How to Test Your Car’s Battery

When your car’s battery isn’t holding a charge, you can test it using a voltmeter. Either a digital or an analog version will serve the same purpose. Begin by making sure that both your vehicle’s ignition and lights are off. Continue with connecting the voltmeter’s positive cable, indicated with red, to the battery’s positive terminal. Connect the black, or negative, cable to the negative terminal on the battery.

If your battery shows at 12.4 volts or above on the voltmeter, that tells you that it has enough charge to function properly. Conversely, if it reads 12 or lower, then it doesn’t have a sufficient amount of voltage to operate the car’s engine. You can try to clean the battery’s cables and terminals. Remove the negative cable first followed by the positive. Clean both the cable ends and terminals using an appropriate brush and cleaning solution.

If the car battery continues to show a low charge, it may be time to replace it. We’re here at Autoline in Chantilly, VA to assist you with your questions. Don’t hesitate to come in and speak with a knowledgeable member of our team about any of your vehicle’s maintenance issues.

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