Written By
Published Dec. 17, 2018

A car battery tester is an electronic device that enables you to test your car battery and ensure that it is operating at optimum levels. Battery testers range from simple models that test how much charge is left in the battery to more complex devices that test the battery’s capacity for charge accumulation and potential issues that might impact its abilities.  A battery tester can save you from a myriad of troublesome situations and ensure that your holiday road trips don’t end on a flat! Because really, no one wants that!

We have compiled a list of our best car battery testers, and many are ideal for a range of vehicles, including passenger cars, RVs, light trucks, motorcycles, boats, ATVs and more. Our guide offers a range of products that boast a variety of features, prices, and capabilities and highlight some of the best car battery testers on the market.  We’re pretty excited about these models and hope you’ll find the perfect fit from the list below.

The Best Car Battery Tester

The Schumacher Amp Battery Load Tester is a great option at a great price. It combines quality and value and is a great battery tester pick for those who need to test 6 and 12 volt batteries up to 1000 CCA.  It can test the batteries of motor vehicles, light trucks, RVs, motorbikes, boats, ATVs and even law tractors. It is thus a great all-rounder and is able to test the battery condition and run a complete system charging diagnosis.  This device is simple to use and will offer you accurate readings that can lengthen the lifespan of your battery and enable you to fix problems quickly.  Many consumers highly recommend this battery tester and have expressed great satisfaction with its ease of use, value, and performance. 

Key Features
  • Tests 6 and 12 Volt batteries up to 1000 CCA
  • Ideal for cars, light trucks, RVs, motorcycles, ATVs, boats and lawn tractor batteries
  • 100 Amp load test for 12 Volt batteries
  • 50 Amp load test for 6 Volt batteries
  • Tests load, battery condition with complete charging system diagnosis
  • Top-mounted rocker switch for easier operation
  • Includes super-grip, heavy-duty, color-coded battery clamps
Specification
  • Brand Schumacher
  • Model BT-100
  • Weight 2 pounds

The Cartman Car Battery and Alternator Tester is an excellent device to check battery condition and alternator charging. This device is great value and easy to use and will enable you to check battery charge with ease and simplicity. The LED display indicates the condition of 12 Volt batteries. Customers have praised the high-quality clamps on the device and the convenience of the alternator tester.  This is a great gadget if you want to combine ease and value. It’s also super light weight and perfect to keep in your car.

Key Features
  • LED display indicates condition, for 12V battery only.
  • Alternator state check, battery state check, charger check
Specification
  • Brand CARTMAN
  • Model TL120207
  • Weight 0.64 ounces

The Solar CCA Digital Battery and System Tester is a good way to check the health of your battery. Not only does it check the voltage reading, it also checks the CCA (cold cranking amps) to check how your battery is truly operating.  The Solar technology report notes that any CCA reading below 20 percent of its rated CCA indicates a battery that is about to fail. So, if a battery is rated at 1000 CCA but is only producing 700 CCA, it’s a sure sign that it’s not going to last very long.  Thus, this device gives a comprehensive analysis of your battery’s lifespan. As well as accurate battery lifespan, it is also able to test alternator and starter tests.  This is a great automotive battery tester and ultimately tells you the state of your battery’s health, the state of its charge, and its internal resistance. 

Key Features
  • 12 Volt battery and system testing
  • 40-1200 CCA testing capacity
  • 7-15V operating range
  • Compatible with many battery types
  • LCD display for optimal viewing in all lighting environments
Specification
  • Brand Clore Automotive
  • Model BA9
  • Weight 9.6 ounces

The Motopower Digital Battery Tester is a small and compact device that provides a quick reading and enables you to determine whether your automotive battery needs a jump start or must be changed.  This handy little device indicates battery and alternator status via colored LED lights. Users have noted its user-friendly interface and have commended the way that it analyzes your battery with clarity and ease.

Key Features
  • Micro-processor 
  • Reverse-hookup and over-voltage protection
  • four-character lighted digital display
  • Colored LEDs indicate battery or alternator status
  • Black Rubber Paint body with 30Amp Alligator Clamps
Specification
  • Brand MOTOPOWER
  • Model MP0514A
  • Weight 5.3 ounces

This device boasts a small and compact design and is able to indicate test results to you directly via its digital screen. This car battery tester can gauge the battery power of 12V batteries and is able to give an overall analysis of the battery’s health by checking its voltage charge, cranking power, and usage time.  This device also happens to give a super accurate CCA reading (and can gauge between 100-2000) CCA. The device is powered by the 12volt battery and thus doesn’t operate on any extra batteries, and it comes with three-foot long cables. Ancel offer customers a two-year warranty and thus believes in the effectiveness and durability of its car battery tester.

