Best Car Battery Testers – [2020] Buyer’s Guide Review

Being the most vulnerable component, a good condition of the battery is important to ensure the proper maintenance of your vehicle. A battery tester is a cost-efficient method to test the battery status of your car.

Investing in a great battery tester is always a good move to avoid frequent battery fails. While there are so many battery testers, picking the right one can be a tedious process. 

Well, have a look at our review of the best car battery testers currently available on the market to ease your decision-making.

Comparison Chart of the Best Car Battery Testers

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Schumacher BT-100

  • Compatibility with a range of vehicles
  • Top-mounted rocker to allow a smooth operation
  • Tests both 6 and 12-V batteries, making it the best overall
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INNOVA 3721

  • LCD offers a clear view of measurements
  • Suitable for 12-V negative ground systems
  • Runner-up that can be operated easily by just plugging into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter
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Clore Automotive SOLAR BA9 40-1200

  • LCD gives the optimal view of measurements
  • Compatible with 12-V battery and other systems
  • With 40-1200 CCA testing capacity, this model is considered as the best for the money
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CARTMAN 12V Car

  • Multiple checks for identification of battery status
  • Suitable for 12 volts battery for accurate diagnosis
  • LED display to give a clear indication of the working conditions
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MOTOPOWER MP0514A

  • Four-digit display to ensure accuracy
  • Rubber paint body to allow a firm grip
  • Over-voltage protection to make it a safe device
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How Does a Car Battery Tester Work?

A car battery tester is a piece of electronic equipment to test the electric batteries of your vehicle. They range from a simple model that gives voltage output to complex ones that are capable of analyzing the working conditions of your car’s battery.

This device checks the current coming from the battery by simply connecting the conductive leads between the tester and battery. A voltage output of 12.6 volts indicates the good condition of the battery. It lets you perform system tests as well as alternator tests in almost no time. A durable and sophisticated battery tester ensures diverse functionality.

Are All Car Battery Testers Universal?

Honestly, not all car battery testers are the same. There is a variety of testers available on the market that varies on their capabilities to test the battery status. 

Load Tester

This type of battery testers is equipped with a large resistor that helps it to take on an electrical load, just like the car’s starter motor. This feature helps you determine the condition of your car’s battery properly. 

The accurate measurements will help you decide whether you need to fix the problem or replace the battery. Just make sure to charge your battery before using this type of tester properly.

Conductance Tester

These are known as the simplest type you’ll find on the market. They help in the indication of the battery’s current voltage. It's results can help you decide whether the battery needs charging or an entire replacement.

Generally, it is recommended to go for testers that have the capacity to properly check the performance of your vehicle, including the car’s battery and alternators. This will not only help you keep a close eye on the battery function but will also enable you to fix potential problems before they arise.

What Makes a Great Car Battery Tester?

Maintenance of your car’s battery is essential to avoid frequent replacements. There are some great battery testers currently trending on the market. However, you might end up getting confused. Therefore, we’ve listed some crucial factors you should never miss on a car battery tester.

Brand

Although many people overlook this factor, it is quite important. A device from a well-reputed brand is likely to be of high-quality. This makes it not only durable but quite accurate in the measurements.

Quality Construction

Another significant feature of a commendable car battery tester is its premium construction. A tester composed of high-quality materials is more durable, which means it will serve the user for a longer time as compared to the one manufactured from cheaper materials.

Display

A good display gives you clear visibility of results. It needs to be big enough and backlit to offer clear readings, even in low-light conditions.

Connector Leads

The connector leads of the tester should be big enough to fit different types of battery connectors easily. Moreover, it is even better to opt for a unit with an ergonomically-designed handle.

Anti-Slip Design

Some testers come with a body that has an anti-slip feature, which makes it very handy. This feature saves the equipment from the potential risk of slipping and falling on the floor.

Quick Take - Best Car Battery Testers

In a hurry? Here's a snapshot of the best car battery testers:

  1. Schumacher BT-100
  2. INNOVA 3721
  3. Clore Automotive SOLAR BA9 40-1200

Review of the Best Car Battery Testers

You are now well aware of the major features that you must not overlook while picking a car battery tester. Next, we have laid down a detailed review of each product on our list to simplify your search.

