Car Care Tips

How to check your car battery

During the lockdown, cars may be left to gather dust in carparks and garages. If cars aren’t used, it can lead to serious issues of batteries dying while driving or even cars refusing to start. So during this period it is crucial to keep tabs on your car battery. This article will teach you several different ways you can check your car battery.

Check your car battery with instruments

There are various ways to check your battery. Voltmeters, multimeters, and power probes are ways you can check your car’s battery.

Voltmeters and multimeters

Multimeter
A multimeter can measure the voltage of your battery

A multimeter, as the name suggests, can measure multiple electrical properties and can function as a voltmeter. To use an instrument to check your car battery’s voltage, turn off your car engine. Also, turn off the radio, the headlights and anything that can draw power. Now remove the covers from the car battery and connect the voltmeter’s positive clip to the red terminal and the negative clip to the black terminal. Some voltmeters may use different items to connect to the battery, so do not worry.

Any reading above 12.6V means your battery is in good condition.

Power probe

Power Probe
Image from Amazon

The usage of a power probe is very similar to the voltmeter. You simply need to connect the positive clip to the red terminal and the negative clip to the negative terminal and you can get a reading. You can also tap the reader on the power probe on the positive terminal to get a reading. If your battery’s reading is not between 12.2V and 12.9V, consider getting your battery replaced.

Accurate readings

To obtain an accurate assessment of your battery’s health, you will need to keep your device, be it a voltmeter, multimeter, or power probe attached to your battery and start the car. If the value does not drop below 10 volts and is between 13.7 and 14.7 volts, your battery is good.

Quick and easy battery checks

If you do not have any instruments to do the above checks and can’t wait for deliveries, you can always do the headlights test, check the battery’s health indicator, or even check the battery itself.

The headlight test

Headlights
If your headlights are as bright as these when idle, your battery should be fine

A quick and easy way to check your car battery is to turn on your engine and then your headlights. If they appear dim but brighten when you rev the engine, it means your alternator is not charging your battery properly when idle. However, if your headlights are bright and do not change in brightness when revving your engine, your battery might be in good condition. Should you be experiencing battery issues despite passing the headlights test, do check your battery with one of the instruments mentioned above.

Battery health indicator

How to Check Your Car Battery Indicator
This car battery uses green (good), black (needs charging), and white (needs checking) to indicate the battery’s health.

Another simple way to check your battery is to simply look at the battery’s health indicator. Most modern cars come with one that attaches to the top of the battery. To check, simply pop the hood and turn on the engine. However, not all of them are the same, so do check what colours your indicator uses to show the battery’s health. In general, green is good and red is bad. Much like the headlight test, if you experience battery problems, check your battery with the instruments mentioned above.

Physical inspection

Car Battery

To do a physical inspection, first turn off your engine and disconnect the battery from your car. Then remove the battery from the engine and place it on a flat surface like a table and check for any deformities. Bulges and cracks are sure signs of your battery being damaged and should be replaced.

So these are some of the ways you can easily check your car’s battery. Do make sure to check frequently to ensure your battery is in tip top condition.

If you are looking to buy a car or sell your car, myTukar’s got you covered! If all you need is a simple check up on your car, you can trust our professional service!

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