How to Test a Car Battery

Test Your Car Battery  A car battery is what provides the jolt of electricity to power all the electrical components inside an automobile. Without battery power, your car won’t start, leaving you stranded in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, or South Valley.

A battery usually lasts about four or five years. So, if you’ve had your battery for that long, then it needs to be checked before it completely fails.

Below, our team at Jaguar Albuquerque will tell you how to test a car battery. Read through our informative guide, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Testing Your Car Battery

How to Test a Car BatteryIn order to properly test your battery, you’ll first want to turn the car off, along with all the lights. You’ll also want to shut off any electric or electronic devices that might use battery power without the ignition being on.

Once that’s all done, you’ll want to grab a voltmeter, which will measure the battery’s state of charge. Then, complete the following steps…

  1. Connect the positive (red) voltmeter test lead to the battery’s positive terminal.
  2. Connect the negative (black) voltmeter test lead to the battery’s negative terminal.
  3. Check the voltage and state of charge, to see if it’s good or bad.
  4. Remove the negative terminal first, and then the positive one.
  5. Take a battery terminal cleaning tool and battery cleaning solution, and use them to clean off the terminals and posts.

A Good Battery vs a Bad One

There are several ways to determine if a battery is good or bad. A good battery is usually under four years old. It’ll accept and hold a charge, and will easily recharge and return to service. Plus, when you test a car battery, a good one will give you a reading of above 12.4 volts.

A battery that’s over five years old is usually considered to be bad. If it doesn’t accept or hold a charge, nor produce adequate cranking amps, then it’s no good. And when you go to test it, a bad battery will give you a reading of under 12.0 volts.

Click here to learn how long car batteries last

Signs of a Failing Battery

Car Battery Dashboard Light MeaningBefore you test a car battery, you can be on the lookout for any warning signs. These will indicate that your battery is failing, and could be any of the following examples…

  • Slow engine crank: If it takes longer than normal to start your vehicle, then the battery may be on its way out.
  • Swelling, bloating battery case: When a battery is exposed to excessive amounts of heat, the flat sides of the battery case may swell or bulge. This would decrease the battery’s lifespan.
  • Battery leak: If there’s a leak in the battery, corrosion around the posts can form. If the gunk doesn’t get removed, then your car may not start.
  • Dashboard warning light: This warning light usually appears in the shape of a battery. If it illuminates on your car’s dash, then it could mean two things: the battery isn’t being replenished properly, or there’s an internal problem with the battery.

If you notice any of these warning signs, then you’ll want to get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible. This way, you can get the battery fixed or replaced before it completely dies.

Schedule a Car Battery Test Today

If you need to get your car battery tested, then schedule service at Jaguar Albuquerque. Our technicians will complete the work quickly and efficiently. This way, you can get back to driving around Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and South Valley as soon as possible.

So, don’t wait. Schedule a car battery test today!