Helpful Car Battery Inspection Tips

Roadside Assistance 317-247-8484

Roadside Assistance 317-247-8484

The car battery has to be one of the most important components for having an operational vehicle. Without a functioning car battery, you would have no lights, no power, and of course, no ignition. When a battery dies, for whatever reason, the car powers down like a machine. In order for the engine to start, the vehicle must have a functional battery. This is why it is important to periodically (Every 6 Months) inspect your vehicle’s battery for problems, issues, and maintenance needs.

To do this, you will need a car battery tester that has a multimeter with both volt and amp meter capabilities. Continue reading to learn some helpful car battery inspection tips.

Physical Inspection

Once you pop the hood, take a good look at the car battery. Check whether or not it seems to have any physical damage or natural wear. This includes rust, oxidation, corrosion, protrusions, scratches, indentations, bulges, and more. Corroded terminals can be cleaned with a toothbrush using a baking soda and water solution. But if a battery has physical damage beyond this, it is not safe to use and must be replaced right away.

Voltage Inspection

Charge your car battery overnight, and then use your tester to measure its surface voltage. Be sure your engine is off before starting. First, connect the positive tip of the multimeter to the positive battery terminal, and then the negative to the negative. Next, read the surface voltage. It should be somewhere between 12.5 and 12.8 volts.

Alternator Inspection

The alternator connects to the drive belt and rotates when the motor runs. This rotation produces voltage, which is a key component in charging your car battery. A poorly-functioning alternator will drain a car’s battery as you drive, so they must be inspected periodically to ensure its functioning properly. With the positives and negatives still connected from measuring the surface voltage, turn on the engine and allow the vehicle to run for a few minutes. The voltage should increase to anywhere from 13.6 and 14.3 volts.

Refer to your owners’ manual for your vehicle’s maximum amperage output. Once you have these values, switch your multimeter setting to amp meter. Turn on all the electronics in the vehicle and then measure the amperage output. If the values do not match your vehicle’s maximum amperage output, you could have an alternator problem.

Electrolyte Inspection

Twist open the electrolyte cells of the car battery and check that there is a sufficient amount of electrolyte fluid inside. If not, top the cells off with clean distilled water.

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Towing and Recovery

Towing and Recovery 317-247-8484

It is important to have your car battery inspected at least twice per year. If your car battery quits on you while driving, call Zore’s Inc. at 317-247-8484 for prompt and professional roadside assistance you can afford. We offer jump starts and more all across Central Indiana, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!