10 Best Car Battery Testers – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Car Battery Tester

One of the most vulnerable car components is the battery and it needs to be replaced every 2 years or so. But how do you actually test your car battery and know if it is in working condition or not?

Your car electronic system is not equipped to diagnose the battery and going to a car electrician to check your battery is not very economical.

This is where the 12 V car battery tester comes into action. Basically, it is an affordable way to quickly and easily check on the status of your battery in a matter of seconds.

This tool is able to cover the voltage range of every car battery and will even tell you if your alternator is charging your car battery properly.

You can also like to read other product reviews such as car battery charger, car battery, ATV battery, RV battery.

10 Best Car Battery Tester Reviews

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Product Name

Battery Type

Tester Range

Rating

Current Price

Amprobe BAT-200 Battery Tester

1. Amprobe BAT-200 Battery Tester

AAA, AA, C, D

1.5 V - 9 V

4.4

Amprobe BAT-250 Battery Tester

2. Amprobe BAT-250 Battery Tester

AAA, AA, C, D

1.5 V - 9 V

4.5

Schumacher BT-100 Battery Tester

3. Schumacher BT-100 Battery Tester

6 V and 12 V batteries

0 V - 16 V

4.7

Clore Automotive Solar BA9 Digital Battery Tester

4. Clore Automotive Solar BA9 Digital Battery Tester

All 12 V batteries

7 V - 15 V

4.6

Cartman 12V Battery Tester

5. Cartman 12V Battery Tester

All 12 V batteries

N/A

4.2

Motopower MP0514A Digital Battery Tester

6. Motopower MP0514A Digital Battery Tester

All 12 V batteries

4 V - 20 V

4.5

Foxwell BT705 Battery Tester

7. Foxwell BT705 Battery Tester

12 V and 24 V batteries

12 V - 24 V

4.4

OTC 3181 Heavy Duty Battery Tester

8. OTC 3181 Heavy Duty Battery Tester

6 V and 12 V batteries

0 V - 16 V

4.4

Ancel BA101 Professional Battery Tester

9. Ancel BA101 Professional Battery Tester

All 12 V batteries

9 V - 15 V

4.3

Ancel BST500 Battery Tester

10. Ancel BST500 Battery Tester

12 V and 24 V batteries

N/A

4.4

#1. Amprobe BAT-200 Battery Tester 

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Amprobe BAT-200 Battery Tester
  • Test range: 1.5 V to 9 V
  • Battery Type: AAA, AA, C, D

The Amprobe looks like a vintage model with its analog meter needle and colored background. However, this is still a highly functional battery tester that is ideal for vehicles like motorcycles due to its test range of 1.5 V to 9 V.

Evidently, this model can be useful because but it will work great for AAA, AA, C, D batteries. Therefore, this model is extremely versatile and will make an excellent general purpose battery tester. One of the best things about this model is its ability to switch between different types of voltages to test different batteries.

In addition, the colored background makes it very easy to read whether your battery is in a good state or not. Basically, if it is in the red zone, you will need replacement while if it is in the far right and green zone, you are good to go.

All in all, this is a good car battery tester for anyone looking a general purpose tester for AAA, AA, C and D batteries.

Pros:

  • Very affordable. Value for money
  • The display is easy to read and understand
  • Versatile and general purpose battery tester
  • Does not require any battery to operate

Cons:

  • Cannot be used to test 12 V car batteries

#2. Amprobe BAT-250 Battery Tester

Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Amprobe BAT-250 Battery Tester
  • Test range: 1.5 V to 9 V
  • Battery Type: AAA, AA, C, D

The BAT-250 from Amprobe is a slightly upgraded model from the BAT-200 model we have just reviewed above. This model is even more ergonomic and will fit great in the hand. Furthermore, it will allow you to test different types of batteries, ranging from AAA to D batteries with ease.

We find the same analog meter needle and the same easy to read and large colored display that will tell you if you need a battery replacement if your battery is low or in good condition. Moreover, you can switch between the different type of batteries very easily with the spring-loaded battery holder.

Since this model is small and compact, you will have no problem holding it can one hand as well as carrying it in a pocket.

But one of the best things about this unit is that it does not require a battery to operate. Therefore, you do not have to go through the trouble of replacing your battery tester battery every now and then.

