Knowing how to check your car battery’s health is essential for any driver. A healthy battery ensures your car starts reliably day after day. One of the simplest and most accurate ways to test your battery is with a multimeter. This versatile tool can provide a quick snapshot of your battery’s voltage, indicating its current state of charge. Below are the steps to safely and accurately check a car battery with a multimeter.

Set Up Multimeter

Before testing the battery, ensure the multimeter is properly set up:

  1. Turn off your car’s engine.
  2. Select DC Voltage on your multimeter.
  3. Adjust the multimeter to the 20 volts setting.

Test Battery Voltage

With the multimeter ready, follow these steps to test the car battery’s voltage:

  • Locate the car battery. It’s usually under the hood.
  • Identify the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals.
  • Connect the multimeter’s red probe to the positive terminal.
  • Connect the black probe to the negative terminal.
  • Read the voltage on the multimeter’s display.

A reading of 12.6 volts or higher indicates a fully charged battery. A voltage between 12.4 and 12.6 volts means the battery is in a good state. If the reading shows 12.0 volts or less, the battery is considered discharged or possibly damaged.