How to Test a Car Battery – 6 Interesting Ways You Should Know

Battery is a very important part of a car. Regular battery testing can ensure you that, it is ready to start your vehicle in any condition. The whole system of your ride depends on it and proper maintenance. To keep your best car battery in tip-top condition,  it’s essential to know how to test a car battery. If you have not tried it before. Don’t worry. Here, we’re going to provide you 6 amazing ways to do it.

How to Test A Car Battery by 6 Interesting Ways

Testing car batteries and electrical systems regularly helps your car operate properly and reduces the chances of failure. Here are 6 most common ways of checking your car battery collected by Car From Japan authors that may be useful for you:

#1. Voltmeter 

Voltmeter Battery Test
A voltmeter is necessary to perform this trick. (Photo: wiseGEEK)

To understand how to test a car battery, knowing the usage of the voltmeter is very important. There are 2 types of voltmeters you can select to test your battery. One is analog and the other one is a digital voltmeter. Selecting a digital voltmeter will be the best, because it is easier to read and gives you an accurate measurement. Yet, there are some things drivers should know:

Firstly carefully check your car ignition before the procedure. Make sure that the car ignition key and all the lights are turned off. Secondly, car owners should remove the battery’s positive terminal cover, along with checking these terminals and cleaning them well. Thirdly, always remember that the positive lead of the voltmeter should be connected to the positive terminal of the battery, which is red. Meanwhile, the negative lead of the voltmeter is connected to the negative terminal of your battery, which is mostly black. Fourthly after completing these parts, you can see the voltmeter will show results based on the battery condition. Volts from 12.4 to 12.7 indicated that the vehicle battery was in good condition.

In the result of the voltmeter when you see a value less than 12.4 volts means your battery is weak and needs charge to get better. In case the value is lower than 12.2, then give your battery a slow charge and check again by following the same steps. On the other hand, if the value is higher than 12.9, then it’s an indication that your battery has excess voltage. So, try to turn the high beams to remove the excessive voltage charge.

To understand more, check this video on how to check a car battery by voltmeter or multimeter

#2. Ammeter

Ammeter is normally used to measure any flow. In many vehicles, the ammeter is pre-installed which is very useful and helpful.

It will let you know the battery charging condition. This meter also informs that the charge is either going in or out of the battery. This helps to find out whether the generator is charging the battery or not, because of the heavy load. It will give a strong reading on the battery’s good condition. If the charge is ridiculously low, then you will be sure that the battery is going weak. While learning how to test a car battery, drivers need this tool, since it gives results much faster than a voltmeter can provide.

  Watch the video how you can use ammeter for testing your car battery.

Read more:

#3. Battery health indicator

Battery health Indicator is mostly pre-installed in many vehicles. If you want to know how to test a car battery, this is one of the most important devices. Old cars do not have this installed, but it can be installed if you want.

The round glass cover shows battery condition & based on that you can maintain your battery.

Switching on the ignition, the arrow will point near the division between the red and green bands. When the circle shows a green color then your battery is in good health condition. The red circle is an indication that your battery is running at a lower charge and have to give your battery proper charge to work normally.

When you see the dark black or transparent color means the battery is running out its life or dead battery and you need to replace it soon.

Check out this video for more clear understanding

#4. Power probe

Power Probe Test
Testing will be much easier with the Power Probe Test. (Photo: Amazon)

A power probe testing device is a faster way to know how to test a car battery. This is an easier way to test the car battery than a voltmeter:

To begin, drivers should remove the battery-positive terminal cover. After that, the positive lead of the device connects to the positive terminal of your battery. Later on, connect the negative lead of the Power Probe to the negative terminal. The tip of the Probe is then attached to the positive terminal of the battery. Last but not least, battery is less than 12.2 or higher than 12.9, so we recommend following the above-mentioned steps in the voltmeter method. Area with weather mostly cold will be extra beneficial for the power probe.

You can get more clear view how to test car battery with Power Probe by viewing the below video.

#5. A hydrometer check

how to test a car battery
The powerful device in how to test a car battery guideline. (Photo: Youtube)

A fluid device for measuring the battery is known as a hydrometer. This is used to measure the gravity of the battery to determine its state of charge. It also determines how strong or weak the acid or battery fluid is. Besides this method is worthless to know the capacity of your battery. 

Generally, a fully charged battery when tested by a hydrometer should have a specific gravity reading between 1.265 and 1.299 at 80°F (26.7°C). Use the manufacturer’s specifications for your specific battery to determine the acceptable range of specific gravity readings. If the readings are below the acceptable range, it may indicate a weak or discharged battery.

The capacity depends on the amount of plates that are present in each cell. If any damage comes to any of these plates, then the cell’s capacity is affected. For a sealed battery this method might not work.

However, please note that testing a car battery with a hydrometer provides a general indication of the battery’s health. For a more accurate assessment, you may want to consider using a battery load tester or consult a professional mechanic.

#6. How to test a car battery with a battery load tester

You have to check the terminal is disconnected from the battery. The positive thin gauge of a battery load tester should be connected to the positive output of the battery.

Later on, the negative thin should be connected to the negative output. Keep in mind that some battery lead testers do not have negative output, but there is a pin connector on the other side of the tool. You need to touch the negative car battery output if you have a pin connector. The tool will work for not more than 5 seconds & later it will connect with a car battery. There will be sparks when the car battery touches the pin connector. This means everything is fine the way it should be.

The voltage rate will fall up to 10-10.5 V if the battery is in good condition. The voltage falls up to 9V means you need to change battery to a new one soon.


These are the most useful 6 ways how to test a car battery for you. Do regular checks with your car battery to avoid any problems & also to expand your car battery life. Let us all know if these techniques work for you.