Pros:

  • Large and easy to read display
  • Small and compact. Can easily be carried in one hand and stored in a pocket
  • Versatile. Able to test a wide range of battery types
  • Does not need a battery to work

Cons:

  • Not able to test 12 all car batteries

#3. Schumacher BT-100 Battery Tester

Editor's Rating: (4.7 / 5)

Schumacher BT-100 Battery Tester
  • Test range: 0 V to 16 V
  • Battery Type: 6 V and 12 V batteries

The Schumacher is regarded by many as being one of the best car battery testers for the money. Indeed, this cost-effective car battery tester is very easy to use and has a high amperage load which will allow it to work with 6 V or 12 V batteries up to 1000 CCA.

With this little device, you will be able to see if your car charging system is working properly as well as check if your car battery is sending the necessary amperage throughout the electrical system. Moreover, this model comes with 2 copper leads for better electrical conductivity and can easily be switched on or off with power button at the front.

It has a large handle at the top that will allow you to hang it for better ease-of-use. Since it is able to test both 6 V and 12 V batteries, you will have no problem using this battery tester to check the battery of both your car as well as your motorcycle.

Pros:

  • Small and compact. Easily fit in the handment
  • Able to test high amperage car batteries up to 100 A
  • Top handle and allows you to hang it for better ease-of-use
  • 2 copper leads for better electrical conductivity

Cons:

  • The analog meter lacks accuracy

#4. Clore Automotive Solar BA9 Digital Battery Tester

Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)

Clore Automotive Solar BA9 Digital Battery Tester
  • Test range: 7 V to 15 V
  • Battery Type: All 12 V batteries

The Clore is a digital battery tester that has been made to test a wide range of vehicles, ranging from motorcycles up to cars. Indeed, it has a versatile voltage test range of 7 V to 15 V as well as a wide testing capacity of 40 CCA to 1200 CCA.

Therefore, this model despite being very small and compact is able to test almost every type of car batteries as well as motorcycle batteries on the market. One of the best things about this model is that the digital LCD display is backlit and easy to read in any type of light condition.

Moreover, the spring-loaded connector leads are quite long and you should have no problem connecting it to your battery connectors.

But one of the things that we like the most is that this compact car battery tester has a rubberized texture that promotes handling as well as prevents it from slipping and falling over in your vehicle.

Pros:

  • Rubberized texture. Feels great in the hand as well as antiskid
  • The LCD display is easy to read during the day as well as at night
  • Compatible with a wide range of batteries, from 7 V to 15 V

Cons:

  • The price could have been a little bit more cost-effective

#5. Cartman 12V Battery Tester

Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)

Cartman 12V Battery Tester
  • Test range: N/A
  • Battery Type: All 12 V batteries

The Cartman is the most affordable model in this car battery tester review. This model is quite basic and does not come with an advanced digital or even analog meter. However, it has a lighting system that goes from a red indicator to a green indicator which will show you whether your battery is in good shape or not.

It is one of the easiest car battery testers to use even if it does not display a detailed voltage information. On the other hand, this model has been made specifically for testing 12 all car batteries so it will technically work with the battery of any car.

All you have to do is place the connectors on your battery connector and it will immediately display an indicator light. In addition, this unit is also made so as to check the state of your alternator and find out whether it is charging your car battery or not.

All in all, if you do not need specific voltage values, then the Cartman is a top-rated car battery tester that comes at an unbeatable price.

Pros:

  • Very easy-to-use by even absolute beginners
  • Able to check both the car battery as well as the alternator
  • Ergonomic. Fits great in the hand

Cons:

  • The connector leads are not very long
  • Does not display detailed voltage values

#6. Motopower MP0514A Digital Battery Tester

Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Motopower MP0514A Digital Battery Tester
  • Test range: 4 V to 20 V
  • Battery Type: All 12 V batteries

The Motopower has one of the most versatile voltage test range we have seen as it can test batteries anywhere from 4 V up to 20 V. One of the good things about this battery tester is that it has a red digital display that will give you the exact voltage with great accuracy.

Moreover, this is a universal car battery tester so it will work with any 12 V car battery on the market regardless of type. Further, the alligator connector leads are clearly marked so that you can easily tell the polarity.

In addition, the shape of this battery tester is ergonomic and you will have no problem holding it for an extended period of time. The indication on this tester is also excellent as it has the ability to not only test the car battery voltage but also check if your car alternator is working.

All in all, in terms of versatility, the Motopower is a true winner. It is definitely one of the best 12 V car battery testers on the market and it can even if it can test any battery from 4 V up to 20 V.

