How to test a car battery with an ohmmeter

Written by abby vaun
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How to test a car battery with an ohmmeter
Test your car battery with an ohmmeter. (multimeter image by dinostock from

An ohmmeter, also sometimes referred to as a volt-ohm or a multimeter, can be used to test the voltage in your car's battery. Perhaps your headlights are flickering. Or maybe you had to jump-start your battery recently. Use an ohmmeter to measure the voltage of your battery to help you determine if you need a replacement. You can purchase an ohmmeter at any electronics store.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Turn off the engine and everything that runs on electricity; radio, lights, GPS, etc.

  2. 2

    Open the bonnet of your car.

  3. 3

    Set the ohmmeter to 25 VDC.

  4. 4

    Touch the red or positive cable on the meter to the positive terminal on your car's battery.

  5. 5

    Touch the negative cable on the meter to the negative terminal.

  6. 6

    Check the meter display for the voltage reading while the meter cables are touching the battery terminals. The meter should show between 12.5 and 12.8 volts.

Tips and warnings

  • Always hold the cables by the plastic handles.

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