Best Overall:
Schumacher BT-100

PROS

  • Design is simple yet attractive
  • Easy to use, this model is user-friendly
  • Heavy-duty battery clamp to allow a perfect grip
  • Directly test the battery without a need to disable
  • Efficiently diagnoses the battery’s condition and charging system

CONS

  • Might discharge smoke
  • Auto battery tester tends to overheat
  • Rubber handle might heat up during use

What Recent Buyers Report

The best overall product on our list is very well received by customers for a number of reasons. Its users report that it shows compatibility with a range of vehicular batteries. Moreover, it is highly appreciated for its easy and smooth operation, which saves the user from any struggle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A powerhouse of exceptional features, the Schumacher BT-100 stands out from its rivals for offering suitability for all 6 and 12 volt batteries. It is capable of testing battery conditions and diagnosing the charging system. Moreover, it features a super-grip clamp as well as a mounter switch that significantly enhances its usability.

Who Will Use This Most

This auto battery tester is suitable for a variety of battery standards, including SAE, EN, IEC, and JIS. Moreover, it is ideally designed to diagnose the errors in 6 and 12V batteries efficiently. Considering its capabilities, this model is an ideal choice for cars, light trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, and boats.

Bottom Line

In case you are in search of a great battery tester that is suitable for a number of vehicles, then get your hands on the Schumacher BT-100. Not only does this model have a durable and attractive design, but it is also capable of diagnosing the charging system of the battery in no time.

Runner-up:
Innova 3721

INNOVA 3721 Battery and Charging System Monitor

PROS

  • Easy to operate
  • Robust design to serve you in the long run
  • Color-coded LEDs to offer quick battery status
  • Head can be easily adjusted at any angle for testing
  • Visual display of measurements to make it user-friendly

CONS

  • Quality issues
  • Only limited testing of 12V systems
  • The system might break down at times

What Recent Buyers Report

This runner-up model is just behind the best overall unit for exhibiting some top-notch features. It is much appreciated by users for its easy handling and quick results. You just need to plug in the power receptacle to get an exact measurement of the battery and charging system voltage.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The INNOVA 3721 features everything that is essential for a high-grade battery tester. Talking about the design, it has a compact black appearance that can be carried around easily. It shows compatibility with 12-V negative ground system to offer a complete diagnosis of battery condition. Moreover, it comes with color-coded LEDs for quick identification of the battery status.

Who Will Use This Most

Specifically designed for 12-V systems, this high-performance device is capable of protecting your vehicle from any damage. You can easily check the voltage of the charging system and battery by employing this easy-to-use tester. It is, therefore, an ideal device to diagnose the working condition of the battery in a number of vehicles.

Bottom Line

A solid-performer, the INNOVA 3721 is a must-have. Not only does it come with an attractive design that allows you to pivot the head for easy viewing and adjustments, but this compact model also ensures accurate results without requiring much effort from the user. With this battery tester, what else could you ask for?

PROS

  • Very easy to handle
  • Most affordable model on the list
  • Suitable for a range of battery types
  • Extremely compact design that is highly portable
  • Ensures accurate measurements in no time

CONS

  • Lasts for only a few months
  • The instruction manual is not clear
  • Clips might not work in certain applications

What Recent Buyers Report

Just like other products from Clore Automotive, this battery tester has also received positive reviews from its customers. Its much-admired quality is its compact design, which enhances portability. Moreover, users report that they can easily view the results on the LCD, no matter what the lighting conditions are there.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Clore Automotive SOLAR BA9 40-1200 makes its way to our list for featuring some exceptional qualities, including compatibility with a number of battery types and great testing capacity. Moreover, it is easy to handle and gives optimal results in all working conditions. Last but not least, it comes at a reasonable price, which is quite impressive.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is a suitable option for testing 12V batteries and other systems. Similarly, the operating range is 7-15 volts, making it compatible with multiple battery types such as conventional flooded acid, AGM flat plate AGM spiral wound, and Gel cell. Apart from batteries, it is also suitable for many rating systems, including CCA, DIN, and IEC.

Bottom Line

Compatible with tons of battery types and rating systems, the Clore Automotive SOLAR BA9 40-1200 is surely one of the most efficient battery testers you’ll find on the market. It gives precise measurements that can be viewed by the LCD display. The most striking thing is that you get to have a great set of features at a very attractive price.

CARTMAN 12V Car Battery & Alternator Tester - Test Battery Condition & Alternator Charging (LED Indication)

PROS

  • Very easy to read
  • Quite efficient in operation
  • LED display makes it user-friendly
  • Exquisite and compact design to make it highly portable
  • Lets you check the battery condition even before charging

CONS

  • Looks cheap
  • Clamps are relatively small
  • Difficult to use for certain applications

What Recent Buyers Report

Users have multiple reviews about this battery tester. They like it for its compact size and smooth operation that saves the user from any confusion. Moreover, there are multiple checks to give thorough information about the working conditions of the battery. Although you have to struggle to work with clamps for the small size, this battery tester can be efficiently used to check the functionality of a car’s battery.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The CARTMAN 12v Car is a compact and easy-to-read tester which is capable of indicating the condition of a 12V battery. You just need to attach the clamps to the respective terminals of the battery for checking the battery status. The battery status can be easily designated by low, medium, and high.

