Your car, like a whole lot of other things in life can be unpredictable and may just decide to stop on a day you least expect and need it most. While contacting your mechanic is the first thing that comes to your mind, there is a need for you to troubleshoot before considering that option.
The next time your car doesn’t start, these simple tests will determine if it’s possible to revive your car battery.
When you turn the key and hear the dreaded “click” sound that indicates your car is not starting, you may need a new car battery, starter or alternator. Before you however condemn either the battery or the charging system, there are a few steps you should follow.
To do this, you need a number of tools and materials. These include;
– 4-in-1 screwdriver,
– Adjustable wrench,
– Rags and
– Battery terminal protective spray.
Check Dome Lights
Turn on your dome light and turn the key again. If the dome light dims, focus your attention on the battery and its connections. If the dome light doesn’t dim, it could be an indication that the starter motor isn’t drawing power. This may require you to have it checked by a professional.
Check Battery Voltage
Scratch clean contact areas on the battery posts and test the battery voltage with a test meter. A fully charged battery should read 12.7 volts. At 50 per cent charge, the voltage drops to 12.1 volts. A low reading can be the result of poor electrical connections, a problem with the charging system, or a battery that is at the end of its life.
While it may be difficult to see corroded battery and ground connections, it is important for you to clean all of them. Start with the battery terminals but remember to disconnect the negative cable first and reconnect it last. Then clean the connection between the battery negative cable and the engine.
To finish, clean the connection between the battery negative cable and the body. If the car starts, the problem is solved.
If it doesn’t, you should take the car to your trusted mechanics shop and explain what tests you’ve done. You can then have the battery and the starting and charging systems checked out.