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Battery judgement based on analyzer #5238717 10/13/19 05:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
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tvaughn0712 Offline OP
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I decided to purchase a battery analyzer (harbor freight digital one) with winter coming up and wanted to know what real-world experience you have in regards to using the information to replace your battery.

The method I've used the 27 years I've owned vehicles is to wait until the day it dies and strands me then take it to be checked and replace it if it's the problem. So I'm trying to be a little more proactive.I thought about just changing them on a schedule, but I've had some batteries last 2years and some 10 years so I'm hoping with the analyzer I can make a more educated guess. In a perfect scenario I would like to replace the battery the day before it died, but obviously that's not realistic.

The readings I got are below. *All batteries are Autocraft gold 700Cca batteries as they typically seem like a good deal with promo code from advance Auto.

2006 Camry 4cyl
Shows 55% life , 401Cca

2012 Sienna 6cyl
Shows 85%life, 572Cca

2003 frontier 4cyl
80% life, 550Cca

According to the analyzers manual less than 40%=replace, 40-60%= getting weak consider replacing, 60-80%=workable, 80-100%=good.

So by this I should consider replacing the battery in the Camry. For people who have used this type of analyzer do you find their guidelines good, too conservative, or not conservative enough? Would you go ahead and replace the battery in the Camry or wait for it to drop lower?

Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: tvaughn0712] #5238721 10/13/19 05:57 PM
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Snagglefoot Online Content
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Does your analyzer let you input the advertised CCA into the device?

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 10/13/19 05:57 PM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: tvaughn0712] #5238741 10/13/19 06:16 PM
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Quattro Pete Offline
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Originally Posted by tvaughn0712
For people who have used this type of analyzer do you find their guidelines good, too conservative, or not conservative enough? Would you go ahead and replace the battery in the Camry or wait for it to drop lower?
Which specific analyzer model do you have?

FYI, the battery is supposed to be fully charged before you take a reading, and don't necessarily count on your car's alternator to get your battery to full charge.



2002 530i   2015 Q5 3.0T   2018 Charger SRT
Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: Quattro Pete] #5238770 10/13/19 06:52 PM
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tvaughn0712 Offline OP
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Centech 66892 this is the analyzer I got. It did allow me to input the CCA rating of the battery. Good point about it possibly not being fully charged, but I think it should be close. They were reading right at 12.7volts give or take .01volt. Also the 2 Toyotas had been driven at least 45 minutes earlier in the day (it was at least 30 minutes later when I tested per the instructions). I may put my charger on it to make sure and re-test.

Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: tvaughn0712] #5238773 10/13/19 06:53 PM
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wdn Offline
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I own the Harbor Freight battery analyzer and yes, it does let you input the cold cranking amps value for the battery you are testing. It is a good tool. Mine is called Cen-Tech digital battery analyzer. The only bad thing is the battery clips are plastic and kind of flimsy so be careful with them, but most people only test batteries periodically. It is good for checking batteries that are nearing the end of the free replacement warranty period. You need to disconnect the battery cables and charge the battery before testing, which is also a good opportunity to clean your cables and posts with a baking soda paste and a toothbrush if they have corrosion or buildup of salts.

Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: tvaughn0712] #5238859 10/13/19 08:31 PM
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JHZR2 Offline
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Impedance is the real determinant. Assuming a nearly full battery, say, 12.6v, is the impedance sufficently high to cause a cranking voltage below 10.5v.

So x = 12.6-250*r

Assuming it’s 250a peak to crank.

On a resistive tester, the test is to turn up the load to 1/2 of the rated cca, and see if voltage drops below 10.5v.

Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: JHZR2] #5238886 10/13/19 09:08 PM
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user52165 Offline
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Any cheap tester is suspect if it doesn't have a load feature. Good ones are available but very $$$. I like my old reliable Sun VAT 40:

https://www.govdeals.com/?fa=Main.Item&itemid=842&acctid=600

Available on ebay for about $200 + shipping. Better to find local on CL for about $75 where you can actually test it ( easy) and save high shipping cost. See U Tube for good videos. For alternators too. The industry standard for many years. Parts are STILL AVAILABLE.

BE SURE it has the inductive pick up (green).

Stand is funky, unnecessary, and a pain to ship.

Last edited by user52165; 10/13/19 09:13 PM.
Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: tvaughn0712] #5238894 10/13/19 09:25 PM
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Chris142 Online Content
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Make sure your cables are clean or take them off the battery completely to test it. Dirty cables will show a bad battery.


02 Wrangler Napa high milage 10w40
87 F250 Valvoline 15w40
07 fjcruiser Car lube plus 10w30
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Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: tvaughn0712] #5239100 10/14/19 06:43 AM
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Donald Online Content
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Should have gotten the HF carbon pile load tester.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: tvaughn0712] #5239104 10/14/19 06:50 AM
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Donald Online Content
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I thought the whole point of the conductive battery testers was so a place like Sears or Pep Boys could immediately test a battery without waiting for it to charge. The testers can say "charge and retest" as a display option if its really low. .


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: Donald] #5239261 10/14/19 10:13 AM
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HorseThief Offline
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Originally Posted by Donald
Should have gotten the HF carbon pile load tester.


I'll second that - handhelds are great, but there's no better test than a full 15 second run on an 800-1000A load tester. 100A handhelds are still good to have in addition to an electronic conductance tester, but you can't push the battery as hard so you can flatline it quickly or expose a weak cell on a bad battery. While OP's vehicles aren't really as bad as some more modern models, there are plenty of vehicles that will degrade a battery's energy capacity (amp-hours) before it loses enough power capacity (cranking amps) to not be able to start the vehicle. Take a look at modern GM vehicles like the 4 cylinder equinox - I have yet to see one where the car will crank slowly, giving any indication of a dying battery - instead they just die with no warning. All the electronics and automatic headlamps/running lamps along with start/stop technology are constantly short cycling (using 20-30%) their batteries to death. As they're cycled and degrade, they shed plate material, losing capacity, but still keeping plenty of porosity and total surface area allowing for lots of short bursts of lots of current.


I saw a brown dog
Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: tvaughn0712] #5239729 10/14/19 07:28 PM
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Snagglefoot Online Content
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Here is my Schumacher BT-175 that someone from this site recommended. I am monitoring one old battery that I may replace. My others check out fine. Included are photos of some of the instructions. Enjoy.

165B2A83-0EEC-4A1D-906B-43BD27C82007.jpeg201EB294-1CF5-4008-9D38-3D22869110E8.jpegD5F25B98-E86C-4418-A244-BBFCFAC9BC18.jpeg
Last edited by Snagglefoot; 10/14/19 07:29 PM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Battery judgement based on analyzer [Re: tvaughn0712] #5239763 10/14/19 08:12 PM
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oilstudent24 Offline
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I have the same analyzer and like it. I tested a battery when it was hot under the hood and it gave pretty high CCA ratings. Probably better to test near 80 degrees. I have a v6 sienna and it has done really well with my battery compared to other vehicles. Maybe the 24f battery is small enough that it gets recharged easily

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