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How to test a 6 volt battery

Updated March 23, 2017

Six-volt batteries are used to power items such as motorcycles, golf buggies and wheelchairs. Two 6 volt batteries, wired in series to produce 12 volts, are also commonly used in recreational vehicles as they last longer than one 12-volt battery. The batteries used to power these items are lead-acid batteries and are capable of producing a constant 6 volts until they are almost fully discharged (about 80 per cent). You can test if your battery is producing 6 volts using a voltmeter or multimeter.

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  1. Access the 6-volt battery and determine the polarity of the two battery terminals. Each terminal is clearly labelled. The positive terminal is labelled "Pos", "+" on, or next to, the terminal. Once you've found the positive terminal, the other terminal is the negative terminal, but to confirm look for "Neg" or "-" on, or next to, the terminal. Some terminals can have small plastic coloured rings around the base of the terminal making identification even easier: red for positive and black for negative.

  2. Set a multimeter or voltmeter to measure volts in the range 0 to 12, if it has variable settings. The meter has two coloured wires attached to it: red meaning positive and black meaning negative. On the end of the wires are metal sensors.

  3. Place the sensor on the end of the red wire onto the positive battery terminal. Place the sensor on the end of the black wire on the negative battery terminal.

  4. Look at the digital or meter display on the multimeter or voltmeter. It should read 6 volts if the battery is in good condition and is at least 20 per cent charged. If it reads less than 5 volts, recharge the battery.

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Things You'll Need

  • Multimeter or voltmeter

About the Author

Stephen Benham has been writing since 1999. His current articles appear on various websites. Benham has worked as an insurance research writer for Axco Services, producing reports in many countries. He has been an underwriting member at Lloyd's of London and a director of three companies. Benham has a diploma in business studies from South Essex College, U.K.

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