How to Check Your Car Battery Voltage

How to Check Car Battery Voltage

The battery is a crucial vehicle component, as it supplies power to the engine, so that your car can start. So, when the battery starts to run low on juice, your vehicle won't run, and you won't have a way to get around Atlantic City or Egg Harbor.

That's why it's important to check your car battery voltage from time to time. We'll go over how to do that below. We'll also tell you when you may need to get a battery replacement at Boardwalk Honda.

Steps to Test a Car Battery

Testing a Car Battery

One of the easiest ways to test a car battery is to use a multimeter. Once you have that, safety glasses, and protective gloves, you can complete the following steps...

  1. Locate the battery under the hood. Refer to your owner's manual for the exact location, if needed.
  2. Turn the engine and car lights off.
  3. Touch the black lead on the multimeter to the negative (black) battery cable.
  4. Do the same for the red lead on the multimeter and positive (red) battery cable.
  5. Turn the meter to the DC volts setting and read the test results.

If the car battery voltage is at 12.66 volts, then it's 100% charged. At 12.24 volts, the battery is 50% charged. Any less than 12 volts, and it's completely discharged.

Signs You Need a New Battery

If the battery isn't sufficiently charged, it should be recharged and tested again. However, if the battery no longer holds a charge, then it'll need to be replaced as soon as possible.

That's just one way to know when a battery replacement is warranted. Other signs include...

1. Slow Engine Crank

You may try to start your car and the engine is sluggish, taking longer than normal to crank. If that's the case, then the battery may be on its way out.

2. Swelling or Bloating Battery Case

New Car Battery

If a battery is exposed to excessive amounts of heat or cold, it can cause the sides of the battery case to swell or bulge. This could cause the battery's life to decrease quickly, rendering a replacement sooner rather than later.

3. Low Fluid Level/Battery Leak

Car batteries usually have a translucent casing that shows the current fluid level. If that level is below the lead plates, then you'll want to test the battery.

Likewise, there may be a leak in the battery. This could cause corrosion around the posts where the positive and negative cable connections are located. That gunk would need to be removed; otherwise, your automobile may not start.

4. Issues with Electrical Components

A battery not only provides power to the engine, but to a vehicle's electronics, as well. So, if things like the radio, power windows, and headlights aren't working like normal, then the battery may be failing.

5. Old Age

One of the most obvious reasons to get a battery replaced is simply from old age. Batteries usually last 4-5 years, depending on things like extreme temperature exposure and whether it goes through a full charge cycle.

If you're not sure how old your battery is, check the battery case. The manufacture date should be listed there. If it's reaching the 4- or 5-year mark, then it may need to be replaced soon.

Want to preserve your battery's lifespan? Check out some tips on how to keep your battery long-lasting!

Schedule a Battery Repair or Replacement Today

At Boardwalk Honda, our team of experts can check car battery voltage for you, as we have the necessary equipment for the job. We can also replace your battery with a brand-new, high-quality one, so your vehicle can run for many more years and miles.

If you need any type of battery repair or replacement near Atlantic City or Egg Harbor, don't wait. Schedule service at Boardwalk Honda today!

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Atlantic City Collision Center

6037 Black Horse Pike,
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234

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