Choosing the Right Car Battery Tester
If you don’t have a good quality car battery tester, you’ll never really have an accurate idea of what condition your battery is in and how much of a charge it’s really capable of retaining. In the following paragraphs, you will find a list of features and specifications found in a quality twelve volt battery tester. Also included in these paragraphs will be explanations of why you want the features listed. When you start looking around for that perfect car battery tester, make sure you choose one that has these features at a minimum.
Adjustable Load/Capacity Testing
All batteries aren’t created equal. There are batteries of various sizes and cold cranking amp ratings. These amperage capabilities range from around 400 Cold Cranking Amps all the way up to over 1200 Cold Cranking Amps. Because of this variety, a car battery tester is not a “one test mode fits all” type of tool. A good twelve volt car battery tester is going to allow you to select a range that it will test. As an example, switch position one may pertain to 400 Cold Cranking Amps up to 500 Cold Cranking Amps, and so on. The best quality car battery tester is going to allow you set the meter in 100 Amp increments so that it will put as accurate a load on the battery as possible. This twelve volt battery tester is also going to allow you to switch between six volt battery systems and twelve volt systems for added versatility.
You don’t want a car battery tester that is going to fall apart the first time it’s dropped or misused. You want one with a rugged metal construction, a well insulated handle and heavy duty test leads with full size clamps. Load resistor construction should be carbon pile for added accuracy and durability.
Make sure that the unit to pick has a scale that is clearly printed, with a quality lens that allows accurate reading of the meter without distortion from any angle you view it at. Perceived deflection of where the meter’s pointer is at due to refraction caused by the lens can lead to incorrect assessments of battery condition.
In order to ensure that you’re buying a quality tool that’s going to last and maintain a high degree of accuracy throughout its lifetime, check your local White Pages for Mac™ or SnapOn™ retailer. You’re going to pay a bit more when you purchase from these guys, but you’re also going to get one of the best twelve volt battery testers on the market at any price.
One thing that most people, mechanics included, overlook when they test car batteries is the condition of the electrolyte, or its specific gravity or density. For this test, you need a hydrometer or car battery acid tester. This tool looks like a turkey baster. With this tool, you insert the hose into the individual cells of the battery, draw a quantity of fluid up into the tester and observe where the floating indicator is. These can be picked up quite cheaply at any large local parts store.
Proper and accurate testing of your car battery’s electrical and electro-chemical condition is an important part of proper battery maintenance. You now have a list of specifications or features to look for in a car battery tester, as well as recommendations of two of the best brands. You have also been given information on what type of tool is needed to test the condition of your car’s battery acid.