How to Determine if the Car Battery Needs Replacing: A Blog about car battery maintenance and how to change it.
When it comes to knowing a thing or two about cleaning cars, we know a thing or two. When it comes to knowing a thing or two about car maintenance and parts, our friends at Advance Auto Parts are always just a click, call, or quick walk away. In this week’s blog, we are highlighting how to best determine if the car battery needs replacing and how to go about testing it and changing it if needed and necessary.
Advance Auto Parts recommends two big steps before even thinking about replacing the battery and spending a good chunk of your money you’ve worked so hard for.
Test The Battery Voltage
- Turn off the ignition and any accessories like lights or the radio in the vehicle.
- If your multimeter is not autoranging, set it to 20V DC.
- Place the red lead on the positive battery terminal (indicated by a red cover or a + symbol).
- Place the black lead on the negative terminal.
- Read the measurement. If the reading is below 12.4 volts, you may need to charge your battery.
Perform A Cranking Test
Monitoring the voltage during cranking can provide better insight into whether a battery simply needs to be charged or if it needs to be replaced.
- Turn off the vehicle and all accessories.
- Disable either the fuel or ignition system — whichever is easiest on your vehicle. This is necessary because the test is dependent on the vehicle cranking, but not starting.
- Place the positive multimeter lead on the positive battery terminal and the negative lead on the negative terminal.
- Have a helper turn the ignition on for no longer than 15 seconds and watch the multimeter. If the battery voltage drops below 9.6 volts, this is an indicator of a weak battery.
Unfortunately, if neither of those two techniques work - you are probably in need of a battery replacement. You’re in luck, shops like Advance Auto Parts can help you determine the best option for you with warranty options that cover you for an extended period of time as well! If you do end up getting a replacement, it’s a super easy swap out from old to new. Simply follow these four steps and you’ll be back on the road in notime!
How To Swap Out Your Car Battery
- Set the clamps and fasteners aside and remove the battery from its tray.
- You may want to wear work gloves to replace a car battery. It can heavy (between 40 and 60 pounds). Keep your hands steady to avoid jostling the battery or spilling acid from it. If the battery has a handle, use that.
- If the battery is hard to remove, you can use a battery terminal puller. Do not use tools to try to pry up the cable as it may cause damage. Never allow a metal object to touch both ends of the battery.
- Use a bowl or magnetized plate to collect all the loose pieces as you are changing a car battery. This will prevent them from falling into the car.