What Should Be the Voltage of a Car Battery

What Should Be the Voltage of a Car Battery


Between helping your vehicle get started and powering all of its electronics, your battery has plenty to do. You may be curious as to how it manages all of this. You may ask some questions, like how your battery stays charged, how long does it last, or what should be the voltage of a car battery?

For drivers in Orleans, Eastham, and Harwich, MA, our team at Ira of Toyota of Orleans is here to help answer all these questions and more. Below, we’ve taken a peek under the hood, so we can show you just what goes on inside your car’s battery!


What Should Be the Voltage of a Car Battery?

What Should Be the Voltage of a Car BatteryMost batteries found in vehicles are labeled as 12-volt batteries. This is because, when the engine is off, batteries usually measure 12.6 volts. This is known as the battery’s “resting voltage.” When the engine is running, however, this voltage can usually rise up to around 14.5 volts.

There are a few ways to measure your battery’s voltage with the easiest way being to have it checked by a technician during other routine services, like oil changes. You can also check it yourself with a device called a voltmeter.

Connect the voltmeter’s positive and negative leads to the corresponding terminals on your battery, and you should be able to read the voltage output on the voltmeter. If the reading is between 12.4 and 12.8 volts, your battery is in good shape. Any lower, and you may need to charge or replace your battery.

What Your Battery Does

So, what does your battery do with those volts? A number of things! First and foremost, it helps get your engine started. Once you turn your key or press your vehicle’s start button, your battery receives a signal to send voltage to your car’s starter motor which, as the name suggests, gets your car started.

Your battery doesn’t stop there, however. Once your vehicle is up and moving it also supplies power to your car’s electronic components like your headlights, climate control, and radio. It does this with the help of your car’s alternator, which uses a rotating belt to generate a current that travels to your electronics, and also recharges the battery as you drive.

Servicing Your Battery

What Should Be the Voltage of a Car BatteryUnfortunately, car batteries don’t last forever, and you may find over time that your battery isn’t able to hold or deliver as much of a charge as it used to. Fortunately, our service center is here to help when that time comes. Most batteries typically last between three to five years, though that can fluctuate due to driving habits and climate.

If you notice your car is slow to start, or that its lights seem to be running dimmer, it may be time for a battery replacement. Our highly skilled and certified technicians are more than happy to help you with this, as well as other regular maintenance services!


Take Power Over Your Battery

We hope this was able to help drivers in Orleans, Eastham, and Harwich, Massachusetts, better understand the role their battery plays in their vehicle. If you think it may be time for a checkup, or a replacement, our team at Ira Toyota of Orleans is here to help.

Contact our team or go online to schedule an appointment today!