Closeup of person testing a vehicle battery

Does My Car Battery Need to be Replaced?

How to Test Your Kia Vehicle’s Battery 

As the year comes to an end and 2021 is on its way, many Tampa Bay drivers are looking to tie up loose ends to finish off 2020. One way we can check in with our vehicles and see how their health is doing is by checking if our car battery needs to be replaced. Most of us don’t think twice about our car battery until we find ourselves in a parking lot with a car that won’t start. Checking in on the health of our car battery can help prevent our cars from dying on us unexpectedly.  

This quick guide from the service team at Friendly Kia is here to show you how to test your Kia vehicle’s battery. If after testing your Kia vehicle you’ve found the battery needs replacing, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with our service experts here at Friendly Kia.  

>>> READ MORE: Kia Dashboard Warning Lights Glossary Guide <<<

How to Test a Car Battery Voltage 

Closeup of person testing a car battery with testing tool

To get started on testing your vehicle battery at home, the first thing you will need is a multimeter. A multimeter is a handheld testing tool that is used to read the electrical voltage of your vehicle’s battery.

Here’s how to test the voltage of a car battery: 

  • Turn off your Kia vehicle and all of its accessories. Accessories include any interior or exterior lighting and the car radio.  
  • Set your multimeter to 20V DC.  
  • Place the red positive multimeter lead on the battery’s positive terminal (indicated by a + symbol or red cover). 
  • Place the black negative multimeter lead on the battery’s negative terminal. 
  • Read the outputted measurement on the multimeter. If you are getting a reading of less than 12.4 volts then you may need to charge the vehicle’s battery.  

Perform a Battery Crank Test 

After you’ve tested the voltage of your car battery it’s a good idea to perform a crank test to see if the battery needs to be replaced or just need to be charged. Here’s how to perform a cranking test at home: 

  • Turn off your Kia vehicle and all of its accessories.  
  • Disable the vehicle’s ignition or fuel system.  
  • Place the positive multimeter lead on the battery’s positive terminal and the negative lead on the battery’s negative terminal. 
  • Have someone assisting you turn the vehicle’s ignition for no more than 15 seconds. While they turn the ignition watch the multimeter. If the battery’s reported voltage drops under 9.6 volts then your battery is getting weak.  

Average Car Battery Lifetime 

The average car battery is warrantied to last drivers for about four years. However, less than 50% of batteries last this long in today’s vehicles. When getting a new battery, you can expect it to last anywhere between two and five years.  

>>> READ MORE: Why Won’t My Kia Vehicle Start? <<<

If you think your battery may need to be replaced, come visit the service team here at Friendly Kia. Our staff of experts knows your Kia best and we can help get your Sorento up and running like new in no time. You can book a service appointment right here on our site or you can contact a member of our team directly for assistance.