Step-by-Step Guide on How To Test a Car Battery

Is it time to replace your auto battery? Use this step-by-step guide to safely test your battery and find out if it’s ready to be retired. Learn more about typical car battery lifespans and the benefits of keeping a battery charger in your vehicle.

Test your car battery if it’s reaching the end of its warranty or if you suspect it may need to be replaced. You’ll need a voltmeter or other battery testing device to determine its current charge. Pick up a battery tester and prepare your vehicle by parking in a well-lit area, turning off all the vehicle’s lights and turning off the ignition.

Connect the positive test lead of your voltmeter to the positive battery terminal. This terminal is typically red and has a plastic cover protecting it. Remove the cover and touch the lead lead to it, making sure not to touch the terminal with your hands.

Next, connect the negative lead to the negative battery terminal. It should be labelled with a minus sign and be either gray, black or unpainted. A good battery should have a reading of 12.4 volts or higher. A battery that needs to be replaced will have a reading under 12 volts. Anything between 12 and 12.4 means your battery isn’t fully charged.

If you’re having trouble getting a reading on your battery, bring it in to your local auto parts store for a free reading. You can have your battery tested, recycled and replaced all at the same convenient location.

How Long Will an Auto Battery Typically Last?

A battery reading under 12 volts shouldn’t happen unless your battery is over three years old. Check the warranty and manufacturer’s information about your particular battery to find the expected lifetime. Most batteries have a warranty between one and five years and an expected lifetime between three and five years.

Accidentally leaving your lights on is the most common reason for a dead battery. Pick up a battery charger for car batteries to restore a dead battery. A charger may not work if your battery is completely drained or reached the end of its usable life. Have a mechanic test your battery and alternator if you experience a dead battery without leaving any electrical devices on.

How a Battery Charger for Your Car Could Save You From a Trip To the Mechanic

No one wants to head to a mechanic for a replacement battery. If your vehicle continues to have battery issues, you have a number of options before stopping by your trusted mechanic.

A battery charger can give your lead-acid battery the boost it needs to activate your car’s starter. Some battery chargers need to be connected to an outlet, while others are battery operated. If this doesn’t work, stop by your local auto parts store for a free battery test service. A friendly auto parts technician can use a VIN decoder to find the right replacement battery, safely recycle your dead battery and install a new battery for you all in the same trip. These additional services are free of charge, so you’ll save money and avoid a trip to the mechanic.

Article by Born Realist