Best Car Battery Testers – Reviews and Buying Guide

When you are trying to pinpoint your car’s performance issues, one place to look is the battery and electrical system. To get the best picture of how your battery is performing will require a car battery tester. With a wide variety of options to choose from, selecting the right one can be a challenge. We’ll review some top car battery testers so that you can make a comparison between the various offerings available as well as answer your questions and provide you with a buying guide for car battery testers.

 

Top Rated Best Car Battery Testers Reviews

 

Schumacher BT-100 100 Amp Battery Load Tester

One of the best auto-battery testers you can get for the cash you put into it is the Schumacher BT-100 100 Amp Battery Load Tester. This is an easy to use and easy to read analogue style tester for those who want a quick analysis.

You get a quality built tester made of metal and a large, durable, gripping handle with this unit. It allows for testing 6V or 12V batteries up to 1000 cold cranking amps (CCA). Copper leads are featured on this unit for better conductivity and more accurate testing. The analogue readout of this unit and its single toggle switch makes it easy to use for quick results.

This is a well-built, quality tester for those who are not interested in a lot of gadgets, bells and whistles. It is compact lightweight and fits most budgets.

Pros:

• Durable built with easy fit handle in a compact design.
• High CCA testing capacity.
• Test 6V or 12V batteries with single toggle switch.
• Easy to use and read.
• Budget friendly price.

Cons:

• Analogue reader lacks some accuracy.
• Does not provide for any in-depth analysis.
• Insulation on the clamps is lacking quality.

 

 

TOPDON AB201 Battery Analyzer

Those who need all of the options and analysis features they can get will want to consider the TOPDON AB201 Battery Analyzer. The options available with this model make it well worth the added investment you will make.

You get a handheld model with durable plastic construction and high-quality copper leads with this device. It has the capacity to test all four types of batteries from 7V to 30V and up to 2000 CCA. The wide variety of tests available for analysis include: CCA, BCI, CA, MCA, JIS, DIN, IEC, EN, SAE, and GB. Besides utilizing an LED display with full menu options, this unit also provides you with USB connectivity and a data printing function.

The available features on this model make it an ideal choice for conducting intricate battery analysis and being able to share the results with others in printed or electronic format. For all of its features, this battery tester is actually pretty affordable.

Pros:

• Lightweight, handheld construction.
• Easy to read and easy to use menu options and display.
• Tests all types of batteries.
• Provides for a wide variety of tests.
• Connectivity and printout options.
• Competitive price among like models.

Cons:

• Can overheat if you hold down the test button too long.
• Results can vary from one test to another.
• Not quite durable enough for use in a commercial shop.

 

 

ANCEL BA101 Professional 12V 100-2000 CCA 220AH Automotive Load Battery Tester

One of the most compact, full-featured battery testers you can get your hands on is the ANCEL BA101 Professional Automotive Load Battery Tester. Its list of quality features and benefits makes it a very attractive option among full-analysis units, especially due to its affordability.

In spite of its compact, hard-plastic, ergonomic design, this tester comes with a widescreen display so you can actually see the menu and results of your tests. You can test batteries from 9V to 15V using this tester. It has simple toggling and selection buttons and allows you to test JIS, EN, DIN, SAE, CCA, BCI, GB, CA, MCA and IEC. Though it does not have a printout option, this tester does have mini-USB connectivity featured.

You can slip this versatile and portable tester into your pocket, but it is designed for easy use and reading. The USB connectivity option allows for sharing results in a world where printouts are often not necessary and it cost half as much as the TOPDON.

Pros:

• Well-built compact design with widescreen display.
• Easy to use and read.
• Provides for a wide variety of tests and wide variety of battery types.
• 3 foot connector leads.
• Great affordability.

Cons:

• There are some accuracy questions due to the conductive quality of the leads (would be better off with copper).
• No U.S. based telephone customer service available.