Key Features
  • Small compact design.
  • Much wider test range (100-2000 CCA) and more accurate compared to its competitors.
  • Provides function to check the Alternator's charging and Starter's cranking conditions.
  • Vehicle charging system test is also available
  • large LCD display that has white backlight and contrast adjustment
  • a 3.0 feet long cable and a very thick flexible insulator
  • Two Year Warranty Guarantee
Specification
  • Brand ANCEL
  • Weight 5 ounces

This is a great device for those with heavy-duty trucks and cars. The Foxwell Automotive Battery Load Tester can run tests on an array of batteries, including regular flooded, AGM flat plate, AGM spiral and gel batteries.  The device can check the overall health of your battery, gauge the cranking capability, and check its aging status. While it is on the pricier side of our list, it comes with a number of exciting features, including a built-in cranking test and a charging system test. The ergonomic design is easy to use and convenient. It also comes with a 7.8-foot cable that enables you to run your battery test from within your car. This is perfect when there are bad weather conditions and adds further comfort to your experience. This is a fabulous machine and showcases brilliant design and quality.

Key Features
  • Battery Tester, Cranking Test, Charging System Test
  • premium quality copper clip and wire keep guarantee to maintain a stable communication all throughout the testing process
  • Ergonomic Design
Specification
  • Brand FOXWELL
  • Model FBA_nt200
  • Weight 3 pounds

This heavy-duty automotive battery tester is a great choice for those who are on the road and need to get their readings quickly. The reliable test offers results in just 10 seconds and will give you an accurate reading of your battery’s condition. Users have noted that this device is quick and accurate and thus a brilliant addition to any automotive toolbox.

Key Features
  • Ergonomically designed 
  • uniquely designed clamps for a positive grip 
  • Extra large display with zero adjust
  • Works on both 6V and 12V batteries
  • Side tabs for on-tool clamp storage and back brackets for tool storage on wall or toolbox
Specification
  • Brand OTC
  • Model 3181
  • Weight 2.75 pounds

This is a great pick when it comes to a car battery tester and gets its operating voltage from the battery. The device is able to test 12-volt batteries and allows you to test the CCA.  You simply enter the battery’s CCA rating into the device and then get a reading of the actual CCA via a conductive test.  The Solar BA7 will then give you an ‘Ok’, or ‘Fail’ reading and allow you to determine the health of your battery. This is a quick and easy to use automotive battery tester and will enable you to analyze your vehicle’s charging and starting system.  While it costs a little more than some of our other picks, it is durable and accurate.

Key Features
  • Test 12 volt batteries from 100-1200 CCA, operating range from 7-15V
  • Tests multiple battery types
  • LED indication of battery and system pass or fail 
  • Easy to Use – Operator is guided through each step in the testing process
  • Bright 4 digit LED display is great for bright or low light settings
Specification
  • Brand Clore Automotive
  • Model BA7
  • Weight 9.6 ounces

This compact battery and alternator tester is an absolute bargain and is a great little gadget to keep in your car. You simply plug it into your cigarette lighter, and the LED indicators reveal the status of your car battery and alternator voltage. For example, when running the alternator test a yellow light will indicate that the voltage is too low, a green light will highlight that voltage levels are normal, and a red light will showcase that they are too high. This is a quick and easy way to run a system test and check the overall health and status of your alternator and battery.  Since this item is so compact (not to mention an absolute bargain) it is a handy device to keep in your glove compartment.

Key Features
  • Easy to use battery / alternator tester
  • Plug in to the 12V cigarette lighter in your car, the LED indicators will show you the status of your battery and alternator.
  • 3 LED indicators to show the battery condition: weak, normal or strong. B
  • 3 LED indicators to check the status of the alternator voltage: low, normal or high
  • Compact size
Specification
  • Brand Performance Tool
  • Model W2989
  • Weight 1.05 pounds

This well-designed unit offers a comprehensive battery test and is a great option for those who need to check their automotive batteries on a regular basis. The device is able to test the battery load system and highlight the condition of your battery and its available lifespan. It also offers a CCA reading, notes the battery voltage, and showcases the battery’s resistance.  The CCA reading range is particularly noteworthy, and it can gauge a reading from 5-9555. It’s also compatible with a number of battery types, including flood batteries, AGM batteries,  deep cycle batteries, and gel batteries.

