An image showing the PicoDiagnostics software icon

PicoDiagnostics - Battery test

What it does

The Battery test within our PicoDiagnostics software (bundled with PicoScope 7 Automotive) calculates measures of a vehicle’s battery, alternator, starter motor and circuit health, including:

  • Battery states of charge and health (SOC & SOH)
  • Battery voltage drop during cranking
  • Battery Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)
  • Alternator current output (to diagnose under or overcharging)
  • Alternator voltage and ripple (to diagnose blown diodes)
  • Starter motor coil resistance (to diagnose motor winding faults)
  • Battery-to-starter motor cable volt drop and resistance (4-channel PicoScopes only)

How it can help you

As the Battery test uses simple, non-invasive, connections, is easy to set up and quick to complete, it is a convenient way to assess the health of your vehicle’s battery, starting and charging systems. As such, it saves you time so you can get on with diagnosing other faults and fixing vehicles.

Technicians are rarely able to diagnose battery, starting and charging system faults with only a scan tool or without additional tooling and equipment. However, the Battery test comes for free when you buy a PicoScope Automotive oscilloscope so you get all other benefits associated with our scopes, as well as a dedicated battery, starting and charging system tester.

The Battery test algorithms run when you crank the vehicle’s engine. Therefore, the starting and charging systems are assessed during real-life load conditions, giving you a more realistic appraisal of their health. Most other tests involve measurements during static conditions, without loading, when the components are under the least stress and less likely to fail.

The Battery test supports 12 and 24 V engine systems and multiple battery types so you can use it to test commercial vehicles, marine engines, agricultural machinery and other off-highway/heavy-duty machinery, as well as cars aging from the classic era to the present day. In effect, the Battery test is compatible with almost any engine having battery, alternator and starter motor systems.

You can save, print and share all your Battery test results. The clear printout is designed to share clear, color-coded (red, amber, and green), diagnostic outcomes with your customers, which promotes trust in your customer relationships.

How to use it

Connect your PicoScope Automotive oscilloscope to the vehicle with a test lead connected to the battery terminals and a current clamp around the battery earth cable(s).

Open PicoDiagnostics, select Battery test, enter the battery specifications and ambient temperature in the appropriate controls, and press Start.

Once the Battery test has detected sufficient battery voltage it will ask you to crank and start the engine.

The Battery test will wait for the engine to run for a short period of time (so it can calculate the charging-related parameters) and then ask you to switch off the engine.

And that’s it.

After that, the Battery test will calculate and display the test results in the window. From there, you are free to save, print, share and act on the results as you see fit.

Animation showing how to run a PicoDiagnostics Battery test