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How to check battery

I just have a quick question I have a Jeep Cherokee 2006 there’s no battery gauge how do I check it?

Great question… Does your owners manual have an answer? You may be able to push button your way to the battery voltage reading… If not… You are opening your hood and using a multi-meter… or using a device that plugs into your 12VDC outlets to read voltage.

I bet you can get a readout on your dash somehow…


I don’t have a owners manual for it and the dashboard were it says miles the menu has no battery option

If you go to Jeep’s website, they might have a pdf you can download or have a link to purchase one. Otherwise follow @Honda_Blackbird’s excellent advice. If you have the multimeter, just check it once a week or every 2 weeks when you check your oil level. Otherwise go to Amazon and get one of the plug in voltage readers…they’re usually under $10

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Many parts places and Walmart have a battery tester they’ll bring out to your vehicle and hook up. It tests things beyond voltage to give a more complete analysis.

With just a voltmeter, test it after the engine has been off overnight, then again while idling. Someone here will know the acceptable still and idling voltages. Anyone?

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I have a hygrometer.

Same here. With that you can test the state of charge of all 6 cells. Very significant information.

They seem to be less often used than in the past. So many batteries don’t have removeable caps, for one reason.

Useless on a sealed battery unless you wish to break the caps loose.


This actually works pretty good to test the cold cranking amps against the rated amps. When it gets less than the rated or maybe 80%, it’s time to replace the battery. It also provides a read out of the battery voltage. I test all mine a couple times a year including the lawn mower. Or you can get the $10 plug in version that will give you a voltage reading on the battery and also will give you a voltage reading when the engine is running to tell you if the alternator is working. It’s just a volt meter but most cars now don’t even have one. I’ve got one in each car to periodically check the alternator when driving.

Like this but prolly cheaper at Walmart.

Battery indicator ( above fuel gauge) should light up as engine is being started
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I haven’t seen a battery in a few years that has caps, removable or not.

The batteries in my 1999 Honda and 2007 Town and Country have removeable caps - each cap covers 3 cells. Is this one more feature I’ll have to give up with a newer car?

I haven’t had one with removable caps since my 1978 Chrysler New Yorker.

I bought a battery a few years ago that had caps. If you don’t you can’t use a hygrometer.

The only battery I’ve had to add water to or could add water to in the last 15 years was my lawn mower battery. That came dry and you had to add the acid to it and charge it.

Checking the charging system and battery’s condition requires special equipment, but a diy’er can do some basic tests with an inexpensive shop volt meter ($5-$10). The battery should measure about 12.6 volts before the first start of the day. After starting the engine, at idle, it should measure 13.5-15.5 volts. If you are measuring much different voltages, ask your shop to do a battery/charging system test. The only way to get a complete assessment of the battery’s health is a load or conductance test. Even the most experienced diy’ers often don’t own that equipment.

As posted above your dashboard has a “battery” warning light of some kind. It should illuminate with the key in “on” but the engine not started. It should then turn off when you start the engine. If it doesn’t there’s a problem with either the battery or the charging system must must be addressed immediately, otherwise the engine will soon run out of enough electricity to fire the spark plugs & stall.

The photo of his dash shows the mil and battery light both lit. I would head to Autozone or Advance and get the charging system checked.
If you need a battery my local Advance will give you the 20% online discount if you ask and they will install most batteries for free.

Maybe the engine wasn’t running, in which case it is normal for those dash lights to be on. Just the key in “on” position, consistent w/ the rpm gauge.

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Good eyes, George :eyeglasses:

One thing for sure though, he needs gas. I heard a rumor it’s down to $1.99 here.