Best Battery Load Testers: What are they?
A battery tester is a device used to test the condition of batteries inside your vehicle. A battery tester measures voltage, current, resistance and temperature of your car’s batteries. They can also check if the batteries have been damaged or even explode due to overcharging or undercharging.
The most common type of battery testers are digital ones. These devices measure the voltage, amps, volts and watts of your car’s batteries.
Digital tester is better than analog ones because it does not require any external power source like a wall socket or AC adapter. However, some models do require a USB port to charge their internal batteries so make sure you plug in your laptop or other portable device before starting the test!
Another popular type of battery tester is the analog one. Analog tester measures the voltage, amperes, volts and watts of your car’s batteries directly from the cells themselves.
While these types of testers are easier to use than digital ones, they cannot tell you how much capacity each cell has or whether there is damage within them.
There are also non-automotive battery load testers that can only do a few functions. If you do not run a professional garage or work on a lot of car batteries, then these types of testers might be good enough for you.
If you need more precision and features however, then you should get an automotive model.
Best Battery Load Tester: What to Look For?
There are many factors and specifications you should look for when buying a battery load tester. Some of them are the type of batteries you will be testing (automotive, marine, etc), the kind of voltage and amperage ratings, safety features, and even the price. Here are some of the important factors to consider:
Capacity: This is the single most important thing to look at when buying a battery load tester. The capacity of battery tester refers to the number of batteries it can load test simultaneously.
You definitely do not want to have a battery tester that can only load test one or two batteries at a time, so look for one that has four or more battery slots.
Auto-Off Feature: This is a great feature to look for if you want your battery tester to last long. Most digital testers have this feature and all you have to do is turn it on.
What this feature does is turn your battery tester off and stop the current flow after a certain amount of time. This is very useful especially if you are in a hurry or pre-occupied with other things and may forget to turn it off yourself.
Load Testing: This refers to the number and types of load testing your battery tester can do. You definitely want a tester that can test your car, truck, marine, lawn mower, and golf cart batteries.
If you are planning to use it in a workshop or for industrial purposes, then you might want one that can also test the batteries of laptops and other small electronics as well.
Price: Last but not least, you should definitely look at the price of your battery load tester. Make sure to compare the prices across several stores and online retailers.
You can also try bargaining with the salesperson to give you a discount. Just be reasonable in asking for the discount or else they may think you are trying to cheat them and you do not want that to happen of course.
After considering all these features or factors, choose the one that seems right for you and your budget. You can also choose to buy a battery tester with all the features you need so you do not have to buy another one in the future.
How to Load Test Car Batteries with a Multimeter?
There are several steps in how to load test a car battery with a multimeter. First of all, you should place the red tester probe on the “Volt DC” terminal and then place the black probe on the “COM” (common) terminal. Next, turn your multimeter to the 20v setting and adjust the knob to get the highest reading. Now you should turn the knob to the 200A scale and see if you can get a higher reading. If you do not get a reading on this scale then the battery is defective or has been overheated. Now use the highest reading you got from either of these two steps and move on to step 4.
In step 4, you want to know the CCA or Cold Cranking Amps of your car battery. This is necessary in order to know if the battery can start your vehicle on a cold winter day.
To get this reading, place the red probe on the “Volt DC” terminal again and place the black probe on the “Amps” terminal. Now turn the knob to the 20A scale and read the value displayed. If you do not get a reading reading on this scale then the battery is defective and may need to be replaced.
Finally, it’s time to know if the car battery can pass or fail the load test by applying a load to it using your multimeter. For this test you need to get a “lifting tool” that has a crocodile clip attached to it.
This lifting tool is what you use to lift the car and this clip is what you use to attach to the car battery. Attach one end of the clip to the terminal of the car battery and then attach the other end of the clip to the “amps” terminal on your multimeter. Now turn the knob on your multimeter to the 20A scale and see if you can get a higher reading by applying a small load to it. If the car battery passes this test then your car should start. If it fails then the battery needs to be charged or replaced.
How to Buy a Car Battery
When you’ve done all the necessary steps for testing your car battery and have come to the inevitable conclusion that you indeed need a new battery, you’ll have to go buy one. Now this may seem pretty straightforward, but there are actually several factors to take into consideration when buying a new one.
The first thing you’ll need to ask yourself is what is your budget? How much are you willing to spend on a battery?
Obviously the more you’re willing to spend, the higher quality battery you’ll be able to purchase. However, if you’re on a tight budget then there are some no-name batteries on sale that will do just fine for starters.
Next you’ll have to decide what size battery you’ll need. This depends on the size of your vehicle and a lot of other factors.
If you know your vehicle’s make, model and year, Google it and the word “battery” along with it and you should be able to find out what size you need. However, if you’re unsure about this, then all you have to do is get your old battery tested at the auto parts store when you go to purchase your new one.
Finally, once you’ve bought your new battery, all you have to do is install it yourself or take it to a garage and have them do it for you. The process of installing a car battery isn’t hard or time-consuming, but if you don’t feel like doing it yourself then there’s no shame in paying someone else to do it.
Battery Charging and Car Batteries
If you’ve come to the conclusion that your car battery is beyond repair or you’ve bought a new one and need to know how to charge it, then you’ve come to the right place. There are several factors that decide what kind of charger you should use for your battery.
The first thing you’ll have to consider is what kind of terminals does your battery have?
If your battery has standard terminals then all you need is a regular battery charger. However, if your battery has F1 terminals, you’ll need to buy a smart charger to avoid overcharging the battery which can be harmful. If your battery has F2 terminals then you’ll need to get a charger with desulphation capabilities.
Charging a car battery isn’t rocket science. All you have to do is follow the instructions that came with your charger and you’ll be fine.
Just make sure to not overcharge your battery and to keep an eye on it while it’s charging. If you notice any significant bubbling or hissing noises coming from your battery, unplug the charger right away. Always monitor the battery while charging and never leave a charging battery unattended.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Car Battery
There are several advantages and disadvantages when it comes to car batteries. One of the most significant ones is the size of car batteries.
While some car batteries are rather small, others are very large and quite heavy. Due to this fact, some batteries will be much easier to transport than others will. Car batteries also come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so there really is a battery out there for everyone.
The main disadvantage of car batteries is that they tend to be quite pricy. If you need a new battery, you’ll have to fork over some cash, which isn’t too fun for anyone.
Buying a battery isn’t like buying most other things; you can’t just buy the cheapest one because most of the time, the cheaper the battery is, the quicker it will die and you’ll end up having to buy another one in the near future anyway.
Sources & references used in this article:
Dynamic Method for Storage Battery Diagnostic Testing by KS Champlin – SAE Transactions, 1975 – JSTOR
Apparatus and method for simulating a battery tester with a fixed resistance load by JK Klang – US Patent 7,595,643, 2009 – Google Patents
A model for battery lifetime analysis for organizing applications on a pocket computer by D Rakhmatov, S Vrudhula… – IEEE Transactions on …, 2003 – ieeexplore.ieee.org
Method and apparatus for determination of battery run-time in uninterruptible power system by FA Stich, EG Beistle – US Patent 5,295,078, 1994 – Google Patents