Pros:

  • Versatile. Able to test a wide range of batteries from 4 V to 20 V
  • The digital display gives an accurate voltage
  • Easy to see if your battery and alternator is working fine

Cons:

  • The alligator connector lead wire is a little short

#7. Foxwell BT705 Battery Tester

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Foxwell BT705 Battery Tester
  • Test range: 12 V to 24 V
  • Battery Type: 12 V and 24 V batteries

The Foxwell BT705 has been designed so as to be a heavy-duty car battery tester that is able to test any 12 V or 24 V batteries with a capacity of 100 to 2000 CCA. Moreover, this model has a large digital display which allows it to show a wide range of information concerning your car battery.

One of the good things about this model is its ergonomic design and a rubber back which makes it anti-slip. There is little to no risk for this car battery tester to slip and fall during testing. Moreover, it displays the CCA value of the car battery with great accuracy. This is something that other models have difficulty in doing.

The only caveat we have with this model is its steep price. But other than this, this Foxwell unit is a top-rated car battery tester that can be used for heavy-duty car battery testing in both cars as well as trucks.

Pros:

  • Can be used as a heavy-duty battery tester. Durable and long-lasting
  • The back is rubberized so as to prevent it from slipping
  • Able to test both 12 V for cars as well as 24 V batteries for trucks

Cons:

  • The price. It is an expensive unit

#8. OTC 3181 Heavy Duty Battery Tester

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

OTC 3181 Heavy Duty Battery Tester
  • Test range: 0 V to 16 V
  • Battery Type: 6 V and 12 V batteries

The OTC 3181 is an analog and ergonomic battery tester that is built like a tank. Indeed, it uses quality materials in the build construction that makes it a durable and long-lasting battery tester that can be used for both professional as well as amateur use.

Due to its versatile test range of 0 V to 16 V, this tester can be used to test almost any type of vehicle battery on the market with the exception of truck batteries. In addition, the alligator connector lead has a thick wire with a high amperage.

Moreover, the analog display is surprisingly easy to read and has a color code of red, yellow and green that will show you whether your battery is in good condition need a replacement. You can use this battery tester to check if your car alternator is working properly as well.

Pros:

  • Ergonomic handle. Easy to hold without hand fatigue
  • Long and thick alligator connector leads
  • The display has a color code. Easy to read

Cons:

  • Not as accurate when compared to a digital car battery tester

#9. Ancel BA101 Professional Battery Tester

Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)

Ancel BA101 Professional Battery Tester
  • Test range: 9 V to 15 V
  • Battery Type: All 12 V batteries

The Ancel BA101 is a small and compact battery tester that comes with a widescreen. This model has a versatile test range of 9 V to 15 V so you will have no problem using it on either a motorcycle or in a car.

Additionally, the display is quite large and visible both during the day as well as at night. It displays a wide range of information as well that you can toggle through using the arrow keys.

So as to promote comfort, this battery tester is ergonomic and has grooves to the side for easier handling. Moreover, it comes with a 3 feet cable that will allow you to connect the alligator clips to any distant or large car battery with ease.

Pros:

  • Versatile voltage ranges of 9 V to 15 V. Can test both motorcycles as well as with cars
  • Small and compact. Very portable
  • Large LCD display shows a lot of information
  • Long connector lead cables of 3 feet

Cons:

  • Not the most accurate. The connector leads can cause resistance that may affect the voltage reading

#10. Ancel BST500 Battery Tester

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Ancel BST500 Battery Tester
  • Test range: N/A
  • Battery Type: 12 V and 24 V batteries

For years, the Ancel BST500 has been regarded by many as the best car battery tester on the market. This is because this model has an excellent build construction and displays a very detailed report for all 12 V or 24 V batteries.

Moreover, the ergonomic design of this battery tester makes it easy and comfortable to hold, even for an extended period of time. Best of all, the alligator connectors have a long wire with a red and black color code that makes it easy to connect to a large battery.

Furthermore, this model comes with no less than 2 LCD displays that show information like the CCA, voltage, resistance, amongst others. If you need a very detailed report about your car battery or alternator, this is the model to get even if the price is a little bit expensive.

