How to Use a Battery Tester

Most battery testers have two clips (or test leads), you first attach these to the battery’s terminals (connectors), then you press a button (or switch), and a few seconds later, the tester displays or prints a result indicating the battery’s condition. The details of you use a battery tester depends on what kind of battery you have, the electrical system it is connected to, and which tester you plan to use. Some battery testers require disconnecting the battery from the vehicle, while others have different limitations. Most battery testers only work on one, or a few different types of batteries. We describe how to use five different battery testers below:

  1. Carbon Pile Battery Testers
  2. Hand-Held Battery Load Testers
  3. Battery Hydrometry Testers
  4. Battery Conductance Testers
  5. Multimeters

Caution: Be careful to follow the battery manufacturer’s precautions when testing, as well as the tester manufacturer’s directions, and read the vehicle (or other system) manual before doing any test, or even disconnecting the battery.