Check your battery as part of your preventative maintenance routine to avoid a dead battery. Automotive battery issues can prevent you from starting your vehicle or using your headlights, so find out how to check your car batteries today. Use a free online VIN checker to order a new battery, cables, headlight bulbs or other electrical components to keep your car maintained.
Ensuring All Battery Connections Are Secure
There are three basic ways to check your batteries. It doesn’t take much time or complicated tools to ensure your battery is ready to power your starter and keep your vehicle performing well. Use all three of these inspection steps to keep your electrical system operational:
- Test the voltage
- Check the connections
- Inspect the battery case
Use a multimeter to test the voltage of your auto battery. A reading lower than 12 means your battery may be damaged. Connect it to a battery charger to see how it holds a charge. Any reading between 12.3 and 12.5 may mean that your battery is low. This is caused by a faulty alternator, damaged batter or simply operating electrical devices while your ignition is off.
Check the connections of your battery to ensure proper functioning. Your battery is connected to your vehicle using two cables. Most vehicles also have a strap or other fastener to prevent your battery from moving. The cables are labeled positive and negative, using the corresponding symbols and a standard color coding system. The red terminal is positive and the gray or black terminal is negative.
A loose cable connection can exhibit some of the same symptoms as a dead battery, so check both connections before replacing your battery. Never touch the positive terminal while the negative battery cable is connected. First, remove the negative cable and then tighten the positive one. Replace the negative cable and tighten it securely to ensure both cables are properly adjusted.
Finally, it’s important to perform a physical inspection of your battery. Look for signs of swollen sides, cracks, leaking liquid or other structural damage. It’s essential to replace a damaged battery immediately to avoid any issues with leaking acid.
How To Find Out Which Is the Proper Battery for Your Vehicle
The easiest way to find the right battery for your vehicle is to use a free VIN checker tool online. You can also stop by your nearest auto parts store or consult your owner’s manual. The most important feature is the size of the battery. Check the group size and be sure it matches the manufacturer’s recommendations for your vehicle.
Other features to compare are the brand, cold cranking amps, reserved capacity and warranty. These areas are more flexible, so you may be able to purchase a better battery than the one you currently have.
Learn more about battery inspection tips with free online resources before shopping for a battery charger or replacement battery. Don’t be surprised by a dead battery, but maintain your battery and look out for warning signs that it’s time to recycle and replace your battery.