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The Best Car Battery Tester 2020

Car Battery Tester

Even if you have purchased the best car battery on the market, it won’t last forever. However, before you chuck it away, it’s worth using a car battery tester to check the load, temperature, cold cranking amps and the voltage to see if it’s worth fixing.

The best car battery tester is the FOXWELL BT705, which is designed for all car batteries and features an intuitive interface that’s able to carry out various tests.

Before you choose a battery tester, you want to ensure it works for all types of batteries such as AGM, gel cell, spiral, deep cycle and others. Most premium examples are suitable for all types but you will need to read the small print with the cheaper car battery testers.

Car Battery Tester Comparison

Car Battery TesterData OutputBattery Voltage
FOXWELL BT705Digital LCD12V & 24V
ANCEL BST500Digital LCD12V & 24V
TOPDON BT100Digital LCD6V & 12V
Clore Automotive 1876Analog Dials6V, 12V & 24V
Schumacher BT-100Analog Dials6V & 12V
CARTMAN TesterLED Indicators12V

In terms of the different battery testing devices on the market, many differ in terms of their display. The premium examples have larger displays that outputs real time data whereas the cheaper alternatives may only indicate battery health via an LED indicator. This is something to consider as most people will want as much data as possible for testing.

If you already own an automotive car diagnostic scanner, you may want to check whether it already has battery testing functionality. Many premium devices come with the connector leads in the box that connect to the battery for testing via the scanner.

Below is a list of the best car battery testers that allow you to test various aspects of your battery which include load, voltage, CCA and much more.

The Best Car Battery Tester


1. FOXWELL BT705 Car Battery Tester

FOXWELL BT705 Car Battery Tester
Foxwell are a reputable brand within the automotive industry and the BT705 battery tester follows their great reputation. It’s a premium battery tester that’s designed for both 12V or 24V batteries and offers a wide range of battery testing modes.

In terms of its compatibility, it can test flooded, AGM flat plate, AGM spiral, GEL and deep cycle types with a capacity of 100 to 2,000 CCA.

Other features of the Foxwell BT705 include:

  • 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

Although expensive, it’s the best car battery tester on the market that’s packed full of 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.

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2. ANCEL BST500 Automotive Battery Load Tester

ANCEL BST500 Automotive Battery Load Tester
ANCEL is another big brand in the automotive technology industry and the BST500 is their solution for battery load testing.

One of the best features of the BST500 is 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.

Other features of the ANCEL BST500 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

Although it’s the most expensive car battery tester within this article, it’s also 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.

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3. TOPDON BT100 Car Batter Tester

TOPDON BT100 Car Batter Tester
A more affordable car battery tester that features a digital display is the TOPDON BT100. It’s been designed to provide an overall analysis of a car’s battery health by checking its voltage, internal resistance and aging status.

In terms of its compatibility, the brand state that it can tests 6 or 12V batteries with a test range between 100 to 2,000 CCA.

Other features of the TOPDON BT100 include:

  • Tests gel, EFB, flooded, AGM and other batteries
  • Single button runs multiple tests
  • Unique cranking test
  • Easy to read digital display
  • Smart 3 LED indicators
  • Supports multiple languages

The TOPDON BT100 is an excellent all-round car battery tester that combines value for money and performance. It’s easy to use and is able to comprehensively test a range of batteries from just a single button on the device.

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4. Clore Automotive 1876 Carbon Pile Battery Tester

Clore Automotive 1876 Carbon Pile Battery Tester
Clore Automotive are well-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 up to 2000 CCA. The only minor drawback is that it uses analog dials to output data but they do offer a more expensive digital alternative.

Other features of the Clore Automotive 1876 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’s 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’s built to last and won’t disappoint.

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5. Schumacher BT-100 Battery Tester

Schumacher BT-100 Battery TesterFor those that are looking for value with regards to a car battery tester, the Schumacher BT-100 is the best option. It’s able to test both 6 and 12V batteries up to 1,000 CCA, which means it’s suitable for most cars and light trucks on the road.

Other features of the Schumacher BT-100 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. It’s by far the best car battery tester for the money that offers far more functionality when compared to similar priced alternatives.

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6. CARTMAN 12V Battery & Alternator Tester

CARTMAN 12V Battery & Alternator Tester
The Cartman device is the cheapest battery tester within this article that’s actually worth buying. It’s able to check the health of the battery and alternator which is then indicated via the 6 LED’s.

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 isn’t 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 and cannot be beaten on price.

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Car Battery Tester Buying Guide

Car batteries are an essential component 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’s only outputting small amounts of power.

Batteries that have gone flat aren’t always 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 are able to output all necessary data such as the load, temperature, cold cranking amps and the voltage. Below is a guide to help improve your knowledge and thus make an informed buying decision.

Battery Tester

Battery Load Test

Performing a load test on your battery is the best method to finding whether it’s 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 on how to perform these tests.

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.

Battery Types

Batteries are available in a range of types, sizes and power, which need to be encountered for when you choose a battery tester. Each battery type needs to be tested in different ways but not every battery tester is compatible with 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. You will also need to check the voltage and type of battery that your car uses beforehand.

Data Output

There are numerous methods that devices use to output the real time data that include digital displays, analog dials and LED indicators. However, there are even some devices that can even print out the data straight away or connect to an external printer via Bluetooth or WiFi.

Digital output of the data is the most desirable form but it does come with a premium price. Analog displays are common among professional devices and some people even prefer them but poor lighting conditions may cause issues with reading the data.

LED indicators are mostly found on the cheaper battery testers and although they 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

Battery testers 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 part 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 ease of use when using the device. For those that aren’t 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 much more. Of course, this does come at a more expensive cost but it’s 100% worthwhile paying the extra.

Conclusion

Batteries aren’t a component that will last an unlimited amount of time. However, poor maintenance can lead to a malfunctioning battery that may continue to get worse. One of the most common mistakes is letting the battery go flat when the car isn’t 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 and professionals. 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.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always like to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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