backlight LCD display
- Multiple Languages
Overall, it is the best car battery tester on the market and offers excellent value for money when you consider all the functionality. The hot keys and large display make it easy to use and you will be able to easily test batteries before throwing them away.Check it Out
ANCEL BST500 Automotive Battery Load Tester
ANCEL is another big brand in the automotive technology industry and this is their solution for battery load testing. It is suitable for lead acid, regular flooded, AGM flat plate, AGM spiral, gel, and deep cycle batteries.
In terms of the features of the ANCEL BST500, they include:
- Tests both 12V and 24V batteries
- Clamps features with reverse polarity protection
- Quick starter analysis without disabling the ignition
- Directly detects bad cells
- Backlight LCD display
- Built-in printer
One of the best features of the BST500 is by far the built in printer that outputs test results with a date stamp. This is great for professionals that need to output paper results instantly without having to connect to an external printer elsewhere.
Although it is the most expensive car battery tester within this article, it is one of the best options. The built-in printer is a desirable feature for many and the ability to test the majority of batteries with an intuitive interface makes it a great option to buy.Check it Out
Clore Automotive 1876 Carbon Pile Battery Tester
Clore Automotive are known for their jump starters but they also produce various other specialist battery devices. The 1876 device in particular provides variable load carbon pile testing for 6, 12 or 24V batteries to 2000 CCA and uses analog dials to output data. However, they do offer a digital alternative for those that are not a fan of the dual dials.
Features of the Clore Automotive 1876 Carbon Pile Battery Tester include:
- Variable load testing to 1,000 amps
- Alternator and starter analysis
- 4.6 feet cable reach
- Heavy duty clamps
- Designed to be durable for garage applications
Clore Automotive also offer this device in other amperage such as 100, 125 and 500, which are of course cheaper. However, as this is a professional car battery tester, you are always better going for the highest specification. Overall, the Clore Automotive 1876 is a heavy duty battery tester that is built to last for years to come.Check it Out
Schumacher BT-100 Battery Tester
For those that are looking for value with regards to a car battery tester, the Schumacher BT-100 is the best option. It is able to test both 6 and 12V batteries up to 1,000 CCA, which means it is suitable for most cars and light trucks on the road.
Features of the Schumacher BT-100 battery tester include:
- 100 amp load test for 12V
- 50 amp load test for 6V
- Heavy duty battery clamps
- Tests load, condition, draw and charging system
- Easy to read analogue meter
- Durable steel case with rubber handle
The Schumacher BT-100 is the most popular battery tester on the market and this is primarily due to the low cost and diagnostic functionality. Overall, it is the best car battery tester for the money and it will not disappoint.Check it Out
CARTMAN 12V Battery & Alternator Tester
Cartman is the cheapest battery tester within this article and is able to check the battery and alternator condition. The test data is then output via 6 LED indicators that will tell you if there is a fault, state of the battery charge and if everything is functioning.
Other features of the Cartman Battery and Alternator Tester include:
- Alternator check whilst accelerating engine to 2,000 RPM
- Battery charge test
- Cranking check
- Compact design
Due to the low cost, there is not as much functionality when compared to the alternatives. However, if you want a simple battery and alternator health check, this battery tester is perfect for 12V batteries.Check it Out
Car Battery Tester Buying Guide
Car batteries are an essential of any car and is required for to power all the electrical components. However, when a battery begins to malfunction, it can become a nightmare with the likes of a flat battery or one that is not outputting little power.
Batteries that have gone flat are not destined for the trash. They can be saved by fully charging them with a car battery charger. They are an expensive part that can sometimes be mistakenly diagnosed as broken when they are really not.
This is where a battery tester comes very useful as they will be able to output all necessary data such as the load, temperature, cold cranking amps and the voltage. Below is a buying guide to help improve your knowledge and thus make an informed buying decision.
Battery Load Test
Performing a load test on your battery is the best method to finding whether it is at full health. In order to pass a load test, your battery is expected to maintain at least 9.6 volts at 15 seconds when tested at one half of the CCA rating at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
The test should be done whilst the battery is in a high state of charge. All of the recommendations above will provide you with instructions to perform the tests.
A healthy fully charged battery measures at 12.6 volts or above and when running, it should measure between 13.7 or 14.7 volts. You may require an auto multimeter to indicate the voltage.
For detailed instructions to help you understand how to perform a load test, check out this tutorial guide, which goes into a lot of detail.
Batteries can be a range of types, sizes and power, which need to be encountered for when you choose a battery tester. Each battery type will need to be tested in different ways but not every battery tester will be able to do all types of batteries.
For example, batteries can be 6V, 12V and 24V but also regular flooded, AGM flat plate, AGM spiral, GEL and deep cycle types. Ensure that you check the voltage and type of battery that you car uses beforehand so you are not left disappointed.
There are numerous of methods that devices use to output the real time data. From digital displays, analog dials and LED indicators but some devices will even print out the data straight away or connect to an external printer via Bluetooth or WiFi.
Digital output of the data is the more desirable but it does come with a premium price. Analog displays are common among professional devices and some people will prefer them too but poor lighting conditions may cause issues with reading the data.
Finally, LED indicators are found on the cheaper battery testers and although will indicate the health of a battery, they will be limited to the amount of data (i.e. exact figures) they can output.
Ease of Use
The battery tester can be relatively easy to use but there are many features required that can make it that much easier. For example, the connector leads is the parter of the device that connects the tester to the battery. You will want to ensure that the leads are long enough to reach the terminals from wherever you place the tester. Small connector leads can be a real pain as you may have to hold the battery tester whilst performing a test.
The digital display of a car battery tester will almost certainly improve the easiness of using the device. For those that are not from a mechanical background, it can be fairly difficult to understand all the different measurements.
However, with a digital display, you will be able to navigate through menus, output the data in a range of formats and more. Of course, this does come at a more expensive cost but it is 100% worthwhile paying the extra.
Batteries are not a component that will last an unlimited amount of time. However, poor maintenance can lead to a malfunctioning battery that will continue to get worse. One of the most common mistakes is letting the battery go flat when the car is not in use.
This is particular bad for lead acid batteries because it increases the chances of sulfate buildup upon the lead plates. You can revive these batteries by using a battery sulfator but its best to not leave it uncharged for long periods.
For example, if you have put your car away for the winter, you should always disconnect the battery or use a battery maintainer.
All of our recommendations are suitable for beginners to professionals and a range of budgets. If you have multiple car batteries around your garage or home, investing into a car battery tester will be a worthwhile investment and potentially save you a fortune buying new batteries.