There are few things as frustrating as getting stranded because of battery problems. Luckily, there are things you can do to inspect your battery and avoid being caught off guard.
Before performing any work on your vehicle, make sure to have the proper safety equipment and clothing on to avoid nasty nicks and scratches, or worse.
Testing your battery is easier than you might think and is something you can do at home yourself. First, perform a quick visual inspection of the battery. If there are any signs that your battery could be faulty – a bump or bulge, a broken terminal, cracked or ruptured plastic, etc. If there’s anything suspicious, replace your battery right away, as this can be very dangerous.
If the visual test doesn’t raise any red flags, you can now do a more in-depth test. First, switch your ignition on and look out for the charge light on your dash – if it lights up, it means that the battery is being charged by the alternator. This will go out once you actually start the engine.
Next, turn on your front lights and start your engine to see if the lights shine any brighter when the engine is running. If they do, then it’s a good sign in terms of the battery being charged by the alternator.
Most batteries these days are sealed and don’t require topping up of fluids. If yours is one that does, consult your owner’s manual for the correct levels, then make sure that your fluids are right. Top up if needed.
If you don’t possess a load tester or multimeter, bring your battery to your nearest AutoZone to have it tested! If you do have these items, follow the instruction manual to perform these tests on your battery.
This is just a simple test to get you started. If you don’t feel confident performing tests or pick up on something that concerns you, have a professional inspect your battery for the best advice.