Battery Testing & Maintenance
Regular battery testing can ensure you and your love ones have a battery that is ready to start your vehicle in any condition. Regular care can go a long way toward making your car battery last longer and perform better during its lifetime. This is where you can find everything you need to maximize the performance and life of your battery.
Car Battery Testing & Voltage
It is important to test your battery and electrical system regularly, not just when it’s starting to show signs of weakness. Proactively testing it (or making sure your mechanic does) twice a year will help reduce your chances of failure. Most retailers offer a simple free five minute battery test. Use our Find a Retailer for a location near you to get a free battery test.
Fully charged automotive batteries should measure at 12.6 volts or above.
When the engine is running, this measurement should be 13.7 to 14.7 volts.
Maintain Your Car or Truck Battery in Storage
The most important consideration when storing any battery is to make sure the voltage never drops below 12.4 volts. Following these simple tips on battery maintenance can help extend the life of your battery.
If you are storing the battery for an extended period of time, one of the best ways to prevent damage is to make sure the voltage never drops below 12.4 volts. We recommend using a type of "battery maintainer" – a device that will monitor your battery and keep it at full potential during storage. There are two types of maintenance chargers:
- Traditional "float" chargers, which provide constant voltage with tapering amperage to the battery even when it is fully charged. The typical floating charging voltage ranges from 13.0 to 13.8 volts.
- Fully automatic multistage or multistep chargers, which monitor the battery and charge it as necessary. Multistage maintainers will charge at varying voltages and varying amperage. Some of these multistep chargers are also capable of working well as battery chargers.
If it is not possible to use a maintenance charger, disconnect the battery from the vehicle during storage to prevent the vehicle from discharging the battery. Always provide a full charge with a battery charger prior to storage, then check the battery voltage every three to six months and charge if it falls below 12.4 volts. Also, when possible, store your battery in a cool, dry location.