How to Check Your Car Battery Voltage

Car Battery

A charged car battery is key to starting your vehicle every day. All drivers hope to avoid turning the key and have nothing happen. By checking your battery’s voltage, you’ll know ahead of time when your battery needs to be replaced.

To help drivers in D’Iberville, Gulfport, and Hattiesburg test yours at home, Pat Peck Kia looks at how to check your car battery voltage.

How to Check Your Battery Voltage

Checking your car battery’s voltage is easy. It only takes a few minutes and a couple tools. First, it’s a good idea to get some safety glasses and gloves. You’re going to be looking under the hood and dealing with electricity, so it’s smart to take some precautions.

How to Check Car BatteryNext, you’ll need a multimeter. This electronic tool is about the size of a calculator. It has a display window and a dial in the middle. There should be two wires coming out of it, one black and one red. At the end of each wire, you’ll see a metal prong or lead. This is what you’ll use to check the battery’s voltage levels.

Now that you’ve got all the necessary tools ready, it’s time to check the battery. Since temperature can affect your readings, try to check yours on a day that isn’t excessively hot or cold or test it in your garage. When you’re ready, you can check your voltage with just four easy steps:

  1. Turn the Engine Off – To get the most accurate results, it’s best to check your voltage when the engine is at rest. It’s a little safer and easier for you. Checking the battery when the engine is on or still warm from driving can throw off your results.
  2. Find the Battery – Most vehicles have their battery under the hood. However, some put theirs in more obscure spots, like in the trunk or under the back seats.
  3. Connect the Leads – Once you’ve found the battery, set the multimeter to measure DC current and use the leads to make contact with the battery. The top of the battery should have two prongs with one labeled positive and the other negative. The black lead should connect to the negative one, while the red should make contact with the positive one. Touch them both at the same time; otherwise, the multimeter won’t be able to give you a reading.
  4. Check Your Results – The multimeter’s display should show you a number for how many volts it picked up. Anything over 12.4 volts is good, as that generally means your battery is around 75% charged. If your results are closer to 12 volts, you’ll either need to have the battery recharged or replaced.

Kia Battery Replacement & Service

When your battery is low or shows signs of damage, schedule service with Pat Peck Kia. Our service center features a team of highly trained technicians who can recharge and replace your battery and get you back on the road.

We’re proud to provide drivers in D’Iberville, Gulfport, and Hattiesburg with fully charged batteries and reliable service. To learn more about how to check your car battery voltage, contact us or schedule your service appointment today!