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Battery Load Tester

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Your car's battery is a low-maintenance component and isn't prone to frequent malfunctions. However, its load has to be tested every now and then to ensure maximum performance. Fortunately, this maintenance task is easy since a battery load tester is now an affordable and easily accessible tool for home mechanics. It's also a user-friendly tool that won't require advanced automotive knowledge. As a matter of fact, you can easily use this tool to check your battery's condition. Check out the guide below on how to use this equipment.

Reminders before testing the battery:

  • Disconnect the negative ground cable of the battery, and make sure that the vehicle ignition is switched off.
  • Make sure that the battery is at least 75% charged before testing. However, the battery shouldn't be connected to a charger while doing the test.
  • Check the battery terminals and posts for rust and dirt accumulation. If they're rusty, clean them up first since corrosion can cause a high-resistant connection, leading to inaccurate readings.

Using the battery load tester to check battery condition

  • Connect the red positive wire to the positive battery post. The positive cable and posts are indicated with a positive sign (+). Then connect the black negative cable to the negative battery post.
  • Hold down the load switch for about 10 seconds. Take note of the LCD reading before releasing the switch.
  • Disconnect the red positive cable before removing the black negative cable from the post.
  • Understanding the reading

    Below 6.10 volts . It's possible that the battery wasn't completely discharged before the 1st test, but it's more likely that the battery is in poor shape. Unfortunately, a battery in this condition can't be repaired and has to be replaced as soon as possible.

    Between 10 to 12 volts . This means the battery is in perfect working condition.

    Between 6.10 and 10 volts . This reading signifies a weak battery. Just to be sure, recharge the battery and do the test again. If the reading is the same, at least one cell is in bad shape. This means you'll have to get a replacement battery. Now if the result hovers between 10 and 12 volts after recharging, it means the battery is still in good shape and just wasn't properly charged before testing.

    Other tips to consider:

    • Because a battery load tester gets hot when in use, let it cool down for a couple of minutes. If you need to repeat the test, make sure to wait two to three minutes before conducting the second test.
    • Never hold the test button down for more than 15 seconds. Doing so can irreparably damage the battery load tester.
    • If the battery passes the test, recharge it as soon as you can to prevent sulfation, a process that is usually due to a poorly charged battery.
    • Always double-check the instructional materials included in the battery load tester.
    • If you plan to do other inspections (alternator and ignition system tests), make sure to follow the exact instructions for every test type, and never overload the tester.