Who Will Use This Most

Exhibiting a compact appearance, this model is quite a suitable option for those who want a tester that can be carried around easily. Not only does it show accurate measurements of 12V battery, but it can also be used for the diagnosis of your car’s alternator. You can employ an alternator check to get the exact information about the system.

Bottom Line

This model is packed with high-end features to the brim, including the LED display and great testing capabilities. Its appearance is attractive, plus its easy handling makes it a go-to choice for many customers out there. In short, you get to have a great deal at an affordable price.

PROS

  • The design has a rubber paint finish
  • Digital display to offer a clear view of results
  • Alligator clamps for making handling quite easy
  • Reverse-hookup and voltage-protection features mark safety
  • Color-coded LEDs for identification of alternator and battery status

CONS

  • Merely a voltmeter
  • Cables are a bit short
  • Might face some quality issues

What Recent Buyers Report

Like our above-mentioned picks, this last model has succeeded in winning the confidence of the users. It is highly admired for its quality construction and great LED display that is suitable for all lighting environments. There is minor concern over the length of cables; all in all, it is a great steal.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A high-end product, the MOTOPOWER MP0514A is no less than other products from the brand. It comes with a great design having a rubber paint finish. The tester is suitable for multiple battery types and gives accurate results on a digital LED screen. Moreover, it's backed by a 2-year warranty to mark reliability.

Who Will Use This Most

The MOTOPOWER MP0514A is undoubtedly a great pick for those who need a user-friendly device to check the working condition of their batteries. It gives a 4-digit result to ease the task and saves the user from any confusion. So whether you want to check the status of a battery of your car’s alternator, this tester is there to serve you.

Bottom Line

An extraordinary model with a range of features, the MOTOPOWER MP0514A is ideal for accurate diagnosis of battery status. The design is flawless, and a 2-year warranty adds on to perfection. Apart from the commendable performance, manufacturers are keen on every detail to improve the overall experience of the customer.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Every car owner needs to possess a great car battery tester to check the battery status of his car on a daily basis. This piece of equipment is quite affordable and, therefore, requires minor investment. However, with so many options available on the market, getting the right one can be daunting. Read on to find the essential factors you should take into consideration in order to avoid any regret in the future.

Battery Type

With a wide range of vehicles come different types of batteries, including lithium-ion batteries and deep cycle batteries. Therefore, one primary factor to consider is the type of battery used in your vehicle. The tester should be capable of performing well with your car’s battery.

Ease of Use

The model you choose should be user-friendly and requires minimum struggle from the user. Go for a tester that is ready to use and does not involve a complex setup procedure. Moreover, make sure the design is compact and highly portable so you can store it in your repair kit easily.

Compatibility

As mentioned above, there are several batteries available on the market. This makes the compatibility of the battery tester a crucial factor. Make sure that your picked device is compatible with the battery to enhance the versatility.

Price

Cost is an important factor as car battery testers come in a wide range of prices. Therefore, it is recommended to look for a model that is affordable yet equipped with all the essential features.

How to Use a Car Battery Tester

Once you have purchased a car battery tester, it’s time to check the condition of your car’s battery. Knowing how to use a tester is as important as getting the right one. Using it the right way will not only enhance its durability but also provides accurate results. 

Below are the general steps to follow.

Turn the Vehicle Off

Before starting, wear gloves and make sure the ignition of your vehicle is off as well as the lights.

Find Battery Connectors of Your Vehicle

Your tester’s connector leads have positive and negative terminals. Attach the positive lead on the battery tester to the positive terminal of the battery. Similarly, connect the negative lead to the respective negative terminal of your battery. 

Check the Voltage

After attaching the connector leads to the respective terminals, switch your battery tester on. After a while, it will give the results you’re looking for. If it reads above 12.6 volts, the battery’s condition is good. The tester will also help you determine whether you need to charge or replace the battery. 

Asses the Alternator

It is also recommended to check the battery’s alternator if it is properly charging the battery. For this, switch on the car’s engine, and if the resulting voltage lies within 13.7-14.7, then there is no problem.

Remove the Clamps

Once you’re done, carefully remove the negative terminal first and then the positive one. 

Conclusion

Having a great car battery tester onboard helps in the longevity of your battery and enables you to fix problems quickly. A great model is a solid-performer and user-friendly that is meant to bring value to your money. Before picking a battery tester, always look for a model that is compatible with your car’s battery in order to tell the working status efficiently.

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