The car battery is like the unsung hero of your vehicle. We don’t hear too much about it, but it’s one of the most important parts of your car. But over time, this crucial component will wear down. That’s why it’s important to know how to test your battery’s voltage.
Understanding the steps to this essential maintenance task can help you see just how your battery is performing and what you need to do to keep your car from breaking down near Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton. To help you do just that, Collision 24 has created this handy guide on how to check your battery’s voltage. Feel free to contact us here with any questions.
How to Test Your Car Battery
Checking your car battery is simple. There are only a few steps involved, and you only need the following items:
- Safety glasses
- Rubber gloves
- A digital voltmeter (If you don’t have a digital one, you can use an analog voltmeter.)
Once you have all the materials listed, follow these steps to test your battery’s voltage:
- Make sure the lights in your car are turned off and the keys are out of the ignition. Then, pop open the hood and find your battery. It should be by the fender. If you have trouble locating it, consult your owner’s manual.
- Take the voltmeter and connect its positive lead to the battery’s positive terminal. The lead and the terminal should both be red and/or have a plus sign (+) on them. Then, do the same for the negative lead and the negative terminal. Both should be black and/or have a minus sign on them. During this step, you want to make sure you’re wearing your gloves and goggles to ensure safety and protection.
- Finally, check your voltmeter. If you see 12.45 volts or more, you’re in the clear; the battery still has enough juice. If it’s reading anything less than that, it means it’s on its way out and you need to contact a professional for a repair or replacement.
Causes & Warning Signs of a Failing Battery
There are many reasons that could cause your battery to die, like a bad charging system. But the most common is forgetting to turn off the lights and electronic features in your car when the engine is off. When you leave these systems running, the battery starts to drain faster than normal.
The battery can also fail because it’s simply too old. Generally, batteries last about 4-5 years. If you haven’t had your battery checked in a few years, do it immediately. This will help you know when to have it repaired or replaced before it breaks down.
You should also keep an eye out for a few warning signs that indicate your battery needs professional care. If there’s corrosion on the casing, or if you see an active check engine light, you may need to schedule a service appointment. In addition, you should be aware of any unusual smells or an engine that won’t start, as they’re also clear-cut signs that your battery needs to be replaced.
Schedule Your Battery Repair
Your battery is one of the most important parts in your car. So, take the time to test it regularly to see when it needs professional care. And if you see that it does need to be recharged or replaced, contact Collision 24 near Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton to schedule your battery service.