How to Use a Hydrometer to Check a Car Battery

How to Use a Hydrometer to Check a Car Battery

A hydrometer check or electrolyte gravity test can let you know if your battery is charged, faulty or partially charged. The meter measures the concentration of a substance such as sulfuric acid, alcohol or sugar. It gives you a density ratio with respect to the water content. It has a glass tube, rubber bulb and graduated capsule. The device is easy to find and fairly inexpensive.


You will need acid-resistant glasses and gloves to complete this task. Use a hydrometer with a self-adjusting reading and built-in thermometer. Remove any buildup and dirt from the top of the power cell. You can use a solution of warm water and baking soda. Remove the caps with a screwdriver. If the electrolyte is not touching the filler rings, add distilled water.

Performing the Check

Squeeze the meter’s rubber bulb and immerse the tip in the existing electrolyte. Release the bulb to draw in the electrolyte and keep the meter in a vertical position. Raise it to eye level to read the number the intercepts the electrolyte’s surface level. Write this number down. Do a gravity test for the remaining cells and make a note of each reading.

If your hydrometer does not adjust to different temperatures on its own, use the conversion table on your device to make the necessary adjustments yourself. Some hydrometers may work differently, so consult with the manual before performing any tests. Hydrometer tests are not difficult and can easily be done in your home. Check your battery before you make an unnecessary trip to the shop. Visit this website to learn more about hydrometers and other battery accessories in San Diego.


Can Old Batteries Be Revived?

Old cars are often plagued by old car batteries, and many consumers wonder whether there are ways to extend their lifespan. But can some solutions actually hurt your vehicle more?


How Long Can I Expect My Auto Battery to Last?

How Long Can I Expect My Auto Battery to LastWithout your battery, your car wouldn’t be operational. There are many factors that go into battery maintenance and life expectancy. The most basic factors include the size of your battery and the amp hours. Typically, you can expect to get three to five years out of a new battery. The exact length will vary greatly depending on the following factors:

Heat Kills Car Batteries

Extreme temperature will zap your car battery very quickly. If you can, avoid leaving your vehicle exposed to the elements for extended periods of time. Though the cold is not good for you battery, heat is even worse. It can cause overheating and will deplete the strength of the cell very quickly. This can cause problems when the seasons change and your battery must work harder to start in the decreased temperatures.

Electronics Cause Strain

Many newer cars have computer equipment inside. These components cause a strain on the battery even when the car is stationary. The constant use will lead to the cell losing capacity and having no chance to rest. If your car has a monitor or internal GPS system, be careful not to overuse them, especially when the car is not in motion.

Use caution when leaving your car outside and using internal computer systems. With proper care and maintenance, your car battery can easily last five years of average use. It is possible for it to last longer, but consult with your mechanic regularly to make sure the power cell is in excellent shape. Visit this website to learn more about auto batteries in San Diego.