How to check the car battery

Equipping a car with a battery not only made life easier for the motorist, but also became a source of additional, well-known specific problems. The main of these problems is the inability to crank the engine and start the car. The good condition of the battery becomes especially important in winter, a weak battery can not crank the crankshaft with the desired frequency, the engine "sneezes", but it does not start.

To avoid problems with starting the car every driver should know how to check the car battery. It is best of all to carry out this operation during seasonal service of the car at the TO station. But not always for several reasons, this is possible. Today we will figure out how to check the car battery for performance on its own.


  • 1 External examination
  • 2 Sound Test
  • 3 How to check the battery with a multimeter
  • 4 Checking battery capacity multimeter
  • 5 How to check battery density

Visual inspection

This type of battery check is the simplest, but no less important. After all, the performance of the battery depends on the external state. During the inspection one should pay attention to the presence of moisture on the surface of the battery; its presence leads to the self-discharge of the battery. Conductor of electricity can be accumulated on the cover dust, it also leads to a decrease in battery charge. Moisture and dust should be wiped with special care in the area of ​​the battery terminals.

How to check the car battery during the external examination

There is clearly something wrong with this battery.

Special attention should be paid to the state of the battery terminals. They must be clean, free of deposits and free from damage. Contact with wires must be reliable, loose clamps are not allowed. Through damages and cracks of the case, leaked electrolyte through them will not be allowed to close the plates and damage car parts. If the battery has water plugs, they should be tightly wrapped in the case.

Sound Test

Knowing how to check the car battery, you can avoid most of the problems when starting a car. It is very easy to check the technical condition of the battery in the following way. On a cold car, turn on the main beam headlights for 1 minute, after turning it off, immediately press the horn of the car. If the sound of the signal is loud, and the battery itself is not heated, the battery is in good technical condition. If the car’s horn is weak, a more thorough, instrument-tested battery should be performed. If the battery is very hot, then it must be urgently changed, since such "heaters" have properties to explode.

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How to check the battery with a multimeter

The battery charge level is not only an indicator of its health, but also the state of the entire electrical system of the car. This will help quite an inexpensive device - a multimeter. Before checking the battery with a multimeter, the device should be switched to the constant voltage test mode. Using a multimeter to remove the voltage at the battery terminals without load. Therefore, the negative wire must be disconnected for testing.

How to check the car battery performance with a multimeter

A healthy battery with no load should produce at least 12.6 volts

According to the readings determine the degree of discharge of the battery. In a fully charged, good 12 volt battery, a multimeter should display a voltage of 12.6 volts. If the device indicates 12.2 volts, this indicates that the discharge is about 50% and the battery should be recharged. Indications below 12 volts suggest that the battery needs urgent resuscitation, or even prepare for a replacement. Checking the battery with a multimeter is quite simple - this is the fastest way to self-check.

Checking battery capacity multimeter

Checking the voltage does not give a complete picture of the state of the battery. Since it is not always possible to check the battery charge in the service, this can be done independently using a multimeter and a selected load. The most difficult thing is to pick up the load on the battery, it should take about half the current of the battery. For this purpose, you can use several lamps from headlamps connected to each other. The use of lamps provides a vivid example of the state of the battery under test. Test under load with a multimeter should be carried out on a fully charged battery.

How to check the battery with a multimeter

There are highly targeted professional testers for testing car batteries.

The essence of the check is simple. We connect to the battery circuit with a load for two minutes. If the light bulbs used are heavily faded, then the test can be omitted. This clearly shows the status of the test battery. If the light bulbs are not extinguished, it is necessary, without removing the load, to measure the voltage at the terminals. The battery capacity is full, if the multimeter shows a voltage of 12.4 volts. A voltage of 12-12.4 volts indicates that in winter there may be problems with starting the car. Well, with smaller readings, you should think about replacing the battery.

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How to check battery density

To check the density of the electrolyte will require a special device - a hydrometer and reference tables. Before checking the density of the battery, you should familiarize yourself with the safety measures, as the electrolyte can cause significant harm to health. Check the density of the electrolyte is carried out after charging the battery in order to bring it to the desired performance. Before measuring the density of the battery should be at least 6 hours after charging. It should be remembered that the density of the electrolyte varies significantly with temperature, so when calculating the indicators, you need to use a special table to bring the density to the normative data.

How to check the charge and density of the battery with a hydrometer

Checking battery charge with a hydrometer

The measurement process itself is simple, but requires caution. The test is carried out using a glass tube. Before checking the density of the battery, make sure that the electrolyte level is 0.5-1 cm above the protective grid. The areometer is of two types with a floating graduated float and pop-up floats of different density. The electrolyte is taken into the body of the device using a rubber bulb. Floats will indicate the density of the electrolyte in the battery.

Knowing how to check a car's battery for working capacity and observing some simple rules for its care, you can significantly extend its service life and be confident in your iron horse. But if during the checks it turned out that the battery is faulty and needs to be replaced, do not throw it on the trash, because its elements and electrolyte can cause serious damage to nature. Currently, many organizations are collecting waste batteries, and auto shops hold promotions for which you can exchange old batteries for new ones with an additional charge.