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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers

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Glenn F.

04-10-2013 20:49:07




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It would be handy having a "toaster" type battery load tester in my shop for the many batteries we have around here. Are any of you familiar with the load testers Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight's. B Plus=$45.00 and H. Freight's=$30.00. Is one any better than the other?

Thanks, Glenn F.




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Hobo,NC

04-11-2013 19:27:39




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to bill mart, 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
Thanks, I will admit I did not learn this overnight and don't expect anyone else to...

New bat checkers are all about the money no training just push a button read the tape.... Look the part 8) ...

I have told this before,,, my wife worked for the school system and had the summer off,,, she was a parts delivery driver for Advance ,,, no parts to deliver she was chief battery tech/checker... She could not tell ya a damm thang about a bat but could remember which button to push...

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Mark-Mi

04-11-2013 19:13:09




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
Forget the little toaster. For 30 bucks more get this one from HF. This is what I use, works good.



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pete 23

04-11-2013 16:28:53




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
I have read up and heard quite a few things about the newer conductance battery testers but not have never seen or used one. It would be interesting to do so but it is not going to happen. I have the old Allen carbon pile load tester that was in the dealership when I started working there in 1958 and I still use it regularly. It takes some interpetation to understand the results and therefore the crew that was at the shop after I left basically threw it out and used the little toaster. In other words it never say good or bad, you have to know what you are reading and what you are supposed to read. Couple a load test with a open circuit test, test while charging and maybe even a hydrometer test and you can tell if you have a good battery or not. If I want a battery for running a light load for a long time I will even run a rather crude test for reserve capacity.

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Hobo,NC

04-11-2013 15:28:16




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to John T, 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

I am hardcore old school when it comes to checking the health of a bat... Its not unusual for me to run into a print out from from those new checkers that states the bat is good when its not... I am not sold on them...

The art of load testing a battery just may be history only because its to much for low wage employ's to compered... All they now have to do is hook it up and press a button and act smart...

Had one a few weeks ago that was a no start,,, AAA guy hooked up his gismo it printed out the bat was bad,,, he told the customer it also had a bad alternator :shock: How he tested the alt when it would not start I dunno :shock:
Tow truck dropped it off it cranked good,,,,,,, I found a blown fuse for the EFI... I replaced the fuse and while under the dash noticed it had a security system un-hooked it and all is well...
I run into these print outs often I spec 80% of the time the bat is bad when the print out says its good... What I find is the bat is borderline on its last leg,,, it may crank it but short winded it better fire up are you are gonna need a jump... The other issue is the computer will shut down if the cranking voltage falls below 9V (are their a bouts)... A borderline are bad bat uses all its stored energy cranking the engine it leaves very little to operate other systems like ignition...

I know you are proud of your new toy and have all right to be proud,,, I bet I can prove it wrong on a regular basis...

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mdtractormechanic

04-11-2013 19:16:21




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Hobo,NC, 04-11-2013 15:28:16  
HoBo,
As long as there are old tractors and autos, these types of tools will still be in demand. Mind you, it takes people who are capable enough to interpret results from tools likes these. Without the need for computerized gizmos made today, many of todays mechanics would be lost.



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Hobo,NC

04-11-2013 11:43:11




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to missouri massey man, 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
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They are not much good on a automotive battery, maybe small bats like MC are a mower... If you get 4 and tape them together so you can load 200 amps then they may work if they can stay lit for 15 sec.... A 50 amp load is not going to tell you much about a battery's health unless its toast to begin with... Your starter load will tell you more than that load tester ever will,, all you need is a voltmeter...

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Glenn F.

04-11-2013 13:07:53




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Hobo,NC, 04-11-2013 11:43:11  
The units in question are 100 amp.

Glenn



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George Marsh

04-11-2013 13:24:03




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-11-2013 13:07:53  
GlennF,
Think about it, let"s say you have a large 900 cca battery. What good is it to put 100 amp load on it? It really doesn"t tell you much. The 100 amp load tester may tell you the battery is good and a week later it"s not. That"s just my experience with a 100a HF tester. Yes, the 100a load tester will tell you if the battery is junk. So will putting it on a starter and it won"t start.

