How to Test Your Car Battery Voltage

We've all been in that unwanted situation where you're rushing out the door, jump in the car, and you hear that awful click, click, click sound, and you face the harsh reality of (cue suspenseful music)…a dead battery.

Let's backtrack a few weeks and pretend that you had already read this article, and knew ahead of time how to test your battery to avoid this frustrating scenario. You'd know what to look for in terms of weak battery signs, and how to test your car battery voltage frequently.

So, that's what we're here for! Our team at Audi Devon has all you need to know about car battery voltage, and how to prevent your battery from giving out on you unexpectedly, so you can enjoy your drives around Devon, West Chester, and Wynnewood worry-free.

What Drains a Car Battery?

There are several factors that can drain a car battery. It can be something like forgetting to turn off your headlights. There could also be a fault in the battery charging system, which can drain your battery while you're driving, without you even knowing.

In most cases, your car battery will die from old age, which is where knowing how to test your car battery comes in handy. Usually, batteries should be replaced every four to five years.

Signs of Low Battery Voltage

Knowing the signs to look for when your battery is dying can prevent any surprises popping up on you. Some telltale signs might include that horrid clicking noise we talked about earlier, or your engine light could pop on. You might also smell a sulfur scent (like rotten eggs - you can't miss it), which is actually a sign of a battery leak.

How to Test Battery Voltage

Items you'll need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Digital Multimeter

Step 1: Locate the Battery

This might seem obvious, but car batteries can hide in different spots, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Usually, the battery is located under the hood near the fender. Your best bet is to consult your owner's manual first, so you can cut to the chase and get on with the test.

Step 2: Set up the Test

Make sure your gloves and goggles are on in order to protect yourself from battery acid, and double check that the ignition and lights are off in the vehicle. Then, take your multimeter and touch the black lead to the negative (-) battery cable, and the red lead to the positive (+) battery cable.

Step 3: Review Your Results

Check out what number pops up on your multimeter and compare it here:


12.6+                100% charged

12.4+                  75% charged

12.2+                  50% charged

12.0+                  25% charged

         11.8+                   0% charged


If the multimeter number reads 12.2+ or less, you'll want to think about getting a new battery before it dies out unexpectedly.

Why You Should Test Your Car Battery Voltage

The most important reason you should test your car battery voltage regularly is to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road. Whether you're driving through Devon, West Chester, or Wynnewood, you want to be sure your vehicle is always in its safest condition.

If you have any more questions about testing your car battery voltage, don't hesitate to contact our auto service center at Audi Devon today! 

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