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Is Your Car’s Battery Operating at Peak Performance?

In the Greenville, Washington, and New Bern, NC, areas, nothing can derail your plans quicker than a car that refuses to start. While your car may be in otherwise perfect condition, there’s no getting around a weak battery.

Luckily, by picking up a cheap multimeter from your local auto parts store, you can easily track your car battery’s voltage. In this article, the Pecheles Automotive team will show you how.

Make Sure the Car Won’t Cause You Any Harm

This should go without saying, but attempting to check your battery while the car is still on is very dangerous. Even popping the hood while the compartment is still hot is a bad idea.

Turn off the ignition and make sure your car has been sitting for a while before you decide to pop the hood. Once you do, keep your eyes peeled for the battery and its terminals. Remove their covers, so you can make a connection.

You’re going to connect positive ends first, so be sure to look for the color red. Normally, this signifies a positive charge. Once you’ve attached the multimeter’s positive end to the corresponding battery terminal, then do the same for the negative.

Multimeter Readings Take Time

If you’re in a big rush, taking a multimeter reading isn’t a good idea. It takes a lot of time for the multimeter to provide you with an accurate measure of voltage—eight hours, to be exact. So, it may be a good idea to take the reading overnight.

Once enough time has passed, you’re going to be looking for a reading of 12.5 or higher. Anything less means that the battery is running out of juice and will require charging.

How to Read Your Charging System

It’s only natural that a car battery will drain over time. However, it’s also not uncommon for minor flaws to arise within the charging system, which will prevent your battery from maintaining voltage. More often than not, the alternator is going to be the source of these problems.

To make sure there’s no flaw in the charging system, you’ll have to check the battery’s voltage after every charge or jumpstart. To do so, make sure your car is idling and connect the multimeter as you did before, positive ends first.

What you’re looking for is a charge between 13.5 and 14.5 volts. Anything less is a major indicator that your charging system is on the fritz. If that’s the case, you’ll have to contact your mechanic right away.

Don’t Hesitate to Call for Service

There’s not a single driver that would relish the feeling of sitting on the side of the road, stranded. However, that may be where you’re heading if you ignore issues in your charging system.

At the first sign of a problem, all Greenville, Washington, and New Bern, NC, drivers should contact Pecheles Automotive. Our expert team will make sure your car is back up and running as soon as possible.