The battery gives your vehicle its get-up-and-go and a whole lot more. Without it, you couldn’t raise and lower the windows, lock the doors or keep the music playing. So, when something plays such a big role in your life behind the wheel, it’s just natural to wonder how it works.
HOW MANY VOLTS IN A CAR BATTERY?
When discussing car battery voltage, we’re generally talking about a 12-volt battery. When we take a closer look, we see car battery voltage can range anywhere from 12.6 to 14.4.
With the engine off, the fully charged car battery voltage will measure 12.6 volts. This is known as “resting voltage.”
When the engine is running, battery voltage will typically rise to 13.5 to 14.5 volts. The battery is boosted to these higher levels by the alternator.
To better explain, let’s take a step back and look at the integral role the typical 12-volt battery plays in your vehicle’s starting and charging system.
The battery stores electrical energy.
The starter converts the electrical energy to mechanical energy to crank the engine.
After the engine has started, the alternator produces an electric current that replaces the energy the starter drew from the battery.
These three steps repeat, over and over, powering your engine as the electrical energy is again converted to mechanical energy and the alternator recharges the battery to supply additional current.
Now that we’ve looked at how many volts in a car battery and how the battery works, we’re ready to move on to amperage.
Amperage, or amps, is a way to describe car battery current. The amperage rating is going to differ based on the number of options your vehicle has. Simply put: a highly-optioned vehicle is going to have a higher amperage battery. The typical battery amperage ranges from 450 to 750 CCA.
Hey, wait a minute! What’s CCA? CCA stands for cold cranking amps, and refers to the number of amps a 12-volt battery can deliver at 0ºF for 30 seconds while maintaining a voltage of 7.2 volts or more. The higher the CCA, the greater the starting power.
Proper maintenance can help your battery keep working as designed. Typically, it's recommended that the battery be inspected at least every 6 months/6,000 miles. The schedule for your specific vehicle outlined in your owner's manual. No manual? No problem! Jiffy Lube® technicians can access your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and the recommended procedures.
If you experience battery problems but you’re between scheduled maintenance checks, please don’t hesitate to have your vehicle checked. Symptoms of battery trouble include:
Dim lights (headlights and/or interior lights)
“Check Engine” or “Charging” lights are illuminated
Accessories like power seats and windows fail to operate
LOOK TO JIFFY LUBE FOR BATTERY SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE
Your battery is complex and key to your engine’s performance. That’s why you should bring your vehicle to Jiffy Lube for battery care. When you bring your vehicle to one of the 2,000 locations around the country for a battery check, expect a trained Jiffy Lube technician to:
Ask questions about your driving style to determine the impact it may have on your vehicle’s starting and charging system
Visually inspect your battery, including the hold down and connections
Perform a thorough terminal cleaning (as needed with your approval)
Replace cables (as needed with your approval)
Inspect connections and tighten them, if required
Use a multimeter to test your battery strength
Inspect and adjust your battery fluid level (if possible)
Remember, consistent and careful battery maintenance can help prolong battery life and keep your starting/charging system running efficiently.
RELY ON JIFFY LUBE TO KEEP YOU ROLLING
Preventive maintenance, performed by highly-trained technicians, can help save you two of your most valuable resources:
Time. Commuting to work, carpooling to school, grocery shopping … you need your car! Preventive maintenance can help you avoid a major repair that could keep your vehicle off the road and in the shop for days (or even weeks).
Money. Catching a small problem when it's still a simple fix can save you the cost of an expensive repair.