How to Test a Car Battery

The silence when you start your car is one of the worst things. It could be the battery, starter or alternator. Wondering how to tell if your car battery is dead? Many places offer battery testing if you bring the battery in. If the car won’t start at all, you may need to get a ride to your local retailer to have the battery tested or use a multimeter to check the battery. The best thing is to pay attention to your vehicle and watch for signs of a weakening battery.

Signs That Your Battery Is Getting OldHow to Test a Car Battery

The average car battery lasts between two and five years. Excessive humidity and high temperatures can decrease the life of a battery. If you live in a cooler climate, you may get more life out of a battery. The way you drive affects battery life. When you only drive locally, short trips to the grocery or work, your battery can’t fully charge. This decreases the life of your battery. Letting your car sit in the driveway for extended periods can also drain the battery.

If you can’t recall the last time you changed your battery or think it’s been more than three years, you may want to perform these tests that you don’t need a mechanic or any special equipment to do.

Perform a Load Test 

Don’t start your car but turn the headlights on for 10 to 15 minutes. Once the time has passed, start the car and watch the brightness of the headlights. If the headlights dim, your car battery is probably struggling. Take it to your local retailer and ask them to check the charge. Using a mulitmeter, you can actually determine whether your battery is good or not.

Check the Battery TerminalsHow to Test a Car Battery

If the positive battery cable is corroded, it can cause the battery to need to work harder. Open the hood of your car and look at the battery. If there is stuff on the terminals, you may need to clean it up to determine how much damage was done. You may want to replace the battery to be on the safe side.

Listen to Clicks When You Start Your Car

You know the sound when you turn the key and your engine seems to click. Multiple clicks usually indicate that you have a battery issue. A single click can mean it’s the starter. You may be able to jump start the car. If you do get your car going, you should take it to your mechanic to determine the problem and get it fixed before it breaks down on the road.

Can Your Battery Be Charged?

You may want to try to recharge your battery with a battery charger. If your battery can hold a charge, that is a good solution. When batteries get too old, they won’t hold a charge any longer, which means you need to replace it. Driving with an old battery that is losing life isn’t safe. Shop for a new battery at a great price when you go to your local auto retailer for parts and supplies to keep your car operating at peak performance.

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