Clore Automotive SOLAR BA327 20-2000 CCA Electronic Battery and System Tester, It works, no more ‘glowing red coil’ testing

I tested this out on a 2009 subaru forester with a 4 year old (kirkland) battery and a 2009 honda fit with a 3 year old (bosch) battery. Running the ca test with the solar and calculating the results showed 81% and 89% respectively. I bought this tester because i’ve never hit the 100 month guarantee with kirkland and the first two honda (stealership) batteries never made it to their guaranteed 3 years and right now i’m at that point for both. Now that i know they are both still good i can keep from automatically spending the money to replace the batteries ‘just in case’, as i did the last time around, cuz nobody likes to get stranded. The only thing i would improve on this solar ba9 unit is to make the battery clamps larger. I had a difficult time attaching to the positive post on the subaru. Three times i got ‘error’ because the connection was poor and i could barely get the clamp on.

I was a submariner in my younger days, so i have a vested interest in batteries, and this tester filled a gap in my testing equipment, and it works just as described. I’ve tested all our vehicle batteries several times, recording the results in my pc, and it appears to be very repeatable on them all. In our family we have three vehicles, a motorcycle, and a rider mower with batteries, and now i have a way to keep track of which ones may be getting to the end of their lives. I also have a spare car battery, left from a disposed of vehicle, that i also confirmed is usable. The readings i get appear to compare realistically to a ages of the various batteries, and as time goes on, i’ll see ‘when’ should various ones be replaced, before getting stuck waiting for aaa to arrive to get me started .

I have been working on my own cars for 34 years and battery, altenator, and starter issues are will make you mad. Especially if you let the auto parts store test for you. Now if you don’t know anything about cars, don’t want to get dirty, then it is fine to let them test your car with their tester. They will even put the batter in for free. Lots of times that will fix you up especially if you have an old old battery that needs replacing out of warrranty. Now if you are still in your warranty those tests are probably just going to confuse you as they will test ‘ok’ and leave you stuck somewhere again. Also, get yourself a aaa memebership, just do it. You don’t want to be calling friends/family or accepting help from that creeper or worse yet some know it all that will fry your cars computers. Right out of the box it showed me my battery was bad in the state is was in and it was just under two years old. It also tested my boat and camper deep cycle batteries and some agm batteries used in my computer ups power backups. Plus it tested my altenator, starter, and for ripple voltage (ac voltage traveling back to the battery where you only want dc voltage. . Very bad for your battery). If you don’t know anything about cars this is not for you, take it to the shop and pay a little bit extra and use the money you would have spent on this.

I am very pleased with this tester. The display is large and easy to read. Each battery clip-on lead has 2 wires on 2 separate connection points (. A good connection to the battery is absolutely critical to get correct readings with any conductance tester. ) when using the unit , i found the test menu to be logical and easy to use. I got cca readings in the range i would expect, and i found those readings to be repeatable. Finally , in addition to displaying in cca, it can also display in mega ohms, allowing it to be used in other than automotive applications (solar, back-up power, wheelchair.

I love this little guy in the professional world. I hang it on the back of my tool cart and can have battery results in seconds. We have an interstate tester which takes almost a minute to use. Most the time the readings are incorrect, makes you check clamp connections, or makes you turn on and off the headlights. I have almost thrown that thing numerous times. I have a cart based carbon pile tester with an amp clamp. I love it, but i cannot just roll that cart everywhere. I also have the traditional single switch ‘heater box’ tester. Simple to use, but the clamps are large and i worry about catching something on fire sometimes :). I have used this thing for a few months and have had no problems.

This little device saves me some money to identify the car battery issues and its life. With a regular voltmeter, all charged batteries show 12v (or around). However, you need this device to test and see current cca level which is an important parameter for battery life. If your battery dies overnight or after long parking periods (less than 8 hours), besides other issues (parasitic current, alternator, etc), your battery cca level could be very low so the alternator can’t charge 100%. For instance, my battery was showing 12. 7v, but was dying after 6-8 hours of parking. This device showed its cca was 230, where it shouls have been 850. So i replaced the battery immediately. For my other car, 6 years old battery died after being idle for 3 months, i recovered it with slow charger (took 2 days), and tested with solar ba(, it showed 855 cca where original cca was 900. So instead of buying a new battery, i kept my old battery without worry.

Ok,so i have a an abt-gold plus battery tester. And when i bought it, it was $600. The device only tests sla (sealed lead acid) or car batteries up to 200ah (amp/hours). I started to wonder to why a recent purchase of a 100ah agm (absorbed glass matt) battery was only showing ~80ah. As a result, i went out an purchased a ton of different battery chargers over the last year and finally spoke with technical support at noco. Basically, they told me that no agm type battery, of which there are flat plate and spiral version, can be accurately tested with the majority of ah testers. Now, the reason this is important is that amp/hours are the amount of current a battery can provide continuously until discharged. This is very different that cca (cold cranking amps) or ca (cranking amps). Car batteries and certain types of marine deep cycle dual purpose batteries (for boats you can have batteries that only run appliances, or you can have deep cycle batteries that can both run appliances and start the boats motors) and they tend to have cca and ca ratings, which are wholly different than amps per hour (ah) ratings.

