How To Load Test A Car Battery Without A Load Tester

Your car battery remains one essential component that your car can’t perform without. It’s where the engine gets some juice to turn over. However, it’s one component that you’re more likely to forget if it ever exists. Some people remember their car batteries whenever they go flat or die.

Experts always insist that one should ensure that the battery is well maintained for a compelling performance. Load testing is necessary. It involves testing the amperes being released by a fully charged battery. It should be done often. There are many ways to load test a car battery.

So, how can I load test a battery without a load tester? Whenever you need to analyze a battery’s charge, and you don’t have a load tester, there is nothing to worry about. You can test your battery against the load of your headlights and starter. They can perform well as indicators.

The reason why experts always recommend the use of a load tester is because it gives accurate results. The method I will be showing you don’t guarantee accuracy. However, it can tell you what you need to know regarding the state of your battery. Without saying much, here is a step-by-step guide that you ought to follow for a valid test.

6 Steps to Do a Load Testing Without Using a Load Tester

1. Locate the Battery

Every test that revolves around a battery starts by locating the position of the cell. You may assume it’s obvious to tell where the battery is located until you find yourself in a new car. Most modern vehicles come with the battery, not in the usual engine area. When dealing with such vehicles, you may find yourself thinking that the car runs without a battery only to find it fixed in the trunk while cleaning.

2. Examine the Battery

How often do you pop-up the hood to check the physical state of your battery? Most likely, you don’t. It’s advisable to make this a habit as it can save you significantly. Small things such as oxidation can interfere with the battery’s performance. Therefore, once you locate the battery, you should start by examining the physical appearance.

Start by checking for things such as a loose connection. If you find that the clamp cables can move about freely on the terminal posts, it means that some tightening is needed. A loose clamp can hinder the smooth production of your battery. Also, you should check for rusting and oxidation, which is a common thing for the cells. There are many simple ways to clean the rust off your battery.

The most efficient and affordable way to deal with the rust is using some baking soda, warm water, and a brush. When cleaning the dirt away, you must ensure that you have some pair of gloves on and some protective goggles. You are dealing with acid here and which can mean harm if it got into contact with your bare body.

3. Charge the Battery Fully

Load testing involves testing for the number of amperes being released by a fully charged battery. It’s a test that you can use to tell if you’re dealing with a dead, functional, or a battery that is about to die. Therefore, you must ensure that the battery is fully charged before proceeding to the next important.

4. Turn the Key to on Position

Once you are sure that the cell is filled to the capacity, you should go ahead and turn your ignition to on position. When you do so, your dashboard light should light brightly as they do when you’re on the road. If the lights don’t come up, it means that you are dealing with a dead battery here.

There are times when they shine dimly. In case they turn out to be dim, it means that the battery in question is low on charge. With such a cell, the chances are that the battery won’t turn over the engine.

5. Turn on the Lights

As said earlier, without a load tester, you will be testing your battery against the load of the starter and headlights. Therefore, the next thing you do is turn on the lights. You can have a friend stand in front of the car and observe how the headlight’s behavior while you try and start the vehicle. For safety measures, you must ensure that the gear is shifted to neutral or parking before sending your friend over to the front.

6. Start the Car

While the lights are still on and your friend observing, you should go ahead and turn on the ignition. How should the headlights of a car with a good battery behave when the ignition is turned on? This is one of the few questions that you will find many people asking because they are never sure.

When you are dealing with a good battery, it means that the headlight will dim slightly when the starter is engaged. The dimming may not even be noticeable to your friend on the front. If the lights dim significantly while you are trying to start, it means that the battery doesn’t have enough amperes.

With such a cell, the headlights may even dim completely and then brighten slowly as you go ahead with your journey. If you are dealing with a faulty battery, your car won’t even start. With such a battery, there is nothing you can do. The only left solution is usually to start looking for a battery replacement.


How often should you test the load of your battery? Professionals always suggest that one should perform the test at least twice a year. The test is much recommended because it involves checking the number of amperes being released by a fully charged battery.

When it comes to testing the battery load, you don’t necessarily need a load tester. You can as thoroughly check the pressure against the headlight of your car. Explained in this article is a step by step guide you ought to follow and conclude if the said battery is ok or not. Read through the entire piece to understand how the process should be easy.