How to Test a Car Battery

How to Test a Car Battery

Sometimes problems with your battery can occur. That’s why it’s always good to know how to test a car battery. In this guide by our helpful team at Fred Beans, we’ll go over some important car battery life and car battery test information that we think drivers in Philadelphia, Doylestown and Mechanicsburg should know. Read ahead to get started!

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How Long Does a Car Battery Last?

How to Test a Car BatteryTypically, your car battery should last at least three years. Most of the time, though, your car battery will last between four and six years. Sometimes a battery can even last as long as eight years, but this isn’t common.

The range of how long a battery can last is very wide because a variety of conditions can affect your car battery’s lifespan. One of the things that can impact your battery the most is how you drive. If you drive mostly short trips under 20 minutes or so, the battery doesn’t charge properly.

Temperature can also really affect your battery. In both extreme hot and extreme cold, your battery will take a toll.

Symptoms that Your Battery is Bad

Sometimes, your car battery can go belly-up for no reason. Luckily, some pretty obvious symptoms will show in your battery before it does. A few of the most common symptoms are:

  • A delayed start or no start at all.
  • No dashboard lights come on.
  • Issues with electronically powered features like wipers, headlights, radio and windows.
  • A rotten egg smell coming from your car.

If any of these issues sound familiar, your car battery is probably in turmoil. However, you can test your battery to rule it out as an issue with the easy step-by-step directions below.

Step-by-Step Directions for How to Test a Car Battery

How to Test a Car BatteryChecking your car battery is a fairly easy affair. Just follow the step-by-step directions below, and you’ll have a better idea of what’s going on with your car battery in no time.

  1. Locate a working Voltmeter or Power Probe.
  2. Turn your car ignition off and let the car cool down a little.
  3. Lift the front hood and secure it.
  4. Carefully remove the battery’s positive terminal cover.
  5. Attach the positive lead of your device to the positive terminal of your battery.
  6. Do the same thing with the negative lead and the negative terminal.
  7. A reading will appear on the screen of your Voltmeter or Power Probe.

Have a look at the voltage reading on your device. If the reading is between 12.4 and 12.7 volts, your battery is in good condition. If it’s between 12.4 and 12.2 volts, your battery need to be charged. Under 12.2 volts or over 12.9 volts isn’t great and should probably be checked out by a professional.

Need Some Help with Your Battery?

We hope this guide on how to test a car battery gave you all the information you need to check and maintain your car battery. Think something bigger might be going on? We at Fred Beans are here to help! Drivers in Philadelphia, Doylestown and Mechanicsburg should give us a call today with any questions they may have or to schedule a service appointment!

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