Key specs for SOLAR BA327 20-2000 CCA Electronic Battery and System Tester with Printer:

  • Make sure this fits
    by entering your model number.
  • Tests 6 and 12 volt batteries from 40-2000 CCA, operating range from 1.5-30V
  • 6 and 12V battery testing, 6, 12 and 24V system testing
  • Tests multiple battery types, including Conventional, AGM, Gel Cell, Spiral Wound and Deep Cycle Batteries (with a Starting Rating)
  • Built-in printer for service documentation, Printer uses standard thermal paper
  • 10′ cable leads, internal counter to track number of tests performed, unique warranty tracking code for each test performed

Comments from buyers

“Solar BA-9: Works pretty well, and is based off of CCA or CA (and others).
, Fabulous Product! A Must Have!
, Inexpensive, works well, durability questionable

I think this needs a 6 star rating. I have two 12v batteries both hooked up to start a large rv motor both hooked in parallel (using the same cabling). Not knowing what battery was bad i left everything hooked in the rv and decided to play around with testing the batteries. I left all the batteries hooked up and tested each battery directly to the terminals, and this little device found the bad battery. Not sure how this is possible since the same wire goes to both batteries. So i unhooked the bad battery and tested straight to the terminal, and once again i got the same reading that the battery was bad and the other battery was in good shape. If there is a negative about this tester is that it will only test 12volt batteries/systems. But since most cars and trucks are 12volt this is not a problem. Testing golf cart batteries it will not do.

From auto parts store, have tried an electric glowing element tester, took it back. Did lots of research, found this digital tester, can seem complicated, but once you practice it’s fairly easy. Hard part can be finding cranking amps if not listed on battery, and battery type. I write them on batteries now. I have confirmed this tester is pretty accurate, have had batteries on their way out still working but seeming to get weak, and this tester indicated the same thing. Since i have a lot of off road toys, this tester comes in handy, can be dangerous on long rides with a weak batter you don’t know about. I test them about twice a year. If a battery tests weak or replace, i know it and will not go far or replace it soon. This tester works pretty good.

I got this tester to test my vehicle batteries before it got cold. It shows volts and cold cranking amp capacity of your battery. My jeep showed about half capacity so i went and got a new battery. I put the new battery in at the battery store and tested the new one. It was down on volts and cold cranking amps. So they went and got another one that tested good. So this saved me trouble twice. I also tested the battery on my skid steer and it was about 100%. It shows the voltage also so you can see if your alternator is working. Good product and good price.

I test hundreds of batteries a year as i’m a yacht electrician and diesel mech. Many boats have anywhere from 6 to 24 batteries. I own a matco 3184 (made by kal or otc. Can’t recall) tester, have used numerous midtronics battery testers, a snap-on battery tester and the old-fashioned carbon pile load testers. I bought this on a whim as it was on a lightening deal for thirty seven dollars. Some ‘pro’ features this doesn’t have are testing batteries below 32f, testing above 1200 ccas (like 8d start batteries are 1450 ccas) and testing 6v or other voltages. But you pay a lot more for that stuff which most people don’t need. It’s made in china and has that cheap feel. The orange protective cover is not well fitted but does offer some drop protection. The display is easy to read (bright red leds) and i was able to figure this unit out without having to read the manual (although the manual is helpful).

I purchased the solar ba5 battery tester because of four cars my family owns, two of which are not all being driven daily. I use a batteryminder charger to keep all batteries well charged, but i needed a battery tester to determine when a battery is no longer serviceable. The solar ba5 is well made (just look at the sturdy clamps), it is very easy to operate and has a bright red led display which is slightly difficult to read outdoors in bright sunlight. The tester reliably indicates when a battery no longer holds a charge (red light), versus a discharged battery that may or may not turn out to be good after recharging (red/yellow light). When it is hooked up to a battery it will immediately show the open circuit voltage (or ‘lo’ if less than 7 v) which is a general indication of the charge status of the battery. The battery tester has no internal battery so it is completely maintenance free (a nice change from multimeters which typically have an internal battery). All in all, a very useful, well made tester for all 12v battery types (cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers, etc.

This thing is quite easy to use. The documentation is somewhat lacking but it’s easy enough to figure out. A few points about it that may not be obvious: setting the cca (cold cranking amps) for the battery being tested is really just to give the tester a number that it will compare to the reading to determine whether it passes or fails. You absolutely need to have good contact between the clamps and the battery terminals. Don’t connect the clamps to bolts or cables or the frame of the vehicle or you will get an inaccurate reading. If you don’t have a solid connection to the battery terminals, you might get a spark when it tests for cca. Lead-acid batteries produce hydrogen gas while charging and if the spark ignites this gas, you may find yourself covered in highly concentrated sulfuric acid when the battery explodes. Take my word for it — battery acid really burns on your skin.

