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Free Battery Checks & Free Battery Charging

You can easily find out if you really need a new car battery by getting regular free battery checks. For batteries three years old or more, get it done annually.

When to Get Your Car Battery Checked

Find out if you need a new battery before the car won’t start. Come in for a free battery check:

  • In early fall every year, for any automotive battery three years or older
  • Before road trips
  • If the engine is slow to turn over on chilly mornings
  • If you hear only clicking when you turn on the ignition
  • Nothing happens when you hit the ignition

Newer cars won’t have a slow start if the battery is weaker—they just won’t start. Get your battery checked before you’re stranded.

Two-part Battery Inspections at Les Schwab

First we do a visual inspection. On standard wet cell batteries with removable caps, the technician will eyeball the battery fluid level to make sure there’s enough. (S)he’ll examine the battery posts (the raised nodes marked + and -) for corrosion.

The hold-down—a wedge, bolt or metal strap that keeps the battery in place—will be checked to be sure it’s secure. The battery terminals—the clamps on the end of the battery cables—will be checked for snug connection to the posts. The tech will also look for cracks and signs of wear on the cables.

We also do an electronic battery test. We use the latest Midtronics battery tester to measure both what volts are in the starting battery AND its cold cranking amps (CCA)—how much power it can deliver at low temperatures, so you can be sure it can do the work of turning the engine on in winter. This gives you a fuller picture of the health of your battery and where it is in its life cycle than a standard battery load test.

The tool is hooked up to the battery and an electronic wave is sent through the battery. The test tells you the condition of the power-producing cells inside the battery. It shows if the active material in an aging battery is losing its ability to produce charge.

The tester is also plugged directly into the vehicle’s computer system to check parts of the charging system, like the alternator, to be sure something else isn’t the source of a battery problem.

If there’s a problem with the alternator or other part of the charging system you need to know BEFORE you install a new battery. A faulty alternator could overcharge a brand new battery, causing severe damage that can’t be repaired, or even creating a risk of explosion.

What You’ll Know After the Inspection

Our testing will give you a good idea of remaining battery life and whether your battery is about to fail. You’ll know if your battery fluid needs topping off and whether you need to keep an eye on corrosion. If you’ve had a starting problem, you’ll know whether the battery is causing it or something else in the charging system.

Free Battery Charging

We also charge any battery for free, no appointment needed.

Come to any Les Schwab Tires for regular battery checks—and straight answers on whether you need a new battery or not.

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