How to Test Your Car’s Battery

Now that the cold of winter is beginning to wind down, you might have noticed that your vehicle’s battery is a bit more sluggish than it used to be. Extreme temperature changes can take a toll on the battery’s charging system. There are a couple of ways to check it to make sure it’s at peak performance. The first is to top off the cells’ fluids with distilled water if needed. The next is to use a voltmeter to determine proper charge.

When you have the voltmeter hooked to your fully-charged battery, it should read at least 12.6 volts. On a car that’s running, the volts should be in the range of 13.7 to 14.7. You can still get a good idea of how your system’s charging without a voltmeter. Simply start the engine and turn on the headlights. If they’re dim, but they brighten as you rev the engine, it’s a symptom of an alternator not fully engaging to recharge. The current is coming mostly from the battery. If the lights remain on at a consistent level, then the system’s charging properly.

We would be happy to run a voltage check on your battery. Stop in to Autobahn Motors when you’re in Belmont, CA; we’re here to assist you with all your car maintenance needs.

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