There are 3 basic methods for testing a lead-acid battery that i am aware of, using a:1) digital voltmeter,2) specific gravity hydrometer (temperature compensating), &3) quality load tester. There are pros & cons for each method. See following link for more details about lead-acid batteries:[ http://www. Com/kb/articles/battery-articles/battery-basics. Html this solar ba5 load tester was purchased instead of other testing devices mainly due to its high ratings by other customers, its 100 to 1200 cold cranking amp (cca) load range, cost factors, & my limited need for testing lead-acid batteries. I also wanted to be able to determine for myself if & when to replace my batteries instead of relying upon the opinions of battery dealers – their main goal is to sell you a new battery rather than making sure you get the longest life from your current batteries. In general, i am pleased with this battery tester. It gets its power from the battery being tested. And you can select & apply the cca load based upon the rating for the battery being tested. However, i only gave it 4 stars for the following reasons:1) the owner instruction manual skips over important details concerning what load to select & apply. For example, some battery companies label their batteries with the amp load for testing. This number is normally 1/2 of the cca rating. The instruction manual makes no reverence of this fact. ]

I have about about 9-10 auto/marine batteries in our toys/vehicles/spares, i use this device for personal use to help keep up with them. This device is very useful, especially for the price. As long as you don’t plan to spin it around by the wires or drop it all over the place, i do not see why it would not hold up for a while. The only issue i have had with it is that it gives me the ‘battery ok, recharge’ light on a battery i know to be heavily sulfated. 3v charge, but it has no capacity whatsoever. Looking down inside the cells it looks like the great barrier lead-sulfate reef. This is probably because i found the battery nearly dry and the very bottom of the cells are still somewhat ok, but no amount of normal charging will make it a good battery. On the other hand, i have another bad agm battery i knew was bad that the device correctly failed. For they money, it is a great and handy tool to keep around, but use it as an additional tool to your arsenal, not a one-stop solution to battery diagnostics.

I never really had an effective way to determine the health of my car batteries. Now with the solar ba9 the answer is only seconds away. For the first time i know with certainty if a battery is good, bad or somewhere in between. I previously thought that a good voltage reading was a great indicator of battery health. I now know that it is cca (cold cranking amps) that provides the real answer. The ba9 tells you quickly if your battery is producing enough cca’s to be reliable and analyzes the internal plates for conductance at the same time. According to solar tech support, any reading 20% or more below the rated cca indicates a battery that is no good or will fail soon. Example: a battery rated at 1000 cca is considered bad if it is producing less then 800 cca. Knowing this information gives you a lot of confidence in the ability of your car to start. In addition the ba9 performs other useful tests, such as an alternator and starter test. I also have a ba7 which is very similar except the ba9 has 3 additional but not essential features: state of health, state of charge and internal resistance. But the main difference between the 2 units is that the ba7 is using a 1 line led display which is slightly more difficult to interpret due to the limitations of the leds for displaying text, when compared to the ba9 which has a 4 line backlit lcd display with plain english text. Some say the ba9 is easier to read in the sun which is a characteristic of lcd displays.

Works ok but i have a hard time selecting the right type of battetry it has too many choices and i have no idea what is minehow ever the results (bad, ok, ) are preatty much the same regardless of battery type the tests i made were on my toyota 2008 auxiliary battery that i removed from the car due to not holding the charge over 4 days. I had to keep driving my car every day or every other day or my battery went under 5vdc. The tester kept the bad results for all battery types as long as i put in the battery cca number(cold cranking amps) about 300 cca for my battery. So you can use it even if you do not really know the exact battery type you are using it on .

I’ve been hoping for something like this for years. If you’ve ever been stranded by a dead car battery or rescued a loved one who has been, you’ll understand when i say this device is very inexpensive for what it does. If i ran a service garage, i’d use this to test every car that came into my shop for free. The most useful test of battery condition takes less than 60 seconds start-to-finish. I can accomplish most of what this device does with my multimeter (fluke) and min/max function but this is much faster and much more convenient. Of those tests that both can do, the solar’s readings match the multimeter’s exactly so i have confidence in the accuracy. More important — and the real reason i purchased — are the battery condition tests the unit performs that cannot be duplicated by my mm. In the past, only bulkier, more expensive, more time consuming devices have been able to do these. Well built; easy to use; no batteries required; small enough to carry or store anywhere. Several youtube videos by non-sellers available.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
SOLAR BA327 20-2000 CCA Electronic Battery and System Tester with Printer
Rating
4 of 5 stars, based on 593 reviews