How to Check Your Car Battery Voltage

Car Battery

Knowing how to check your car battery voltage is an important aspect of automotive maintenance. Being aware of your battery’s condition helps you avoid coming across any unnecessary surprises while you’re on the road. If you’re in Mobile, Prichard, or Saraland, our team of experts here at Nissan of Mobile has put together the following steps for you to review. Take a brief moment to find out what this simple procedure entails.  

If you come up with any questions while you’re reading through the information below, feel free to email, call, or visit us in person. We’ll be here to help you out in any way we can.

How Often Your Car Battery Voltage Needs to Be Checked

When the battery that powers your vehicle gets older, its individual cells will begin to fade at different times. Because of this, its voltage should be checked about every six months or so.

What You’ll Need for the Job

You won’t need a lot of supplies for checking battery voltage. Everything you’ll need is listed below:

  • Safety glasses
  • Protective gloves
  • A digital multimeter

Step 1: Find the Battery

If your vehicle is running, you’re going to want to shut it off while you perform the check. Once you’ve done this, open up the hood and locate the battery. In most models, you’ll see it near the front fender. If you can’t find it, check your owner’s manual.

Step 2: Give the Battery a Once-Over

What you’re looking for here are any signs of corrosion or leaking. Corrosion can be eliminated by scrubbing it with baking soda and water. If you see any leaks, see a technician to have the battery replaced right away. If everything looks fine, go ahead and ensure that any metal objects like screw drivers and wrenches are clear from the battery. Doing this will prevent any possibility of a short while you’re doing your work. 

Step 3: Hook the Multimeter Up to the Battery

Jumping a Car Battery

The positive lead from the multimeter matches up with the positive terminal on the battery. Similarly, the negative lead goes on the negative battery terminal. A good way to make sure that you’re doing it correctly is to remember that red is always positive and black is always negative.

Step 4: Read the Results

Here’s a key to help you interpret the information from the multimeter:

  • 12.66 volts – 100% charged
  • 12.45 volts – 75% charged
  • 12.24 volts – 50% charged
  • 12.06 volts – 25% charged
  • 11.89 volts – 0% charged

Your battery is considered to be fully charged when the reading is anything higher than 12.45 volts.

Remember to Check Your Car Battery Voltage on a Regular Basis

Drivers in Mobile, Prichard, or Saraland who are currently having difficulty keeping their car battery charged and would like to have the above steps performed by a certified technician, can do so by contacting Nissan of Mobile. A member of our team will be happy to lend a hand.