Best Car Battery Testers UK (Reviews) 2020
Imagine this – it’s a cold winter morning and you’re bustling out to your car to begin your morning commute. You’re ready for the warm embrace of your car’s heating when, before you can even start your engine, your car begins to sputter. You try to turn the key again and again, but you begin to suspect that your car’s battery has run dry. It’s at times like this that you could really use a car battery tester.
In essence, a car battery tester allows you to simply and efficiently hook up to your car’s battery and determine both its present charge and its overall condition. While this can really come in handy in a pinch, you can also use it routinely to ensure that you nip a degrading battery in the bud before it has a chance to fail.
Best Car Battery Testers in the UK Reviews
In an era of smartphones and user-friendly digital devices, it’s no wonder how the Topdon ArtiBattery101 became the gold standard in car battery testers. At its very core, this model represents the evolution of analog technologies that long made car battery testers challenging for amateurs to use. Case and point – this model’s full digital display, which displays all readouts with crisp contrast in English, Spanish, French, German, and a number of other languages. Moving through this device’s menus is a breeze as well when you use its well-arranged keyboard.
The Topdon ArtiBattery101 is also a leading performer when it comes to testing car batteries across the spectrum. Flooded, AGM flat plate, AGM spiral, gel batteries, and more – all of these 12 volt lead-acid batteries can be tested by this device while still managing to return a result in 3 seconds. At the same time, the Topdon ArtiBattery101 also provides a battery health evaluation based upon 10 of the most common battery rating standards.
- Onboard full digital display makes it easy to interpret results in plain English
- Can test most all 12V lead-acid batteries, including regular flooded, AGM flat plate, AGM spiral, and gel batteries
- Returns result in 3 seconds
- Comes with a 12 month warranty
- Pricier option
So far as car battery testers go, the MOTOPOWER MP0514B finishes in close second for best overall. That’s because this model utilizes a recently reengineered microprocessor control unit that increases its accuracy while also speeding up its response time. The MOTOPOWER MP0514B is also a pro when it comes to telling you if your battery is dramatically overcharged or undercharged, with its DC voltage output ratings landing between 4 and 20 on most 12 volt batteries.
The MOTOPOWER MP0514B is often recommended to car maintenance novices as well, not least because its simplified operation and user interface provide new users with a crucial insight into the needs of their vehicle. After running a test with this unit’s reverse hookups, for example, new users will quickly and easily be able to evaluate their battery’s health using one of this model’s color-coded LED lights. New and experienced users alike can feel safe using this model, too, thanks to its inclusion of reverse polarity, short circuit, and overload protections.
- Reverse hookups allow novices to operate this device with ease
- Colored LED system clearly communicates battery status
- Outputs DC voltage ratings between 4 and 20 on 12 volt batteries
- Reverse polarity, short circuit, and overload protections all ensure the user’s safety while interacting with the battery
- Some units ship without instructions
Next up, we have the Neoteck PW020. This model may look rather basic at first blush, but it is actually packed with multiple functions that operate at the same time. For example, when you attach this model’s color-coded alligator clamps to your battery’s terminals, the Neoteck PW020 will instantly run a check of your battery’s state as well as your alternator’s health. Using the information read outs provided by this model’s 6 differentiated LED indicators, you can remain proactive when it comes to maintaining these two critical vehicle components.
Those aforementioned alligator clamps are worth a second mention. That’s because this model’s alligator clamps are insulated right out of the box. This allows them to safely operate and remain productive far longer than the clamps used by their competitors. Be sure to keep in mind that these clamps are a little smaller than average, so they may not fit larger battery terminals.
- Checks battery status and alternator status at the same time
- 6 LED lights indicate statuses, including if a fault is detected
- Alligator clamps are insulated, allowing them to remain safe and productive through many uses
- Clamps are color-coded to match battery terminals
- Clamps only fit flat terminals well
- Instructions could be more clearly written
Like the #2 pick in our collection, the MOTOPOWER MP0514D utilizes a fantastic microprocessor that allows it to return hyper-accurate results in mere seconds. In fact, internally, this model is noticeably similar, even down to its inclusion of reverse hookups and over-voltage protections. Interacting with your test results on this unit isn’t a major hassle either due to the crisp contrast on its lighted digital display.
However, the MOTOPOWER MP0514D does have one important feature that allows it to standout – literally. Specifically, this model comes in a bright orange case that provides it with plenty of visibility while you fish it out from your glove box. Along the same lines, you shouldn’t have any trouble attaching this model’s 30 amp clamps, which are just a bit larger than previous versions.
- 30 amp alligator clamps compatible with most 12 volt battery terminals
- Bright LED screen provides crisp numeric outputs
- Bright orange case makes it easy to keep track of this unit
- Built-in safety protocols, including reverse polarity, short circuit, and overload protection
- Online options are pricier than at retail
- Some units are known to ship without instructions
Finally, we come to the model in this collection that most closely matches the devices mechanics and other automotive professionals use when testing a battery’s health – the Silverline 282625. As is appropriate for a high grade model such as this, the Silverline 282625 utilizes copper-coated clamp tips that are durable and conductive beyond compare. This model is able to perform tests on 6 volt batteries as well as standard 12 volt batteries too, so you can trust it to operate effectively when interacting with both large and small cars.
As a tradeoff, the Silverline 282625 does come with a slight learning curve. This is particularly the case with this model’s readout interface, which relies on an old-fashioned analog spectrum module. You’ll have plenty of time to decide if this car battery tester is for your for, though, because it comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Compatible with 6 and 12 volt batteries
- Copper-coated tips are extra durable and conductive
- Closely matches the style used by mechanics
- Comes with an extra-long 3-year warranty
- Readout scale can be hard to interpret without experience
Automotive Battery Testers Buying Considerations
Know Your Skill Level
Before you purchase a new car battery tester, you should self-evaluate your own skills when it comes to vehicle maintenance. While most car battery testers are fairly safe to operate, they do come with the slight risk of electrocution due to their direct interface with your car’s battery terminals. If you don’t feel confident about your skills in this department, you may choose to seek out a professional battery evaluation from a trained mechanic instead.
Use a Model Compatible with your Car’s Battery
As a rule, most modern car battery testers work with the 12 volt batteries that are installed into most foreign and domestic vehicles today. However, some more compact models make use of a 6 volt battery, which in turn requires you to obtain a tester that is compatible with small cell types. While some specialized models can test both battery types with the same clamps, you may also need to pick up a devoted 6 volt car battery tester to keep in your glove box.
The Final Word
So, what will you do next time your battery putters out? While you could just hope that your battery will remain charged enough to get you to home, you could also know your car battery’s status with certainty by using a car battery tester regularly. This guide can help you find the car battery tester that’s right for your budget and battery type, so take some time to reread it before hitting “buy now” on your chosen car battery testing device.