What it won"t tell you is the 900 cca battery is only putting out 450 cca.

George

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Glenn F.

04-11-2013 13:33:43




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to George Marsh, 04-11-2013 13:24:03  
Well said. What really then is the purpose for a 100 amp automotove battery load tester?

Glenn



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mdtractormechanic

04-11-2013 14:12:37




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-11-2013 13:33:43  
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Glen, First, the purpose of the batt load tester is to give you a quick idea of the condition of the battery (without having to connect it to a starter) not to perform a full load test. All you are looking for is 'will the battery start the engine as required'. It is usually used as a bench test tool before and/or after battery maintenence. Generally speaking, the tester performs a load at 50% of the needed amperage. I have used one for over 35 years (which I still have) and the tester has never failed to indicate a ballpark state of the condition of the battery. A very useful tool.

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George Marsh

04-11-2013 14:13:12




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-11-2013 13:33:43  
Glenn, What are they worth, about $30 at HF. They are a good 12v analog voltmeter.

Like I said below, I went with a battery conductivity tester. That what they use at a car dealer. Load testers are a thing of the past.
George



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GUIDO

04-11-2013 11:41:47




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-10-2013 20:49:07  

Hello Gleen F,

This is what I used at work SUN VAT 40. You can be sure it does the job!. Can be had used............
Guido.



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Billy NY

04-11-2013 08:02:21




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
I have both, an older U.S. manufacture that was in our service truck from the ford tractor dealership, and a HF one at the other place, they both seem to perform well and are a handy inexpensive tool, I've never tried a maintainer or anything of the like, I either try to run my equipment or store them inside a heated area like the garage.

I still cannot figure it out, but somehow the lights were turned on, and my car battery went dead, the switch is a lever with a turn switch on the end, me thinks someone did it given the circumstances, can't do it accidentally, and it was day time when the car was parked. I used an old Wards/Riverside trickle charger, mid-early 70's model, and it seems the battery took a charge, I tested it without a load, it held 12.5 volts, for days, and when I flicked the load test switch, it dropped to 11.5 or so, very handy, seemingly accurate and low cost tool for batteries and those who may have a few to keep track of.

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George Marsh

04-11-2013 05:41:47




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
GlennF,
I have a HF toaster, but don"t use it after buying a Midtronics Advanced Battery, Starter & Charging Tester BPT300 battery conductivity tester.

Conductivity testers are the next generation in giving you real data on a batteries condition. I got mine on ebay.

I too have many batteries and like to know their condition. I also have a batteryminder #12248 that will charge, desulfate, and float charge. When it gets to the float mode, I move it to another battery. I"ve found charging 2 or 3 batteries at a time does a better job of desulfating.

George

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Butch(OH)

04-11-2013 05:06:57




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
We have one and it works OK. Coupon sale for them just expired.



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danmcdonald

04-11-2013 04:39:11




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
I have had one from HF for over 15 years works great.



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kstractor

04-11-2013 03:50:20




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
I have 1 I think came from HF ,works OK but it is only a 50 amp load and some others are 100 amp.



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jteck75

04-10-2013 22:25:53




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
+1 on the HF tester,has done a great job!



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Pete76NY

04-10-2013 22:19:56




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 Re: Batteries Plus vs. Harbor Freight Battery Load Testers in reply to Glenn F., 04-10-2013 20:49:07  
I don"t know about the Batteries Plus unit...have had one from H F for a few years...works like a champ...only complaint I have is that the load test switch is a toggle that is quite long, if I put it in the tool box drawer I have to be real careful that nothing is under it or the switch hits the box when i close the drawer...one of these days it"ll break and I"ll put a push button switch on it, but that"s really gettin" picky for something I paid 27 bucks for (it"s on sale about every other month in their fliers) that has worked well for years.

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