Alongside the engine, your car’s battery is one of the most important components of your car. This is why you need to ensure that it always runs properly, otherwise you might be in for some hefty repairs. Most of the time, if the engine doesn’t start and the headlights don’t turn on, then you might need to opt for the process of testing car battery.
It is always better to test a car battery in order to get a clue about the performance of the battery. A faulty or a flat car battery is a common reason behind unforeseen car breakdowns, and can lead to considerable inconvenience. Hence, when you test a car battery, you can acquire information about various factors that contribute to a car battery’s performance, and can take all the necessary measures before the onset of a journey to avoid undue car breakdowns in case of any faults.
Car battery tests are quite easy to make, and all you need is a little patience, alongside the necessary knowledge that is to be expected in such a situation.
Assess the Car Battery’s Age
Test the car battery to get an idea about its age. Usually, the average age of a car battery spans over a period of three to five years. The age of a car battery can easily be assessed through the date code stamped on the battery. The initial two figures on the date code signify the manufacturing date of the car battery. The first character is used to signify the month of manufacture while the second character denotes the year of manufacture. This manufacturing date can be relied upon to make an estimate about the age of your car battery.
Test the Car Battery’s Voltage
Roughly testing the car battery’s voltage is quite simple and easy. You only need to turn on the headlights of your vehicle. Notice the brightness of your headlights. If these appear to be dimmer than normal then you need to check and fix the voltage and output of your car battery.
Check if the battery isn’t charged
One of the best ways of testing car battery power is to see if it needs a charge. Usually, car batteries need to be charged from time to time, so in order to do that the first step requires you to turn off the ignition. Once that is done, you need to remove the positive terminal cover.
After this, you will have to connect a voltmeter to the positive terminal. The positive lead of a voltmeter usually is colored in red, so it will be very simple to pinpoint it. Then you need to place the negative voltmeter lead to the negative terminal of the battery you want to test. After finishing the whole process, you should leave your car to sit overnight.
In the morning you will need to check the voltmeter and compare the results to the normal ones. Usually, a battery in good condition has between 12.4 and 12.7 volts. If the voltage is lower, then there is a battery problem and you will have to charge your battery in order for it to function properly.
Test the Car Battery’s Power Drain
Examine the power drain of your car battery. If you notice a high power drain you may rely on the manual’s guidelines to fix the problem, or may even seek professional help.
Check for Faulty Circuit
Also, check whether your car battery is underperforming because of a faulty circuit. You may take into account an examination of elements like switches and modules. Make any replacements if required and pull each relay and switch separately until you notice a drop in the ampere reading.
Suitable Water Level
If you have a deep cycle battery, examine the water level of your car battery and recharge it for 16 hours before testing each car battery cell using a hydrometer.
It is important to take all of the mentioned factors into account before to decide to replace your car battery. Also, make sure that you buy a battery from a trusted and reliable dealer or supplier so that you are able to purchase a good quality, longer lasting car battery for yourself.
Performance load testing
Measuring the ability of the battery to produce current is essential, and this can easily be done with the help of capacity load testing. In order to perform this process, you need to use a load tester device that you can purchase online. During the test you will have to to apply a load that is equal to around half of the CCA rating of the battery, and this needs to be maintained for at least 15 seconds.
Perform a hydrometer check
You can also opt to check the car battery state with a hydrometer, and this will be used to find the current strength of the acid that can be found in the battery fluid or electrolyte. While this doesn’t show the capacity of the battery, it does provide a good idea of its current state, and this information can prove to be very useful.
Some cars are equipped with ammeters fitted in their instrument panel and these show the current state of the charging system in the battery. The ammeter will actually display how much current is going through the battery and how much exists it.
In conclusion, all of the car battery tests above can be really useful when it comes to figuring the current state of your battery and they also help you figure out if the battery just needs a charge or a full replacement. In the end, a good car battery test can literally save you a lot of money, so it’s important to perform it as often as possible, especially in the beginning of the cold season.