Best Car Battery Testers: Check Your Cranking Power

If you're wondering what's going on with your battery, these top car battery testers will give you answers

Best Overall

TT Topdon Car Battery Tester

Check Latest Price

Best Value

AUTDER Car Battery Tester

Check Latest Price

Honorable Mention

FOXWELL Automotive 100-2000 CCA Battery Load Tester

Check Latest Price

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

Can’t remember the last time you replaced your car battery? Or maybe you’re encountering new issues like rough starts or sudden battery failures. Either way, it’s time to stop wondering and get answers and you don’t have to bring your car into the shop. With a car battery tester in your toolkit, you can find out exactly what’s going on under the hood. Designed to test your car’s battery and reveal its charge, its functionality, and any potential issues, one of these testers can help you pinpoint problems the first time they occur. Compact, reasonably priced, and able to test for anywhere from one to a whole host of common battery issues, a quality car battery tester can deliver results when you need them most. And we’ve rounded up some of the best car battery testers you can buy right here.

Best Car Battery Testers Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall

TT Topdon Car Battery Tester

Check Latest Price

Best Value

AUTDER Car Battery Tester

Check Latest Price

Honorable Mention

Foxwell Automotive 100-2000 CCA Battery Load Tester

Check Latest Price

Most User-Friendly

ANCEL BST200 Car Battery Tester

Check Latest Price

Best Analog

Schumacher Battery Load Tester and Voltmeter

Check Latest Price

Best Feature-Filled

Motopower 12V Car Battery Tester

Check Latest Price

How We Selected Car Battery Testers

There are many different car battery testers available out there, and we set out to find those made with great accuracy, lasting quality, and solid reliability. So, when we started our search for the best battery testers, we sought out those that worked easily and delivered readings in just a couple of seconds. We compared different devices based on their ease of use, their accuracy at taking battery readings, and their ability to work on batteries both at full charge capacity and significantly low. We also looked for testers that could work with all types of 12-volt batteries for extra versatility.

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

How do you choose a car battery tester and know it’s one of quality? We’ve got your guide. Here, you’ll find all of the information you need to separate the best testers from the rest, with tips, shopping advice, and all of the hallmarks of a good product.

What to Consider When Buying Car Battery Testers

Types 

Digital Battery Tester

A digital car battery tester can test discharged batteries and assess a variety of different types of batteries, such as AGM and gel cell batteries, which are increasingly more common. In addition, these units feature functions not included on traditional load testers. You’ll be able to test a wide range of different battery aspects with a digital device, including your alternator’s starting output, and many can also store readings or print that data if you’d like.

Traditional Load Tester

A traditional load tester requires some state of charge to assess a battery’s condition as that’s the only way to get an accurate assessment of the battery’s capacity and condition. Specifically, a discharged battery needs to be charged in advance for 30 or 60 minutes for the load tester to work properly. These car battery testers are simpler and more straightforward, but they do lack the ability to test a wide range of different battery metrics.

Key Features

Battery Type

Different types of vehicles have different types of batteries. Some car battery testers and chargers work on many types of batteries, such as conventional, AGM, gel cell, spiral wound, and deep cycle. The more versatile the device is, the more useful it is. Just make sure it will work on your particular vehicle’s battery before you make a purchase.

Ease of Use

For the most part, a car battery load tester is fairly simple to operate. If you’re not mechanically inclined, choose a device that’s easy to use right out of the box that doesn’t require a complex setup. It should also provide test results that are simple to decipher. Smaller and ergonomically designed devices are great if you plan on transporting the device, and some have a compact design, so they can fit in a pocket.

Display

You check the voltage of your battery on the car battery tester’s display. Are you getting a traditional battery tester with a single metric display or an LCD display that details a host of functions? Pick the one that lines up with your budget and your required needs.

Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and car battery testers. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • You can use an automotive load battery tester to diagnose potential issues with the battery and its performance.
  • Some battery analyzers offer advanced readouts that present more information about the battery’s health and overall performance.

FAQs

Q. Is a battery tester simple to read?

After a quick scroll through your tester’s user manual, it’s pretty simple to use in order to read the power level of any battery. Some testers, however, do offer more advanced readouts and functions that may have a steeper learning curve.

Q. How do I connect a battery tester?

Most testers are designed to connect directly to the battery terminals where it can complete the circuit with the battery itself.

Q. Can you load test a dead battery?

Nope, there has to be at least some state of charge to accurately test the condition of a battery. You’ll have to attempt to charge it via a battery charger or jump the car, motorcycle, or RV in question.  

Final Thoughts

When you need a lot of accuracy and information related to your car battery, the TT Topdon Car Battery Tester is hard to beat. The AUTDER Car Battery Tester is also an excellent option when you can live with a smaller screen and basic functionality.

Share

Heather Fishel is a writer well-versed in subject matter that’s both informative and intriguing. In her career, she’s authored articles on topics encompassing food and recipes, productivity, life hacks, history, psychology, helpful mind hacks, education, and efficiency. A contributing writer for a number of publications, Heather has written for WonderHowTo, Campus Explorer, War History Online, College Niche, Electronic Retailing Magazine, and Clean Eating Magazine.