Can you check a battery if it's out of the car?

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boxtops | 20:00 Mon 07th May 2012 | Cars
9 Answers
This one needs an Idiot's Guide answer please:

nibble's car hasn't been used more than a couple of times since he had his accident in February, and the battery is flat. We have taken it out and are using an external battery charger, which is still flickering yellow to say it's still charging, but it's also green.

To save lugging the thing back out to the car and refitting it, before trying the ignition, is there any way we can check if the battery is powered up while it's still in the house? (safe and sensible answers only, please!)

We don't have any jump leads.


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The best way is to pop it into your local mechanic at the garage, they have testing equipment.

How long has it been on charge?
If you have a volt meter, a fully charged battery will have 12.7 volts across its terminals. Check after charging and again 24 hrs later. There should be virtually no drop in the voltage.
Question Author
Thanks ratter - since Saturday evening. We'd have to get the battery to the garage though, our nearest one is Halford's.

The battery's three years old (bought on 8-5-2009) - would it still be under warranty until tomorrow?
Question Author
Thanks Graham, not sure that we have one of those....
Morning Boxy, I have just seen you post, take the battery with the car back today if poss, it's still under warranty.
3 Years is nothing for a car battery, it should still be in full working order .
Just charge it and refit it , if it has not been used for a few months it is best to charge it on the 'low' setting of the charger assuming it has one , but charge for a last 8 hours or overnight.
I would be very suprised if it is not fully charged and working after that.
that should be 'at least 8 hours or overnight'
If the green light has come on it should be OK.
Question Author
Thanks all, we acquired a voltmeter today - the reading was 13.5 this morning, now it's down to 12.8 - is it possible that the battery is losing power while it's sitting there? It is under a 4-year warranty so we'll be OK if the battery turns out not to be holding power. Halfords have said we can take it back if so.

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Can you check a battery if it's out of the car?

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