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battery tester
Posted by: vairTer ()
Date: August 07, 2017 08:31PM

Beginning to have suspicions that my battery may be starting to die. It was bought by previous owner, so I don't know how old it is. It's a Centennial 84 month battery.

I could yank the battery and take it to a local Pep Boys, but I was wondering if I should buy a tester and decide for myself. You can find some very inexpensive ones, like this:

[www.amazon.com]

Does anyone have experience with testers like these? Are they any good?

Terry

1966 Monza PG convertible
Ventura County, CA

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: squirrel ()
Date: August 07, 2017 08:35PM

many batteries have a date code on them, usually a sticker with two numbers, like 5/11 which would be May, 2011.

when I buy a used car, I assume I will have to replace the battery, unless there is good reason to believe that it is less than 5 years old, AND the car has been driven continuously, not allowed to sit for any time.

I also replace batteries in each of our cars every 5 years whether they need it or not. Saves a lot of trouble, it's been a long time since I needed to use jumper cables. And doing this, I can buy cheap batteries, because they seem to last 5 years without issues.

Jim Forbes.......63 Monza coupe......Sierra Vista, AZ


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Re: battery tester
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: August 07, 2017 08:43PM

Had one for 50 yrs... They are used at home / Auto shops and industrial





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: August 08, 2017 09:33AM

If you do not have AAA and are worried - just replace the battery.

What symptoms is your battery giving?

My battery "test" is the engine will not turn over - or barely turn over.

I did have one battery that started "failing" by not starting the engine when it was "hot". Drive somewhere; stop; come back a few minutes later and the car would not start. Wait 10 minutes and the car would start. Replaced the battery and the problem went away. Battery was a few years past warranty; so I was not losing anything.

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: cnicol ()
Date: August 08, 2017 09:49AM

I've had one of those for decades and find it very useful. You just have to pay attention to the battery CCA and read the scale accordingly.

Craig N. Coeur d'Alene ID.
66 Black Monza 4dr, 4.2L V8 49k
61 Seamist Jade Rampside 140 PG
60 Monza coupe (sold, sniff sniff)
66 Sprint Corsa convt - First car! Re-purchased 43 years later

+17 Tons of parts

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: Tom Turbo ()
Date: August 08, 2017 12:06PM

I have a homebrew test that is a rough indicator. Turn on your headlights and crank the engine. If the lights really dim down the battery is on borrowed time. A good battery will dim a little, but really dim is a death warning.

If it don't go, chrome it!
Stroker McGurk, 1961.

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: flamingchariots ()
Date: August 08, 2017 08:41PM

I have one like this. Seems to work just fine, but be careful--- it gets extremely hot while testing.



Kevin
Medina, OH

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: Melb-Mike ()
Date: August 09, 2017 05:02PM

I have one too but it won't really tell you about the internal condition if the battery. They make electronic battery testers that measure a number of parameters including internal resistance and the can indicate if one of the cells has issues. There are some inexpensive electronic testers available from HF.

64 Greenbrier
64 Spyder (needs restoration)
65 Corsa 140, restored
66 Corsa turbo, restoring now
66 Corsa 140 "RR" code coupe fully restored
67 Pontiac GTO restored
69 Corvette 427 convertible restored
2004 Caterham R400 (Lotus super7)my race car
2015 Porsche Panamera S
2015 Corvette Z06
1965 AC Cobra (Factory Five)

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: August 09, 2017 05:21PM

Mike...Capacitance and internal resistance are not really of value on our types of Batteries... more for Nicads in large banks used for Backup power that must last 72 hrs., etc...so you don't have to replace 90 batteries at once..





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: Melb-Mike ()
Date: August 12, 2017 07:01PM

MattNall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mike...Capacitance and internal resistance are
> not really of value on our types of Batteries...
> more for Nicads in large banks used for Backup
> power that must last 72 hrs., etc...so you don't
> have to replace 90 batteries at once..


Matt, here I don't agree with you. Electronic testers test the battery's condition to provide the rated cranking amps even if the battery isn't at full charge and it will also indicate if one or more cells (6 cells in a 12V battery) are reading out of limits. The old fashioned resistance load tester doesn't tell much beyond how low the batteries potential drops upon a given load. A partially charged battery will read low voltage but that DOESN'T mean it's bad, just discharged. All modern shops use electronic battery testers, not resistance load units. I have both testers but only use the electronic tester now. Having 12 collector cars and 4 driver cars, I can't afford to make incorrect battery decisions. My company has 24 service vehicles, 7 with large dual batteries for Diesel engines and my mechanics also use electronic battery testers.

