The battery is one of the most important components of a car, as it’s what powers the vehicle and all the electronics inside it.
If the vehicle isn’t performing as well as it used to, then a low voltage battery may be to blame. Below, we’ll tell you what the voltage of a car battery should be. We’ll also tell you how to check that, along with signs that a new battery may be needed near Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, or Trevose.
Read through our informative guide, then contact Faulkner Auto Group for battery service.
Car Battery Voltage
A fully charged battery should read 12.6 volts or above. When the engine is running, that number should be between 13.7 and 14.7 volts.
If the battery is reading at 12.4 volts, then it’s 75% charged. At 12 volts, it drops to 25%. Once the battery reads at 11.8 volts, it’s considered to be completely discharged.
How to Test a Car Battery
In order to check the voltage of a car battery, you’ll want to test it with a voltmeter. Make sure to put on a pair of gloves and goggles to protect yourself, and then perform the following steps:
- Turn the vehicle and all its lights off.
- Connect the positive (red) voltmeter to the battery’s positive terminal.
- Connect the negative (black) voltmeter test lead to the battery’s negative terminal.
- Check the reading to see the current voltage. Anything lower than 12.2 volts, and it’s identified as a bad battery.
When to Get a New Battery
A bad battery is usually five years old and won’t accept or hold a charge. It also can’t produce adequate cranking amps. Those are the number of electric currents that a lead-acid battery at 32 degrees Fahrenheit can deliver for 30 seconds.
Essentially, it’s how much power you have to start your car in most climates. If the battery doesn’t produce enough cranking amps, then your car may not start. At that point, you’d have to get a new battery.
There are other signs that’ll indicate a new car battery is needed. They include:
- Slow engine crank: The battery may be failing if it takes longer than normal for your car to start.
- Swelling or bloating battery case: Excessive heat can cause a battery case to swell, which would decrease its life.
- Low battery fluid level: Car batteries usually have a translucent casing, so you can see the battery fluid level. If it dips below the lead plates (i.e., energy conductor) inside, then the battery needs to be tested right away.
- Lights and accessories don’t work as well: Not only does the battery start the car, but it also powers the electronics inside. So, if the lights are dimming, or the radio isn’t working properly, then the battery may be on its way out.
Schedule Car Battery Service Today
If your vehicle’s battery is no longer holding a charge, or it’s experiencing any of the above signs, then contact us at Faulkner Auto Group.
Our certified technicians will determine if the battery needs a simple repair or a complete replacement. If it needs the latter, then we’ll use a brand-new, high-quality battery that fits inside your automobile perfectly.