By Erik Watkins

How To Test A Car Battery Without A Multimeter 

Last updated: Jan 5, 2023
Repair Tips - How To Test A Car Battery Without A Multimeter

In winter, the engine often has problems with the battery or power windows, phone charger, radio, etc. If the motor is working properly, you must connect the correct terminal,  the negative and positive points on the multimeter, to the negative and positive terminal on the battery. If the problem is a defective battery, you won’t be able to jump-start.

Now you need to check your car battery quickly. Use a car battery testing tool? Or you think of a cheap and simple tool –  a multimeter handy with two red and black probes to measure battery load, and this is arguably the fastest and most accurate method. But how do you test your car battery without a multimeter?

How Long Will Car Batteries Last?

Car battery life extends from three to five years. Normally, except for a deep cycle battery, a fully discharged battery will fail faster. 

It will last longer if you take good care of the battery and do routine maintenance. It is changeable, depending on how long it can charge and its battery charger. Given that there are several types of automobile batteries, the typical lifespan of a battery depends on its chemical makeup. You will have to replace a new battery if it turns out to be defective.

How To Test a Car Battery Without a Multimeter?

No problem when you do not own a multimeter. We provide the vehicle owner with a useful way to test their car battery without a test:

Step 1: Check The Battery Voltage

Start by physically inspecting the battery in your automobile. Check to see whether it isn’t bloated or dripping. Your battery is a box with a face that is straight. From beginning to end, maybe the battery terminals are corroded; you must inspect the equipment for corrosion. If everything is in order, move on.

Step 2: Turn On The Headlights

You can start by turning on your headlights without starting the engine to check your battery. Let the battery light stay on for about 10-15 minutes.

Step 3: Crank The Engine Short 

When the light is still on, start the engine, you will notice the light bulb is dim when the car starts. If the headlights are off or too dim while the machine takes a moment to turn, your car’s battery may have a problem.

Signs Of A Car With Weak Battery Or Bad Battery

Signs Of A Car With Weak Battery Or Bad Battery

Slow Engine Starting 

When starting, slow motor rotation is usually a sign of a dead battery. If something goes wrong, your battery will have trouble fully charging, which manifests as a sluggish engine start because the battery does not provide enough power for the starter motor to move the engine. 

If you often experience this problem, it can be about running out of car batteries.

Dim The Lights

As said before, the slight dimming of the light is another sign of something wrong with the battery. This also applies to your interior lights or problems with other electrical parts, such as the windows, electricity, or radio. These types of electrical components are more likely to fail, while your lights will begin to fade before dying.

Clicking Noise

You will hear a crunching sound when the battery is not supplying enough power to the engine to start the car. Prove that your battery is dead and your car will not start.

Battery Indicator Lights

When the battery starts working, you will see its indicator light on the control panel. While some models show a picture of the battery, some will have a generic check engine light.

Light on the dashboard or some other abnormality means that the battery is faulty, and you need to replace a new one.

How Can You Tell If The Car Battery Is Bad?

Identify damaged car batteries by signs. This will depend a lot on how you feel when using the car. If you pay attention, you can detect a weak or damaged car battery through the following signs:

  • Observing the color of the magic eye is the fastest way to identify a damaged car battery. The magic eye is usually designed with high-end batteries; if the battery is not green (in good condition), it means it is having problems.
  • It was detected through the battery status warning light displayed on the vehicle screen. This is also a sign that the battery needs to be checked urgently.
  • Check for bulging, leaking, or broken batteries, etc.
  • A slow car engine or, after turning off the engine, it can’t start anymore is also a sign of a damaged car battery that needs to be fixed.
  • The car starts weakly when the engine makes a small sound, or the engine just moves slightly and then turns off. If this happens often enough, you must check the battery immediately.

What Is The Most Accurate Way To Test A Car Battery?

Here are the common reasons; please refer to the best way to check your car battery.

  • Batteries for electric vehicles are buried underground to power utilities.
  • Battery connections for electric vehicles may be rusted or loose.
  • Extremes similarly impact batteries in automobiles in temperature.
  • Batteries for automobiles have been overused.


To have great trips, fully equipped car batteries are indispensable. After use time, they become less efficient. Checking a crossbow battery takes only a few minutes but can help prevent future battery deaths. Experiment with the methods above to quickly detect battery health without a multimeter.

See also:

Automotive Mechanic at PowerAll

With 7 years experience in management positions leading automotive mechanics at PowerAll, Erik Watkins wishes to share useful knowledge and information about automotive mechanical equipment.


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