 

 

SUNER POWER Digital 12V Car Battery Tester Automotive Battery Load Tester

Another mid-range option is the Suner Power Car Battery Tester. This tester does not provide the wide range of analysis that some do, but it still has plenty of the most common capabilities.

The hard plastic ergonomic design of this compact model will fit in the palm of your hand. It is constructed with durable components with fully insulated clamps and easy to use menu and selection functions. This unit is designed to test a 12 volt battery and operates in the testing ranges of CCA, SAE, EN, IEC and DIN. It will work with all four battery types as well. It also includes reverse polarity safety features.

This is a pretty basic battery tester without a lot extras. It pretty well establishes a good average price and value among battery testers.

Features

Pros:

• Convenient and compact ergonomic design.
• Tests all battery types.
• Easy to read LED menus and selection options.
• Built in safety features.
• Affordable average price.

Cons:

• Display screen could be larger.
• Instructions manual is difficult to follow.

 

 

Clore Automotive SOLAR BA9 40-1200 CCA Digital Battery and System Tester

A very compact digital battery tester is available in the Clore Automotive SOLAR BA9 40-1200 CCA Digital Battery and System Tester. This pocket-sized gem is one of the handiest units on our list.

This durable unit fits snugly in your hand and has one of the best LCD displays among the units in our review. Its user-friendly menu makes it easy to test all battery types with capacities from 7 to 15 volts. It is rated with a testing capacity of 40 to 1200 CCA and tests DIN, JIS, EN, IEC as well. The spring-loaded lead connectors will maintain a snug connection for improved testing as well.

You get a solid battery tester with exactly what you need. The value built into this unit pretty closely matches its price.

Pros:

• Rubberized texture on a solid built unit is easy to hold onto.
• Excellent LCD display that is easy to read day or night
• Tests a wide range of batteries in the most common testing ranges.
• Solid value to price ratio.

Cons:

• Made in China.
• Tester instruction manual does not include all necessary information.

 

 

FOXWELL BT100 Pro Battery Analyzer 6V/12V 100-1100 CCA Automotive Battery Load Tester

Another quality battery tester with plenty of promise is the FOXWELL BT100 Pro Battery Analyzer. You get plenty of the most common features and a few extras with this mid-range priced unit.

This tester is constructed of hard plastic and with an ergonomic gripping design. It offers copper leads and clamps for improved current conductivity and a more accurate reading. You can test 6 or 12 volt flooded, gel, AGM or spiral batteries with this unit, which will test CCA from 100 to 1100 amps and includes SAE, EN, IEC, JIS, MCA, CA, BCI, and CCA. It gives you fast results on a LCD display, which supports multiple language options and provides a concise interface.

There are a lot of great features to this tester that make it well worth the moderate amount of cash you spend. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but will get the job done.

Pros:

• Well built with copper tester leads.
• Tests a wide range of 6 and 12 volt battery types.
• Has a concise interface, menu-driven LCD display.
• Readout supports multiple languages.
• Moderately priced.

Cons:

• Detailed test results are hard to read on small screen.
• Testing results with headlights turned on are inaccurate.

 

 

Battery Tester FOXWELL BT705 Automotive 100-2000 CCA Battery Load Tester

If you want to step the quality of your battery tester up a notch, the Foxwell BT705 is a good choice to consider. You will pay more for this unit, but it comes with some great features to help justify the price.

This unit is truly durable with an ergonomic design and an anti-slip rubber backing to help you grip it during use. It includes a large digital display with an easy navigation menu. It includes 8 foot copper lead cables for improved accuracy and easier access. You can test any 12 or 24 volt battery with this tester, which has a 100 to 2000 CCA capacity. It also gives readings for BCI, CA, MCA, JIS, DIN, IEC, EN, SAE, and GB. This tester supports multiple languages and features Bluetooth connectivity.

The higher price might scare you away at first, but this is a higher quality unit with capabilities for use in more professional applications. Its connectivity options are a solid plus as well.

