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What is a Car Battery’s Voltage Range?

All cars have a battery, the majority of which are 12V but they must be charged at a higher voltage. It’s crucial to test your battery when it begins to show signs of weakness, to avoid unexpected breakdowns and higher costs in the long run. Symptoms of a weakening battery include a slower startup, dimming headlights and backfiring.

We recommend testing your battery twice a year to ensure you are never left in the lurch with a dead battery. In this article, we will go through a step-by-step guide of what to look for when testing your battery’s voltage range and how to make your battery more efficient.


How To Test Your Car Battery’s Voltage Range

  1. Due to the way batteries work, we advise you to leave your car resting overnight so you can get an accurate gauge of your battery’s voltage.

  2. Find the battery under the car’s bonnet. If you can’t find your battery consult your owner’s manual or search for your car’s model online.

  3. Set up the testing equipment by connecting the black multimeter lead to the negative battery cable (which is black) and the red lead to the positive battery cable (which is red).

  4. Make sure your multimeter is set to the DC volts setting and read the results. The battery needs to be at least 12.6 volts to charge properly, anything under this voltage will become discharged. Battery voltages depend on their age and use, and translating your battery’s voltage will help you understand how charged your car is:
    – 12.66 volts = 100% charged
    – 12.45 volts = 75% charged
    – 12.24 volts = 50% charged
    – 12.06 volts = 25% charged
    – 11.89 volts = 0% charged

  5. Recharge your battery if it’s low on charge, this can be done one of two ways. You can either use a portable battery charger or jump-start your battery using an alternator to charge it. If you’re not entirely savvy with cars, then a local garage will help you charge your battery, most places do this for free.

  6. Once the battery is fully charged, it’s worth testing whether your battery is in good shape or not. Some batteries may charge but lose power quickly, indicating you’ll need a new one. Testing your battery can be done through either a load tester or an electronic tester, both test the condition of the cells inside. If your battery drops below 9.6 volts during testing, then it’s highly likely you’ll need a new battery.


How To Make Your Car Battery Last Longer

There are a few ways to prolong your car battery’s life, including:

  • Limiting short trips as they prevent your car’s battery from fully charging.
  • Turning off all lights when you finish using your car.
  • Don’t idle in your car, for example, using the heated seats feature whilst parked.
  • Keep your battery tightly fastened, as vibrations can damage the battery’s components inside.
  • Clean your battery, we recommend cleaning them with a toothbrush and baking soda to get rid of excess corrosion.


Here at Oaks Services, we are happy to help you with any queries or problems you may be experiencing with your car. Our reliable and experienced experts will provide high-quality service at a competitive price, no matter the issue. For more information on our products and services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!