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To check your battery's state of charge, connect the RED or POSITIVE voltmeter test lead to your battery POSITIVE terminal. The photo at the top of this page shows a battery voltage reading of 12.29 volts, which means the battery being tested is low with only about half a charge. If your battery voltage is less than 12.45 volts (75 percent charged), it is low and should be recharged.
Automotive lead-acid batteries should be maintained at a 75 percent charge level or higher for best performance and life. A good battery is essential for reliable starting, especially during cold weather because cold weather increases the cranking load on the battery. Warning: Do NOT attempt to recharge your battery if it has run down and the liquid inside is frozen. A GOOD battery is one that will accept and hold a charge, and is capable of producing close to its rated amperage output. Most car batteries only last about 4 to 5 years, so if your battery is 4 or more years older and is not holding a charge (keeps running down), or it does not seem to crank your engine a normal speed, you probably need a new battery. A low or dead battery does not mean your battery has failed, or that it needs to be replaced. CAUTION: Conventional wet cell car batteries are filled with a mixture of water and sulfuric acid.

The other (and must faster) method for testing your battery is to use an electronic "conductance" tester like the one shown here. Some electronic battery testers can also analyze the battery's CCA capacity, which can be used to estimate the battery's remaining service life. Diagnostic Tip: You also can use a digital voltmeter to check for voltage drop across all circuit connections, too. Whether your battery tests GOOD or BAD, make sure the battery is fully recharged before returning it to service.
Diagnostic Tip: If the alternator on your car has failed, it might mean your battery is not building up normal resistance as it accepts a charge. A replacement battery must have the same post configuration as the original (top post or side post), and fit the battery tray.
Next, you have to figure out how many CCAs the vehicle needs for reliable cold weather starting. Another number that is important is the months of prorated warranty coverage provided by the battery manufacturer.
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Some testers can also measure the amps drawn by the starter while cranking the engine, and analyze charging system output under load once the engine is running.

This, in turn, makes the alternator keep charging the battery at a higher than normal rate.
As a rule, the higher the warranty months on the battery, the higher the battery CCA rating and the better the battery. Though all automotive batteries today are still based on lead-acid chemistry, redesigned grids, thinner plates and new connectors allow more amps to be packaged into smaller cases. It measures low current draw for 20 hours while maintaining a minimum post voltage of 10.5 Volts at 70 degrees F.
Also, check the negative battery cable ground connection and the integrity of any engine ground straps. As a growing company and due to internal promotion, we have identified an opening for a Field Sales Executive.
So consider upgrading from a basic 36-month replacement battery to a premium 72-month battery.
AGM technology also makes batteries more resistant to vibration damage and helps extend battery service life.

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