The 6 Steps of Checking your Car Battery
To determine if your battery is fully charged, you will need to measure your battery's state of charge with a voltmeter. You can use an analog or digital voltmeter, but a digital meter will give you an easier-to-see, more accurate reading. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, remember to always wear a pair of rubber gloves and goggles whenever you service your battery. This will protect your hands and eyes from acid.
Follow these steps to test your battery:
- 1. Before you begin testing, make sure the ignition key and all of your vehicle's lights are off.
- 2. Connect the red or positive voltmeter test lead to your battery's positive terminal.
- 3. Then, connect the black or negative voltmeter test lead to your battery's negative terminal.
- 4. Compare your reading to this chart:
- 5.Always remove the negative terminal first. If the battery terminals do not come off easily, use a battery terminal puller to remove them. Do not use a screwdriver to pry the terminals off because it can break the internal connections of the battery post.
- 6. Take your battery terminal cleaning tool, which should have different extensions for different sized terminals, and use it to clean off the terminals and posts. Also, use a quality battery cleaning solution, which is available at your local Pep Boys.
The only way to know if your battery is good or bad is to test it. If you suspect that you have a problem with your battery or electrical system, or you would like Pep Boys professionals to do a complete Battery Starting and Charging System Service, call your local Pep Boys and set up an appointment. If you need a new battery altogether, we offer a great selection of quality batteries at great prices.