Key Features
  • Tests and analyzes the battery load system, indicating battery condition, battery life Percentage, CCA , battery voltage, battery resistance 
  • no damage to battery
  • Complete wide CCA test range (5-9555) 
  • Great Compatible with Flood battery, AGM battery, Gel battery, Deep Cycle Battery
  • Comes with a large LED screen and heavy duty clamps.
Specification
  • Brand SUNER POWER
  • Model SP-C12002
  • Weight 8.8 ounces

Best Car Battery Tester Buying Guide & FAQ

Features to Consider When Buying a Car Battery Tester

There are a number of things you need to consider when buying a battery tester. Do you want a comprehensive device that can check the battery’s overall health and CCA rating? Or a simple device that simply gives you a pass, or fail reading. Should it be able to analyze a myriad of battery types ranging from agm, flood, marine, and gel? And do you need extra long-clamps so that you can conduct readings from within your vehicle? It’s also a good idea to think about what systems you want to analyze. Do you simply want a battery tester? Or would a device that could also check your alternator functionality and charging system be a better pick?  While you might pay more for a more comprehensive model, it’s important to purchase a device that suits all your needs.

car battery tester

Why You Should Use a Car Battery Tester

An automotive battery tester is a fantastic purchase and a must-have for those who are on the roads often with work, or for leisure.  By checking your battery for signs of weakness or erosion regularly, you will be able to keep a close eye on battery function and fix potential problems before they arise.  A car battery tester is a handy tool to ensure your batteries are always working at an optimum level.

How to Extend Your Car’s Battery Life

As well as regular battery testing, there are a number of things that you can do to extend the life of your car battery, including:

  • Limiting short rides and taking longer rides that allow the battery to charge fully.
  • Checking your battery terminal often and ensuring that the battery is securely fastened.
  • Not using your electric devices like the air conditioner or the radio when your car isn’t running.
  • And of course, regular battery testing!

Safety Tips While Working on Your Battery

It’s important that you always turn off your car’s ignition when testing your battery, and always read the safety features section in the manual carefully to ensure optimum safety.

Best Car Battery Tester FAQ:

Q: What is a car battery tester?

A car battery tester is an electronic machine that tests electric batteries. They range from simple devices that test present cells and voltage output, to more complex models that analyze the condition of batteries and examine their accumulating charge and possible issues impacting their performance. Battery testers are either simple, or integrated. Simple car battery testers simply indicate the charge rate of the battery. However, more integrated devices are able to also check cranking voltage, and output voltage.  They will also often check the CCA levels. Q: How do battery testers work? A well-functioning automotive battery should be operating at 12.6 volts or more ands this should increase to around 14 volts when your engine is running. Battery testers are able to check the current that comes from the battery by connecting a conductive lead between the battery and the tester.  Whether you are running a battery test, a system charging test, or an alternator test you will always connect the cables to your various terminals. The more sophisticated your battery tester model is, the more diverse functionality it will be able to analyze.

Q: How do I check my car’s battery?

Before you test your car’s battery with your new battery tester, always remember to read the user manual so that you can learn about the exact quirks of your particular device. However, as a general rule the process of checking your car’s battery should include:

  • ALWAYS turn off your ignition!!!
  • Taking off your battery’s positive terminal cover (while your ignition is still off!)
  • Connecting your battery to your battery tester with the provided cables by attaching the positive lead to the positive terminal, and the negative lead to the negative terminal.
  • Check your battery tester’s analysis and decide whether you need to give your car a jump, or replace the battery.
  • If you are unsure of what to do, check out some free online tutorials!
car battery tester

Our Top Pick

After much deliberation, we have opted for the Schumacher Amp Battery Load Tester as our best battery tester.  It combines quality and great-value and is a stellar battery tester pick for those who need to test 6 and 12 volt batteries up to 1000 CCA.  It can test the batteries of motor vehicles, light trucks, RVs, motorbikes, boats, ATVs and even law tractors. It is thus a great all-rounder and is able to test the battery condition and run a complete system charging diagnosis.  This device is simple to use and will offer you accurate readings that can lengthen the lifespan of your battery and enable you to fix problems quickly.  Reviewers of this best pick highly recommend this battery-tester and have expressed great satisfaction with its user-ease, value, and performance.

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Source:

  1. How to Check a Car Battery – YourMechanic
  2. How to Check a Car Battery – wikiHow

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