How to Check Battery Voltage

How to Check Your Battery Voltage

Although checking your battery voltage is one of those aspects of vehicle maintenance that can often go overlooked, it can provide you with valuable information about the quality of your battery. As the following steps will reveal, it can also be quite simple.

The team here at Pat Peck Honda has put together this quick guide on how to check your battery voltage for our Gulfport, Long Beach, and Biloxi area neighbors. If, at any point, you have any questions about the following process, don’t hesitate to consult one of our knowledgeable technicians.

Why Check Your Battery Voltage?

Your car battery is composed of many separate cells. As these individual cells start to go bad, your battery will gradually begin to die. Because it does not die all at once, you’ll want to check it about every six months or so in order to stay ahead of it.

The Necessary Materials

How to Check Your Battery VoltageTo safely gauge the voltage of your battery, there are just a few supplies you’ll need to round up:

  • A digital multimeter
  • Safety glasses
  • Protective gloves

Once you’ve made sure your vehicle is shut off, you’re ready to get started.

Step 1: Find and Prep Your Car’s Battery

Most vehicles store their batteries in the front near the fender. There are some that are situated in the trunk. If you have any difficulty locating your battery, your owner’s manual will point you in the right direction.

Take a second to give your battery a quick once-over to ensure it’s clean and free of any corrosion. If you see any, this can be dealt with by applying a bit of baking soda and water and giving it a little scrub. If you notice any leaking anywhere on your battery, be sure to take it to a professional technician to have it replaced.

After you’ve made sure it’s good to go, clear any metal objects like screwdrivers, wrenches, and other such tools from the area. If any of these are touching the battery terminal, it could cause a short.

Step 2: The Multimeter

Hooking up the multimeter is really simple. Just remember that red is positive and black is negative. When you attach the leads from the multimeter to the battery cables, black goes with black and red goes with red. When you’ve made sure everything is connected, set your multimeter to DC volts.

Step 3: Your Results

Use the following key to translate your multimeter’s reading of your battery’s voltage:

  • 12.66 volts – 100% charged
  • 12.45 volts – 75% charged
  • 12.24 volts – 50% charged
  • 12.06 volts – 25% charged
  • 11.89 volts – 0% charged

A battery is considered fully charged if it gives you any reading higher than 12.45 volts.

Remember to Check Your Car Battery Voltage on a Regular Basis

If you’re in Gulfport, Long Beach, or Biloxi and you have any questions about how to check your battery voltage, feel free to ask one of our service center technicians. If you’d like to have it checked here, contact Pat Peck Honda to schedule your appointment.

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