Pros:

• Built for heavy-duty use and includes rubberized back for improved grip.
• Longer copper leads.
• Works on all types of 12 and 24 volt batteries.
• High level quality display, which supports multiple languages.
• Bluetooth connectivity.

Cons:

• This unit is three times the average price for a battery tester.
• Simplistic testing options.

 

 

AUTOOL Car Battery Tester, 12V Automative Battery Load Tester CCA 100-2400

A digital battery tester for those on a budget comes in the form of the AUTOOL Car Battery Tester. This is a straightforward tester that can be had for just a little less than the average price.

You get a plastic case with quick results on a LCD screen. This unit is also multi-language compatible and tests all types of 12 volt batteries with a CCA capacity between 100 and 2400. It uses heavy duty clips with copper leads for better accuracy and provides for JIS, EN, DIN, SAE, CCA, BCI, GB, CA, MCA and IEC standard results.

For a budget priced tester, this really isn’t vastly inferior to what mid-range testers offer, but the construction quality is lacking.

Pros:

• Quick results on an easy to read, user-friendly LCD display.
• Tests multiple battery types and supports multiple standard ranges.
• Quality copper leads and clips.
• 100 to 2400 CCA capacity.

Cons:

• Construction materials quality is lacking.
• Questionable results.

 

 

EBTOOLS Car Battery Tester 12V 100-2400 CCA 220AH Battery Digital Analyzer

Another budget level digital tester to consider is the EBTOOLS Car Battery Tester. You also get a decent amount of features without paying too much with this model.

You get a plastic case with quick results on a LCD screen. This unit tests all types of 12 volt batteries with a CCA capacity between 100 and 2400. It uses heavy duty clips with copper leads for better accuracy and provides for JIS, EN, DIN, SAE, CCA, BCI, GB, CA, MCA and IEC standard results. It has reverse polarity safety protection.

This budget priced tester is almost identical to the one above in value and features. Its construction quality is on the same level as well.

Pros:

• Easy to read, user-friendly LCD display.
• Tests multiple battery types and supports multiple standard ranges.
• Quality copper leads and clips.
• 100 to 2400 CCA capacity.

Cons:

• Construction materials quality is lacking.
• Questionable results.

 

 

Best Budget Car Battery Tester

Manfiter Car Battery Tester & Alternator Tester

Those who neither need nor want a lot bells and whistles on their battery tester will be happy with Manfiter Car Battery Tester & Alternator Tester in several different ways. It is not complicated to operate and it is one-fifth the average cost of a digital tester.

You get a tester built with ABS materials that will withstand heat and shock in this unit. You get spring-loaded stainless steel clamps with insulated stainless steel leads. There are no menus to follow and no deep analysis on this unit. You connect the leads to your battery and wait for the LED indicator lights to show you the condition of your battery.

It is hard to knock something like this. This is a simple unit that tests whether you are getting the necessary current from your battery and that’s about it.

Pros:

• ABS plastic construction.
• Simple to use.
• Five times less than average priced digital tester.

Cons:

• No analysis data offered.
• Accuracy could be questioned.

 

 

Car Battery Testers FAQs

Because there is such a wide variety of auto-battery testers available at a broad range of prices, knowing which one will best suit your needs can be a challenge. That challenge tends to raise some common questions to which we’ve provided the answers.

Why do you need a battery tester?

If your car won’t start or is not running properly one of the many possible causes could be related to the performance of your battery. However, it is not the only possible cause. With a battery tester, you can easily determine whether you can eliminate battery performance from among those causes or focus on it as the solution.

How do battery testers work?

In the simplest terms, battery testers measure the strength of the current available from your battery. The result of that measurement is displayed in amperes or amps, which is the flow of electromagnetic force between two conductors. Various testers also analyze other aspects of your battery, which we will discuss below, but this is the simplest definition of the function of a battery tester.

What are the various types of battery testers?

