Battery Testing: 3 Reasons Why It Makes Sense to Go Digital

Digital battery testing provides numerous advantages over traditional methods that improve efficiency and effectiveness in auto repair, fleet service and vehicle dealership environments, among others. Advantages of digital testing approaches include:

  1. the ability to effectively assess discharged batteries
  2. the ability to properly assess the many battery types found in today’s vehicles
  3. the many additional functions offered by digital/electronic testers as compared to traditional load testers

One of the biggest advantages of digital/electronic testers is their ability to test discharged batteries. Traditional load testers require a battery to be fully, or nearly fully, charged to provide an accurate assessment of battery condition and capacity. This means that, with traditional load testing, a discharged battery must be charged prior to testing, taking 30, 60, or more, minutes before the condition of the battery can be determined. Not so for electronic testers. Most electronic battery testers are able to provide an accurate assessment of battery condition/capacity even when a battery is “dead”, or significantly discharged. This is a critical benefit, saving significant time for busy shops.

Another major advantage is that many digital/electronic battery testers are calibrated to properly assess the different battery constructions found in the marketplace today. Battery composition and construction has changed more in the last 6-8 years than it had in several prior decades. New battery chemistries, such as AGM and Gel Cell types, are gaining traction with auto manufacturers and are becoming increasingly present as aftermarket alternatives. In addition, new battery constructions, such as Spiral Wound batteries, are gaining in popularity in a wide number of application areas. Many of today’s digital testers are calibrated to test different battery types for more accurate assessment of battery condition. This advantage will be even more important as battery chemistries continue to proliferate in the years ahead.

Finally, digital/electronic battery testers often also feature vehicle starting and charging system testing functions not found on traditional load testers. Many digital testers provide detailed assessment of starting system performance and charging system output. This assessment is typically far more specific and detailed (such as providing alternator diode ripple detection) than can be inferred from an observation of a traditional load tester.

SOLAR BA327 Digital Battery and System TesterA great example of a digital battery and system tester that provides these advantages and more is the SOLAR BA327, Digital Battery and System Tester with Integrated Printer. It is able to accurately assess the condition of discharged batteries, is specifically calibrated for the different battery types found in the field today and provides starting and charging system testing in addition to its battery testing capabilities.

The BA327 also adds the convenience of an integrated printer for easy service documentation, extra-long 10’ leads and a protective rubber boot for improved impact resistance. It is capable of testing 6 an 12 Volt batteries and 12 and 24 Volt systems, with a capacity range of 40-2000 CCA and an operating voltage range of 1.5-30V. A counter in the unit enables the shop to track how many tests are performed, and each battery test generates a unique, specific code tied to that test, which helps with warranty documentation.

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