DIY Basics: How to Test Your Car Battery

Your favorite car has been a reliable ride for years. It’s getting older now, however, and minor issues have been on the rise. You might be questioning the car’s battery and if it’s still viable. There’s no reason why you should take the car to a mechanic for this simple check. Learn how to test a battery with a multimeter by following these basic steps. You’ll have a clear picture of the issue at hand afterward.

1. Allow the Car to Cool Down

The anatomy of a battery allows it to charge and discharge as it offers power to the car. With this fact in mind, it makes sense that the value measured with a multimeter will vary based on the battery’s previous use.

Get a clear view of the battery’s voltage by letting the car rest for at least an hour. You might park it overnight and test battery with multimeter in the morning. The resting voltage tells you if the battery is good or bad.

2. Reveal the Battery’s Terminals

Knowing how to test a battery includes the understanding of the terminals. Every car battery has positive and negative terminals. Once connected to the car, electrical current flows between the terminals as the battery activates the ignition system.

  • Locate the terminals under plastic or rubber covers. Some vehicles have screwed-on caps as alternative protection.
  • Carefully remove the covers. Keep any metal objects, such as hand tools, away from the terminals. They can shock you. You can keep the wires connected to the terminals as you test car battery with multimeter.

3. Set the Multimeter

Every multimeter has many modes available on them as you learn how to test a battery. The simplest setting is at 20 with a DC voltage. This setting is typically indicated with a solid line followed by a dash. A large “V” is above or below this symbol.

Be sure to find this setting as you learn how to test a car battery with a multimeter. It allows you to measure up to 20 volts. Other settings produce various decimal-point changes. The reading won’t be very accurate. A precise reading tells you if the battery is being drained or operating at peak levels, reports Cars Direct.

4. Position the Probes

Positioning the probes on the terminals is a big part of how to check car battery. It’s the same strategy for other power sources, including marine and golf-cart batteries.

  • Clip the black or negative probe onto the battery’s negative terminal. The colors and symbols should match up.
  • Perform the same connection with the positive or red side. Regardless of the power within the battery, you should have a positive reading. A negative symbol indicates that the probes aren’t positioned on the terminals as they should be.

5. Verify the Reading

When you know how to test a car battery, you also understand the voltage that you’re looking for on the multimeter. A strong battery reflects a 12.6-volt reading. Some readings may not be that exact, such as 12.58 or 12.57 volts. In essence, you have a perfect battery.

If you find the reading to be around 12.2 or 12.3 volts, it’s about 50-percent discharged. Any values below 12 volts are cause for concern.

6. Make the Final Decision

Remove the probes and shut off the multimeter. Consider the voltages that you recorded. You may want to charge the battery outside of the vehicle if it reads 12.2 or 12.3 volts. Replace batteries that are less than 12 volts in charge. When you know how to check car battery, there’s no reason to keep dealing with an aging battery that will fail in the near future.

For any other questions surrounding batteries and test parameters, contact Northeast Battery today. We have a full staff of professionals who understand the ins and outs of the average car battery. Learning how to test a car battery gives you solid insight into the power source. You can now be sure of any swaps when they become necessary tasks within the car.

Putt-Putting Along: When to Change Your Lawnmower Battery

Spring is a month away, which means equipment that’s been sitting in your garage is about to (finally) get some use.

Unless you’re dedicated to moving old-school push mowers across your yard, many folks now own a battery-powered machine. )It might be a push-style or a ride-along model). The battery is at the heart of the machine. Without its power, you aren’t going anywhere. When your putt-putting is slowing down, it’s time to see if the lawn mower battery is the problem.

Give it a Charge

Begin with the simplest task of all: charge the lawn mower battery. The charger and battery shouldn’t have any unusual disconnects or reactions during the 8-hour process, states Briggs & Stratton. After a full charge, run the mower in its normal fashion. It shouldn’t hesitate at all.

If the mower fails to activate or only runs for a short period of time, the main cause is typically the battery. Changing battery units at this point will verify your findings. The swap is usually the easiest way to fix a power problem.

Check for Corrosion

Your battery may be declining, but it’s due to neglected maintenance. Take a look at the battery terminals. If there’s a cloud of ashy residue, there’s corrosion hindering your power source. Clean the residue off with a mixture of baking soda and water. Scrub the area with a wire brush until you release the buildup.

Try the battery again. Whether the battery is on push mowers or ride-along models, cleaning the corrosion away may bring new life to the power source. It doesn’t necessarily need to be swapped out just yet. You’ll save money on batteries as a result.

