How to Test a Battery with a Multimeter?

What is a multi-meter?

In the simplest terms, a multimeter is used as a tool of measurement to calculate the precise readings for different electrical properties. So, if you had a multimeter on hand, it could measure current, voltage, and resistance all in one go! For this reason, experts also address it as the volt-ohm-milli-ammeter.

There are different types of these instruments, with analog multimeters utilizing a micro-ammeter with a moving pointer for readings to be displayed. Have you ever wondered how you can test your car’s battery using a multimeter?

If yes, then today’s article might be quite interesting to you as we figure out the steps on how to test a battery with a multimeter!

How to Test a Battery with a Multimeter

How to test a battery with a multimeter?

  1. Your first step will be to carry out a test to measure the DC voltage with your multimeter. You can identify this reading via its solid line and dashed lines situated above the V on its screen. You need to make sure the dial is set at 20. So, this ensures you measure between 0 and 20 volts.
  2. For your next step, attach your red probe piece to the positive terminal. Similarly, the black probe will be attached to the negative terminal. If you have trouble finding them, the terminals will be marked with a + or – sign. An easy way to make sure you have attached them correctly is to look at the reading. It should always be in the positive numbers.
  3. An important consideration here is that your resting voltage shouldn’t be lower than 12.6 Volts. If your car’s battery is going down below this, you might have an issue! When it hits 12.2V, it is only 50-per cent charged. In case it is at 12V, then your car battery is discharged!
  4. If you are confused about how your car battery is discharged, then you need to understand the concept of ‘parasitic loss. It implies that your car radio, digital clock, and similar systems are still leeching off their power. So, this can lead to a drain in charge. For this, you might need to detach the battery from the car completely to address the problem.
  5. If the voltage is lower than 12.6 volts, you need to disconnect the battery and wait to be completely charged first. We recommend allowing the battery to rest for a night and then testing it again with the multimeter. If this still hasn’t worked, your battery might be damaged.

That’s all you need to know when testing a battery with a multimeter. We recommend that you learn how to handle a multimeter before you get to testing car batteries. Now, you know that you can attempt it successfully at home and on your own! Hopefully, this article, how to test a battery with a multimeter, has made it a tiny bit easier.

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