Checking the condition of your car battery can be done using a multimeter. You measure the voltage between the positive and negative terminals of the battery with the multimeter and depending on the voltage reading, you can determine if the battery is adequate, losing charge, or depleted. You pretty much need to know the range of voltages that determine what the voltage reading means. You also have some ways to check the cranking and charging health of your battery, but again you need to do some research and determine what range your battery voltage falls into.
An easier alternative and one that I much prefer doing is using a battery tester. A battery tester is a tool dedicated to the job of testing your car battery’s health, as well as the charging and cranking health of your battery. It takes the guess work out of figuring out the voltage ranges and testing procedures, and puts it all into an easy-to-use tool.
TOPDON provided me with their popular BT300P Battery Tester to review and I’d like to share my thoughts on the product from using it over the past few weeks on various cars.
The BT300P Battery Tester has an integrated pair of battery clamps that connect to the car battery. Once connected to the battery terminals, the BT300P turns on as it gets its power from the battery. It even has an integrated printer with extra rolls of receipt paper to print our your results for reference. Everything comes in a soft protective case that keeps everything together nice-and-tidy.
After attaching the red cable to the positive (+) battery terminal and then the black cable to the negative (-) battery terminal, the unit powers on. The interface is simple and gives you the major tests available for you to run. The buttons are responsive and the whole unit feels rugged and well-made.
I ran a battery test on a good battery, which produced a simple read out (pictured below) with the battery health, CCA (cold-cranking amps), charge percentage, voltage read, and internal resistance as well as the rated CCA’s. You can simply press the print button and a paper print-out comes right out.
I also ran through the charging and cranking tests on a vehicle that had a dead battery. The results are very easy to read and understand, similar to the battery health test.
The display is a 2.4″ color screen, which makes it very clear to read when you’re going through the menu and results. It also has the ability to test different types of car batteries; I was able to test out a typical flooded battery and an AGM battery as well with ease.
Using a battery tester is just so much easier than using a multimeter and figuring out what all of your various voltage readings mean. The TOPDON BT300P is a high quality device that is incredibly useful for checking the health of your car batteries.
I think this unit is great, however if you don’t need the color screen and/or the printer function, TOPDON does offer other lower-priced models such as the BT200 (color screen, but no printer) and the BT100 (backlit screen, no printer). But, if you do a lot battery testing for other people or maybe you just want a quick printout of the results for reference, this is just a dream to have.