Examine the Interlock

Follow these steps to see if the starter interlock is impeding your good battery’s operations:

  • Locate the interlock under the seat or within the handle. Refer to the owner’s manual if necessary.
  • Verify if the interlock’s contacts are damaged or not making connection with the starter motor.
  • Test the mower with the interlock in good condition.
  • A normal startup means the battery is good.
  • Replace the battery if there’s still no power.

Look at the Starter Relay

Follow the wire connections from the battery and into the starter motor. Along this pathway is the relay. Pitting or metal decline along the relay is possible when electricity arcs within the circuit. Replacing the damaged parts is necessary. The battery itself may still be good. Some people err on the side of caution by swapping it out anyway. A faulty battery might contribute to arcing at some point along the circuit’s wiring.

Pull out the Multimeter

When all else fails, pull out the multimeter. If it’s fully charged, it should reflect around 12.5 or 12.6 volts. Declining batteries might reflect voltages lower than 8 volts. Don’t be surprised if you see around 10 volts for a moderately used battery. It still has enough juice to power the mower.

Remember that these voltages are without loads. When the battery is under the mower’s electrical load, the voltage will always reflect a lower value than the standard numbers.

Verify the Cable Connections

Changing battery units may not be necessary if you take a close look at the battery connections. Both push-style and ride-along mowers produce a lot of vibrations. Those connections are tight on the battery, but they can shimmy off over time.

Verify that the connections are tight by wiggling them. Start with the ground connection first. Repeat with the positive side. Solid connections add up to a reliable battery until it’s legitimately drained, states Cub Cadet.

Contact Northeast Battery with any of your lawnmower questions. There are many parts that make up the perfect mower. One or more components can be the culprits – don’t let your battery be one.

Powering the World: Enersys Batteries

Battery power rules the world today with mobile needs growing by the minute. Enersys is a powerhouse manufacturer that focuses on industrial energy needs across the world. Regardless of your application, there’s a battery for it. Discover the benefits inherent to the Enersys brand so that you can make the right purchasing decision tomorrow.

Covering the World

This manufacturer is dedicated to serving the world, according to Enersys’s website. They’re absolutely right because they have manufacturing facilities in more than 100 locations. Whether you need DataSafe or motive power batteries, the manufacturer and our distribution are close in proximity. There’s no huge wait for a custom order.

Because of this dedication to the battery world, the manufacturer can refine its products for your benefit. No other company can create this proprietary quality when it comes to critical power. There’s no room for mistakes when sensitive data is involved.

Working With Motive Power Solutions

There’s a particular type of battery that’s required for every application. Motive power has to do with batteries that support a moving mechanism, reports the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers.

These machines might include:

  • Golf carts
  • Wheelchairs
  • Mining machinery
  • Railway accessories

Enersys-designed batteries have a motive division, which includes the Hawker XFC-Li model. These power sources must withstand a lot of vibration while dealing with constant charging and discharging states. Their design continues to evolve so that your motive units can keep on chugging forward.

Critical Standby Power

The Internet is here to stay, and it will continue to be a huge part of commerce and its advancements. Supporting those vast collections of servers are UPS or uninterruptible power supplies. They’re plugged into standard outlets, but they also have battery units attached to them.

For example, we carry the DataSafe sealed lead-acid battery. It’s designed for telecom applications. If there’s ever a power issue, the battery goes into action. There’s no perceivable change in the power source. The data can continue to flow.

Broad Benefits of Enersys’s Products

The type of battery that you choose has a direct effect on a system’s efficiency. Enersys-designed products run at cooler temperatures than other brands. This fact translates to less energy used to cool an entire server room, for instance.

The battery can activate faster and run for short or long periods of time without any ill effects on the interior components. In essence, the battery is a maintenance-free part of a complex system. Never worry about your power source with Enersys-designed units in place.

Improving the Environment

Another reason why Enersys-designed products are a benefit to your business is their environmental impact. They last longer than comparable units in the marketplace today. For this reason, you won’t need to recycle or discard the battery anytime soon.

Each power source has minimal fuming too. Any exhaust coming from the battery is negligible. Less exhaust equates to cleaner air in your region. If everyone converted to these environmentally friendly products, the entire world would have a boost of fresh air.

Partnering With Northeast Battery

Contact Northeast Battery today for your introduction to this manufacturer’s batteries. This manufacturer continues to improve upon its initial designs to create seamless power for every industrial application. Your partnership with battery power will only boost your bottom line.