Used Toyota Deals Bristol, PA

How to Test a Car Battery When Taking Advantage of Used Toyota Deals in Bristol, PA

Before buying used Toyota deals in Bristol, PA, you should always confirm that every component of the vehicle is in good condition, including the battery. Ideally, you will hire an independent mechanic to inspect your chosen auto, but you should also know how to check the battery yourself. This skill will come in handy throughout the life of your vehicle in addition to at the time of purchase.

Using a Voltmeter

The simplest way to check your car battery in Bristol, PA, is using a voltmeter. This device measures the difference in electrical potential between two points of an electrical circuit, which we call voltage. There are both digital and analog voltmeters, but most find digital ones significantly easier to use. To get the most accurate results, wait at least 12 hours from when you last turned the battery on to use the voltmeter, as this ensures all surface charge has dissipated.

Always ensure your car is off in Bristol, PA, before checking the battery. Take off the positive terminal cover of the battery and confirm there is no corrosion, cleaning it off if you have to. Attach the positive lead of the voltmeter to your battery’s positive lead. Now, repeat the process for the negative terminal. The voltmeter will display a reading. If your battery has a full charge, it will be between around 12.6 and 12.8 volts. You want the figure to be at least 12.4 to 12.8, which indicates it is in good condition.

Readings Outside of Normal

If the voltmeter reads above 12.9, this means there is excessive voltage. Try to turn on your high beams and drain the excessive surface charge. If this doesn’t work, your alternator may be the cause. If the reading is below 12.4, you need to charge it. For charges below 12.2 volts, however, think about “trickle charging.” This is the process of charging it more slowly so there is no risk of delivering excess charge amperage that would lead to excess heat and could even cause an explosion in an extreme case in Bristol, PA.

Engine Cranking Method

There is an alternative way to check the battery charge in Bristol, PA, and it’s called the “engine cranking method.” Start by connecting the voltmeter like you would above. Now, have someone crank the engine while you watch the voltmeter. This means starting the engine with an exterior force instead of a key. If the battery’s voltage is below 9.6, it has become sulfated, meaning it cannot retain or accept a charge.

Our dealership always strives to offer vehicles in good condition without any major problems and with a fully functional battery. Visit our lot to check out used Toyota deals in Bristol, PA, and find your next auto.

Categories: Pre-Owned Inventory


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