64 Greenbrier
64 Spyder (needs restoration)
65 Corsa 140, restored
66 Corsa turbo, restoring now
66 Corsa 140 "RR" code coupe fully restored
67 Pontiac GTO restored
69 Corvette 427 convertible restored
2004 Caterham R400 (Lotus super7)my race car
2015 Porsche Panamera S
2015 Corvette Z06
1965 AC Cobra (Factory Five)

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: August 12, 2017 07:21PM

You are correct...but for most with only 3-5 vehicles with batteries...a Load tester is all that's needed.





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: ROD ()
Date: August 13, 2017 05:54PM

MATCO SABRE HP and don't look back

Rod Tetrault
El Cajon , CA
65 Corsa Yenko Clone / 65 Corsa EO Creampuff Vert
66 Corsa "JIMISH" Mid engine Turbo LS1 currently 2nd fastest Corvair in the USA
Class 5 Corvair powered Baja
61 Vintage Rampy
Corvair powered Buggy x 3
Enough hidden parts to build a space ship

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: corventure Dave ()
Date: August 14, 2017 02:13PM

I have used this Christie Load Tester for 40+ years. I have found some batteries will charge to 12 volts and appear to hold their charge with a volt meter, but fail a load test!
This tool can save a lot of headaches.

Corventure Dave

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: Melb-Mike ()
Date: August 14, 2017 02:24PM

Applying a load on the battery only tells you one aspect of a battery's health. If the battery isn't fully charged, applying a load will show a serious voltage drop and you might think the battery is weak. However, it just wasn't charged up fully. Also, applying a load to a fully charged battery may show good when in fact several cells are showing high resistance indicating the battery will likely fail soon.

I can understand reluctance to use an electronic tester if they were expensive but for $70 you can gave a reasonably good tester at HF. Most car batteries cost quite a bit more. Maybe it's old school vs new school...not sure. My tester has paid for itself many times over.

64 Greenbrier
64 Spyder (needs restoration)
65 Corsa 140, restored
66 Corsa turbo, restoring now
66 Corsa 140 "RR" code coupe fully restored
67 Pontiac GTO restored
69 Corvette 427 convertible restored
2004 Caterham R400 (Lotus super7)my race car
2015 Porsche Panamera S
2015 Corvette Z06
1965 AC Cobra (Factory Five)

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: azdave ()
Date: August 14, 2017 02:53PM

I've got a 500 amp carbon pile testers but lately I have been using one of these these newer electronic units. I've invested $50 combined for both of them because I like to scrounge at garage sales and get great deals.







Dave W. / Gilbert Arizona
66 Corsa 140 4-speed w/factory A/C
66 Corsa 140 4-speed w/factory A/C
66 Corsa 140 4-speed
65 Corsa 140 4-speed
66 Corsa 455 Toronado V8
65 Monza 455 Toronado V8
65 Monza 4DR 140 PG w/factory A/C
65 Monza 4DR EJ20T w/5-speed




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Re: battery tester
Posted by: corventure Dave ()
Date: August 14, 2017 04:10PM

Mike makes a good point.
For best results, load testing should only be done after a battery is fully charged.
There is little to be indicated doing a load test on a weak or discharged battery.

Corventure Dave

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: August 14, 2017 04:38PM

corventure Dave Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There is little to be indicated doing a load test
> on a weak or discharged battery.
----------------------------------------------------------

That falls under "Common sense" with some knowledge of how a battery works...

The dude with the most tools is not always the smartest...

But I grew up in the '50's where our only battery tester was a long screwdriver laid across the terminals momentarily.... "size of spark"





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: corventure Dave ()
Date: August 16, 2017 10:56AM

MatT,

Reminds me of my best experience observing a dead battery being jumped.
I may have told the story before... but here goes.

We were in Maxico. The driver we hired found the battery was dead. He used some plyers across the terminals to verify there was a weak spark.
"I warned my friends there may be an explosion"!!!
So he goes to another truck and pulls the battery. Then he puts the good battery upside down.. post to post on the dead battery. While he is holding it there, he asks someone to try to start the car!!!

hot smiley

Fortunately there was no big BOOM!

Corventure dave

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: August 16, 2017 11:05AM

Of course not!!

Watch this... Juan starts his airplane!







MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: battery tester
Posted by: corventure Dave ()
Date: August 16, 2017 12:17PM

Well.... at least he got the rotation right!eye popping smiley

Corventure Dave

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