Saturday, April 10, 2010

Save Money Load Testing Your Own Batteries

OTC Tools (OTC3182) 130-Amp Heavy-Duty Battery Load Tester

Load testing batteries is easy when you have the right tools. The wrong way to load test a battery is leaving the lights on and you're stuck at the mall waiting for a tow truck! If you have ever found yourself in that situation then investing in a portable load tester is well worth the money.

You can spend from $25 to $125 on a hand held load tester and once you use it and detect a weak battery in your vehicle or heavy truck for that matter it's more than paid for itself.   I.E. Avoiding a  ... $ Tow Truck $.
I think Auto Clubs are great but you're still stuck somewhere you don't want to be and late for supper or your kid's recital etc.

Battery Load Tester ASO-6029

Using a battery load tester is as easy as pie...hook up the positive and negative clamps, turn on or adjust the load and read the meter. If you do this every Fall before the cold weather hits or even every 3 months to check the state of charge and holding capacity of your battery, you will avoid the huge inconvenience of being stuck in a strange town or in 20 below weather looking for a new battery / jumpstart.

Actron CP7612 Battery Load Tester

How To Test A Battery Using A Hand Held Battery Tester

The rule of thumb that I use is take half of the Cold Cranking Amps known as the CCA Rating located on the label on top of  the battery. Let's say your CCA is 800 so you would load up your fully charged battery to a 400 amp load. The Voltage should not drop lower than 9.6 Volts over a duration of ten seconds.

Battery Tester Manufacturers will have slightly different instructions and parameters but in a nutshell that's in the ball park as far as the basic idea goes. This is an excellent preventive maintenance tool you can use to avoid a weak battery from going dead when you least expect it.

Years ago my battery went dead in my car 2 hours from home and I ended up installing it myself since I had tools on hand (The Mechanic's Code) ..."don't leave home without tools in the trunk". I paid over 30 bucks more than I would have at home, so lesson learned. The battery was several years old anyways (yeah I should know better!) but worked like a dream up to that point which makes one assume it's going to last a lot longer?

This is Mechanic Information right from the horse's mouth.You do not need a fancy $1000 state of the art piece of equipment. Find a battery tester that suits your needs and is user friendly.

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