Various battery testers use different approaches to testing, analyze different aspects of a battery and provide different results. There are basically three types of battery testers or acceptable measurement techniques, including:

• Scalar. This type of tester takes a single reading and compares it to a single standard of reference for determining battery capacity. It is pretty basic, but is often all that you need when it comes to figuring out why your car won’t start.
• Vector. A less common type, due to its complexity, a vector monitoring system applies multiple frequencies and currents to a battery in order to measure their response rates at various vector points. This type of tester allows the user to pinpoint stress points in the current. This is a bit more high performance testing than most mechanics tend to go, but it is used for car battery analysis.
• Spectro. Most auto-battery testers do not use this type of technology. Spectro type testers scan batteries with a particular frequency that only works with lithium type batteries. So, although you might want to test the battery on your mobile phone or laptop with this type of tester, it is essentially useless for car battery testing.

The technology used in each of these types allow for varying degrees of accuracy, varying levels of analysis, varying results, and can affect the overall price of the tester as well.

Which is the best type of auto battery tester?

For the most common applications, the best type of auto battery tester is going to be a scalar type. However, those who work with high-performance autos might find that a scalar type tester does not provide enough information, which is a problem solved by a vector type tester.

 

 

Car Battery Testers Mini-Buyer’s Guide

An auto-battery tester can be something pretty simple, similar to a voltage meter in letting you know whether or not your battery is charged, or it can provide you with more analysis. How you intend to use your battery tester and what information you expect it to provide will determine which model best serves your needs. There are some basic features, which provide you with a standard of comparison between various models.

Construction

Keep in mind that an auto-battery tester is used in a place where steel and concrete are also present. That means that the quality of construction and the materials used to make the tester need to be pretty durable. In addition, you will want the tester to be well-insulated so that you can use it without receiving a jolt.

Load and Capacity Testing

Because not all batteries are the same, even if they are labeled the same, the ability to test the load and capacity of a battery is an essential element in understanding its performance. A good 12V battery tester will allow you to select a testing range for cold cranking amps or other various load and capacity. With a higher quality tester comes greater precision in the various increments of adjustment and a wider variety of loads and capacities that you can test.

Supported Battery Types

There are a number of different battery types used in automobiles. Each one will test just a little bit differently, which makes it necessary to have a tester that is compatible with the battery type in your vehicle. Here are the main battery types:

• Wet-cell, Acid or Flooded. The most common type of auto-battery, which comes in either maintenance-free or serviceable options (that means you can fill it up with electrolytes).
• Gel. Generally speaking, this is a type of wet-cell battery, which is maintenance free and uses gel for conduction rather than acid.
• AGM. Absorbed glass matt, which is what AGM stands for, batteries suspend the batteries electrolytes closer to the batteries plates to provide greater performance and overall longevity.
• Spiral. This is a type of AGM battery with a six-pack set of spiral cells with higher power and cycling capacities and improved vibration resistance.

Easy to Use and Read

A battery tester is not worth the money and time you put into it if it is hard to use or difficult to read. Even a simple analogue-style tester that is easy to use and read is better than a clumsy, unreadable digital model with all the bells and whistles. Here is what to look for:

• Clear graphics with a good color and brightness contrast between background and graphics.
• Results that are easy to understand.
• On-screen and/or off-screen instructions that are easy to read and follow.
• Streamlined design and construction that isn’t too bulky.
• Leads that are long enough to reach your battery from wherever you place your tester.

Added Features

The features we just mentioned are the most basic ones to consider when comparing battery tester models. However, certain features add to the value of an auto-battery tester, and they can also add to the price. When it comes to these added features, each individual user will have to determine which ones are worth that extra bit of cash you will have to shell out. Here are some of the added features that come on some battery tester models:

• Data export for extended analysis.
• Connectivity options.
• Printing function.
• Ability to test a wider variety of battery voltages.

Conclusion

Whether you just need to know if your battery is shot and needs to be replaced or more in depth analysis of your car battery’s performance, an auto-battery tester is a good tool to have in your shop. Having taken into consideration the various features available and having compared a variety of car battery tester models, you should be better informed to make a quality selection of the tester that best suits your needs.