Q: Can I find out if my battery is dead using a trickle charger? What if I try and jump the vehicle with the battery being fully charged.

asked by on

I'm terrified (don't laugh) of anything that conducts current. I'm a struggling, single mom and need to find out if my connections are bad or if the issue is the starter. I don't have a multi meter, ammeter, voltmeter, etc. I've looked all over the internet for instructions, but I'm still afraid to touch my battery. I can't afford to take it to a garage and have them charge me to "look" at it. I will overcome my fear but it seems like there are so many differing opinions on how or what I should do. I've asked a few male friends (that supposedly know things about cars), but apparently chivalry is dead and no one is willing to stop by for five minutes to help me. I have to call into work because I can't risk getting stuck an hour away from home. I tried the key click trick a few times and got it running. Then the next day it won't start again. I have a trickle charger. Will it tell me if the battery is good? What if I try jumping it but I'm unaware the battery if fully charged?

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. Put on a pair of gloves and check the terminals of the battery and see if they are loose or tight. If they are tight, then put the key in the ignition switch and turn on the power but do not start the engine. Turn on the head lights and toggle on and off the high beams. If the lights are very bright, then the battery has a good charge. If the lights are low and dim, then the battery needs a charge or replaced. If the lights are bright and the engine will not start, then there could be an issue with the starter or ignition switch. If you need further assistance with your engine not starting, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Can I find out if my battery is dead using a trickle charger? What if I try and jump the vehicle with the battery being fully charged.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Engine overheated maybe, but now it’s broken

Hello, engine failure can be very traumatic. For an engine to run out of oil with no leaks, the engine must be using oil internally. For the vehicle to be covered under warranty, all the oil changes must...

Q: Sometimes will not start.

With intermittent no crank conditions, you most likely have a bad connection in the primary starting circuit. This is the battery, the positive and negative battery cables and the starter. Even though you have replaced the starter, new or remanufactured...

Q: Motor turning over no fire getting anywhere

The engine needs spark, air, and fuel to start and run. Short of an intake obstruction, air is almost always present. That leaves spark and fuel as causes. Any number of components can be at fault. Lack of spark can...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...