Pros:

  • Versatile. Able to work with both 12 all car batteries as well as 24 V truck batteries
  • 2 large LCD displays. Able to show more information when compared to other models
  • LCD display is backlit. Clearly visible both during the day as well as at night

Cons:

  • The price. One of the most expensive car battery testers on the market

How to Buy a Car Battery Tester

How to Buy a Car Battery Tester

#1. Types of Battery

There are several types of car batteries like a deep cycle, lithium ion, SLI and wet cell. You must ensure that your car battery tester is able to work with the specific type of car battery that you have.

In most cases, this should not be a problem because the car battery tester only tests the output voltage of the battery and not its make and model.

Therefore, most car battery testers should be able to test a wide range of voltages in a car battery. Generally, it should be able to test anywhere from 9 V up to 16 V with ease.

#2. Display

The display of the car battery tester is where you check the voltage of your battery. It needs to be sufficiently large so that you have no problem seeing the displayed voltage value.

Additionally, if you are planning to use the car battery tester in a low light condition, then it is always a good idea to go with a model that has a backlit screen.

This will allow you to see more clearly regardless of whether you are viewing it during the day, in bright sunlight or at night.

#3. Connector Leads

The connector leads another part of your tester that connects to your battery connectors. Ensure that your connector leads are large enough so as to fit any type of battery connector, whether it is a big connector or small connector.

Additionally, if you are planning to use the car battery tester for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to go with a model that has an ergonomic connector lead handle covered with a soft rubber material.

#4. Anti-slip back

The back of the car battery tester is an important aspect to consider. Sometimes when checking your car battery, you may want to place your car battery tester in an awkward position and you don’t want it to slip and fall.

For this reason, ensure that your car battery tester comes with an anti-slip back that will prevent this from happening. Most of the time, this is a soft rubber material that grips the car battery tester firmly in position.

#5. Ease of use

The car battery tester is generally not a very difficult car accessory to use. However, ensure if the manufacturer makes any mention of how easy it is to use. Additionally, the car battery tester should work out of the box. Simply connect the leads to your battery connectors, switch it on and it should display the voltage right away.

#6. Ease to carry

If you’re planning to carry your car battery tester with you, then portability is important. In order to be portable, the car battery tester needs to be fairly lightweight and also small and compact so as to be easy to carry in a small pocket or bag. In most cases, it should usually be less than 1 lbs in weight so as to be easy to carry.

#7. Brand

When choosing a car battery tester, you also need to pay attention to the brand because a good brand will ensure that you are getting a quality model that is durable and long-lasting. We recommend that you avoid no-name brands and go with a reputable one.

#8. Price

The car battery tester is generally not a very expensive car electronics accessory. You should be able to get a good digital car battery tester for less than 100 bucks. If you are on a tight budget, then you can still get a quality model for around $50.

In any case, we recommend that you set a budget when purchasing the car battery tester and stick to it because you can quickly find yourself overspending when purchasing this device.

How to Test Car Battery

How to Test Car Battery

Step 1 – Locate your battery connectors

Your battery connector consists of a positive connector and a negative connector. Your battery tester will have a black wire and a red wire that will denote polarity.

At this point, it is a good idea to clean your car battery connectors from rust and corrosion with a wire brush and some WD40 or other car connector cleaners.

Then, you will need to connect your black wire on your battery tester to the negative connector of your car battery. Likewise, connect the red wire of your car battery tester to the positive connector of your car battery.

Once you have done this step, switch on your car battery tester.

Step 2 – Check the Voltage

Once the above step has been performed, your car battery tester should automatically display the voltage of your battery. If you have a good battery, it should display a value of 12.6 V or above. Note that you will need to perform this step with your car engine not running.

Step 3 - Check the alternator

Checking the car battery is not enough. You will also need to check the alternator and see if it is charging the car battery correctly. You will now need to switch on your car engine.

While your car battery tester is still connected to your car battery, check if it displays a voltage of 13.7 V to 14.7 V. Ideally, this is the voltage that the alternator sends to your battery in an attempt to charge it. If it is less voltage or more than the value indicated above, then you have an alternator a problem.

Conclusion

The battery tester is an important tool to have for any vehicle owners. Whether you are a professional car electrician or the proud owner of a home garage, you need this tool in your arsenal. You never know when your car battery can fail and this tool will help you diagnose it in seconds.

Best of all, the car battery tester is extremely affordable and easy to use. If you have never used one before, don’t worry. There is no experience necessary to operate this device.

Finally, our car battery tester review above contains a wide range of testers for every need and budget. If you are still unsure which model of the tester to go with, we recommend that you read the review again.

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