How to Test a Car Battery with a Multimeter

How to check a car battery using a multimeter. Does your car not start, do you have dim headlights or interior lights, does the starter sound weak when start the engine, or does your car die sitting overnight? This video will show you a few ways to test your battery to see if it is bad, is going bad, or is good. A good battery will hold a charge at around 12.6v and while the car is starting it wont drop below 8-10v.

Inexpensive yet great multimeter: https://amzn.to/3sy10xH

Test your Alternator: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGB6ZEjGm7Q
Check for Parasitic Draw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5FJDgcdii8
Top 10 Mistakes Car Owners Make: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkn-K2noClw

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Disclaimer:
Due to factors beyond the control of ChrisFix, I cannot guarantee against improper use or unauthorized modifications of this information. ChrisFix assumes no liability for property damage or injury incurred as a result of any of the information contained in this video. Use this information at your own risk. ChrisFix recommends safe practices when working on vehicles and or with tools seen or implied in this video. Due to factors beyond the control of ChrisFix, no information contained in this video shall create any expressed or implied warranty or guarantee of any particular result. Any injury, damage, or loss that may result from improper use of these tools, equipment, or from the information contained in this video is the sole responsibility of the user and not ChrisFix.

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30 thoughts on “How to Test a Car Battery with a Multimeter

  1. Well done video, though I would stress "Distilled " water only and not even mention Bottled water as you did!

  2. Nice job, clear and concise without a lot of unnecessary fluff. One other comment, I was always told to use distilled water, bottled water or spring water or mineral water may hurt the life of the battery by causing corrosion. I’m not an expert on at $.80 a gallon I would buy distilled. Thank you.

  3. I took my car to a repair shop and asked them to test the battery but they only tested it with the car off, I asked them if maybe they could test it after starting the car and they said it wouldn't make a difference and there's nothing wrong the battery. Should I trust them or should I just get a multimeter and try it myself?

  4. my car electrical systems is suddenly shut down. no self start no lights nothing. before that car started and all electrical systems in tip top, so dont think if bad battery could fail so quickly. does it indicate fuse failure? any help appreciated.

  5. Just an addition from an old hand, when you clean the terminals use petroleum jelly or grease, not wd40, lasts longer. Also battery light going out shows charging circuit is fine not that you have a good battery 👍

  6. hi Chris i need advise on my battery status i had a test done and the shop asked me to change my battery the readings are : Battery Test : Volts 12.71 , CCA measured 322A, Rating 650CCA
    Starter Test : Volts 9.82V
    Charging Test : Volts 13.90V
    Do you think its ok to buy a 6V Battery charger and charge the battery or do i replace it?

  7. I have found that in general, if it is a connection that goes bad, the car won't do anything. Dead. If the car tries to start, it is usually not corrosion but a drained battery issue ( for whatever reason (-left a light on, alt not working, ect.)

  8. Those meters (for as long as they last) are adequate for the tests mentioned, but get a spare pair of decent test leads. The standard ones are usually complete shite.

  9. The longest running battery I've seen was 4+ years. And yesterday my battery died at 3 years and 2 months. And here u got a frigging 6 years battery running😂

  10. Very useful details about the flagging performance and what to expect if the battery is knackered. May I make one suggestion ? If you disonnect the battery to clean the terminals remember you could lose your car Radio CD Player function, if you haven't been given the Radio Code to start it going again. On several cars I bought in the last 20 years the code has been missing from second hand car user paperwork and even a new car bought in 2015 hasn't got the code. Trying to get it from the makers is like trying to get a spare key – they'll sting you for £30 uk to give it to you.

  11. Thank you Chris very well explained, I've wondered for ages how to test vehicle batteries PROPERLY… Will certainly subscribe

  12. My 12 v battery on my ev may be degraded but hard to tell. Lock down for covid, lower mileage, funny system … who knows.
    A maintenance charger is keeping things OK but how could I use my multi meter to test this? No cranking ….

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