How do you test your car battery?

Are you having trouble starting your vehicle and would like to know the status of your battery? Here’s how to check the charge.

  1. Make sure your hands are dry and do not wear rings, bracelets or other metal objects for your safety. Also, locate your battery using the owner’s manual if necessary (it may be under the hood or, more rarely, in the trunk).
  • Use a digital multimeter and set it to the 20V DC Voltmeter function. On your unit, this should correspond to a V with a horizontal bar and small dashes.
  • Place the red cable on the positive terminal and the black cable on the negative terminal. On the display, the value should be between 12.3 and 12.6 V for a properly charged battery. A lower number implies a discharged battery.
  • Refer to your owner’s manual for the procedure to check the charging circuit. When performing this second test with the engine running, the voltage should display a value between 13 and 15 V. If it is lower, the circuit is defective; if it is higher, the voltage regulator is malfunctioning.

Are you uncomfortable performing this procedure yourself or is there something wrong with your battery or charging system? Make an appointment with your Mister Muffler repair shop!

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