How to Test Your Car’s Battery

When your car’s battery doesn’t appear to hold a charge, you can check it using a voltmeter. Whether you choose a digital or analog version, you should follow the same steps. The first is to make sure your car and lights are turned off. Begin by connecting the voltmeter’s red, or positive, cable to the positive battery terminal. Follow that with connecting the black, or negative, cable to the battery’s negative terminal.

When your battery registers above 12.4 volts, that indicates it’s able to hold a charge. If, on the other hand, it shows 12 volts or below, that tells you it doesn’t have sufficient voltage to turn the car’s motor over and hold a charge. You may try cleaning the battery’s terminals. First remove the negative and then the positive cables from the voltmeter. Follow the same pattern by removing the battery cables from the terminals. Clean both the cable ends and terminals using an appropriate terminal cleaning brush and solution.

If you find that, after cleaning, your battery still isn’t able to hold a charge, it may be time for a replacement. Feel free to come in to BMW of Chico and speak with a knowledgeable member of our team. We’re happy to assist you with your car’s battery or any other maintenance issue.

 
 
 
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