How to Test a Car Battery
How often should you get your car battery tested?
Your car battery is an important car part that sometimes gets taken for granted or forgotten by vehicle owners. You may not check your car battery until your car dies or refuses to start. Check your owner’s manual for the type and necessary voltage of your car battery. Your manual may also include a regular maintenance schedule. It is best to check your battery twice a year.
The first step to checking your battery is to make sure you have the correct tools. A multimeter is an electrical measuring device that can detect and measure the amount of electricity in a battery or circuit. You should also wear gloves to protect your fingers.
The second step is to prepare yourself, your vehicle, and the battery. Turn your car completely off and raise the hood. You do not need to remove the battery from the car to test it’s charge level. Check that the terminal connectors are clear of rust and fastened tightly and are not wet. The liquid may not be water but instead, be battery acid. Set your multimeter to 12 volts or higher and you are ready to begin.
With a good view of the red positive terminal match the red prong of the multimeter and then place the black prong onto the black negative terminal. On the screen of the multimeter, a voltage number should appear and that will tell you how much electricity your batter is holding. A well-charged battery will give you a reading between 12.2 and 12.6 volts. If your battery is reading at a lower voltage than 12.2 then the battery needs to be charged or replaced.