With the increasing sophistication of vehicle batteries and electrics that technicians are now faced with, new solutions have had to be created to allow the mechanic to keep up. One such product is the BT102 Digital Battery & Alternator Tester from Sealey.
The first thing I noticed is that the unit is a great size – really small and compact – so it doesn’t get in your way and can be tucked away nicely in your toolbox after use. Not too long ago, battery testers used a dial gauge – similar to those used on old fashioned weighing scales – to present readings to the user.
This tool, though, utilises an LED control panel that helps to display results clearly and accurately to the user.
In terms of its functionality, for something so small, it’s surprisingly advanced. Firstly, it should be clarified that this is much more than just a battery tester, as not only can the tool tell you if the battery is in a good, safe working condition, it will also give you a charging reading by performing a comprehensive test on the alternator.
In the past, you would’ve had to use a great big drop-charger to perform such a task, but Sealey’s tool can carry out these same functions, and more. Ease of use is another key feature of the product, as the unit’s keypad and symbols are all self-explanatory, making it simple for any technician to pick up and use.
When utilising the product it’s important to input the code, or battery rating, from the battery you’re testing; this allows the tool to run as accurate a test as possible. The tool doesn’t just give you one type of reading, though, as it allows you to carry out voltage, system and charging tests.
It’s versatile, too; not only can you run tests with the engine running, you can also get various readings whilst the engine is idle. Another thing to keep in mind is the capabilities of the tool to carry out a cranking test, and this is a great way to see if the battery is the reason why a vehicle won’t start.
In terms of diagnosis assistance, my recommendation would be to use this type of tool as a good starting point when looking to get to the bottom of a vehicle issue. In many cases a unit like this can often save the customer money too. The battery is the first thing drivers assume is at fault when their vehicles don’t start, but, thanks to the BAT102, you can show them that the battery and alternator are in working order and the issue lies elsewhere.
VERDICT: A nice little tool that pushes the functionality of the standard battery tester that bit further!