It is embarrassing to always be the one asking for co-workers and neighbors for a battery to start your car. You can actually test battery with multimeter and you can do it yourself. The simple test will let you decide on buying a new battery or just charging what you have. Either you can save money with the outcome of this test.

Test Battery With Multimeter


How To Test Battery With Multimeter

Before we going to the steps to test the battery with a multimeter, let us look at the equipment we will need.

Equipment You Need

  • Multimeter with leads probes
  • A brush to clean the battery terminals
  • An assistant

Now we know all of the above let’s get into the steps.

Locate and Inspect Battery

Open the engine compartment of your car. For most cars, the batter is located in the near right corner. Located the negative and positive terminal of the car you want to test with a multimeter

Inspect the Battery 

Inspect the car battery terminals and the cables for corrosion.

Clean the Terminals 

Used a hard brush to brush off the battery-terminal cleaner. This will all you to effectively test battery with multimeter.
Switch to the right voltage  to test battery with a multimeter
Turn the multimeter to 20 VDC (volts direct current).

Observe the multimeter reading

At this point, the reading on the multimeter should be 0.00.

Steps To Test The Battery With A Multimeter

Turn off the car if it is on. Because you can not ascertain the right voltage as the alternator is constantly charging the battery.

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Start the Test

Now, place the red probe (positive terminal) of the multimeter lead on the positive terminal of the battery and the probe of the black wire of the multimeter on the negative terminal of the battery.

Check the reading of the test battery with a multimeter

If the multimeter reads 12.4 VDC indicates the battery is fully charged, 12.2 VDC is considerably charged while reading below 12.0 VDC indicates a low battery. A healthy battery will ideally show 12.6 volts reading.

Final Test

Now have someone else crank the car’s engine while you take the multimeter readings. If the reading indicates below 10.0 VDC while with the key in the ignition start position, it means your battery is not good enough to start your car.

Tips To Test Battery With Multimeter

  • Place the multimeter probes firmly and pressing against the battery terminals
  • Ensure no other wire interferes with the test.


  • Be careful and keep your body or clothes from the fan and other rotating engine parts.
  • Ensures your pieces of jewelry do not make contact with terminals or cables.
  • Also, avoid short-circuiting both battery terminals.
  • Avoid using a 10A connector on the multimeter.
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