How to test a laptop battery using a multimeter
All batteries have a short lifespan; this includes your laptop’s battery. Next time your battery dies, you don’t have to get a new laptop; instead, you can replace the battery.
However, it is important to keep track of the health of your laptop’s battery. This will prevent any future surprises of it dying on you and you end up getting stuck. Using a multimeter to test your battery once in a while will make you achieve this perfectly. You will just follow some simple steps like; checking the voltage rating in the fully charged battery, then connecting the multimeter with the connector ports, and noting down the readings in the multimeter to compare them with the voltage rating as elaborated below. These steps do not require any complex computer knowledge just basic staff that is easy to follow.
What is the lifespan of a common laptop’s battery?
A normal laptop’s battery can give service up to two to four years. A well-performing battery can run up to 2-3 hours while fully charged. Roughly you can charge your battery 1000 times before it dies.
Steps on how to use a multimeter to test your laptop’s battery
Step1: Make sure your laptop has charged fully.
Step 2: Check the voltage rating on your battery.
Switch off your pc and carefully remove its battery. On the battery, you will see some printed information. Check if there are details on the voltage rating and note it down. You will require this number later while comparing it with the multimeter reading. The voltage rating indicated on most laptops often lies between 9.5v to15v.
Step 3: Identify the connector ports.
Find the port where the battery connects with the computer. It is usually located near the middle of the side which the battery faces the computer when plugged in. It should look like a series of five narrow, similar slots that slightly resembles the exhaust fan in your laptop, except that it is somehow smaller. It has a length of roughly an inch.
Step 4: Adjust the settings of your multimeter as required.
Switch your multimeter on and ensure it is set to measure DC voltage, on a scale close to 20v. For voltage setting, you will adjust where it is indicated –V. Whereas for the direct current setting, it will be shown with straight lines running parallel near V.
Step 5: Connect the multimeter to the connector ports.
Take one prong of your multimeter and enter it to connect with the positive terminal of the connector and the other prong insert it to the negative terminal. Both terminals are located on the outermost part of the slots on the connector. You should not worry about mismatching the terminals since the difference will be a change in the voltage sign. The number will still be similar for both instances which are our major concerns.
Step 6: Take the readings from the multimeter.
Keenly take the readings from your multimeter. The multimeter will only read when the prongs are properly connected without interference. Since your battery is fully charged, the reading should be close to the printed voltage rating on your battery.
Step 7: Monitor the voltage after discharging the battery
Repeat measuring the battery’s voltage after 50 percent discharge and compare it against the value when fully charged. If the battery is drained, the reading should not be zero volts. There should be several volts remaining since dropping too low will damage the battery.
How to identify a dead laptop’s battery?
1. There will be a replacement warning popping on your screen
2. Frequent shutdowns and short running time.
3. Despite plugging in to charge your laptop, you find it failing to charge.
4. Overheating often especially while using it.
Is it possible to continue using your laptop despite having a dead battery?
Yes, it is very much possible to use your laptop with a dead battery. However, it comes with conditions. You will only manage to use it if your laptop is always plugged in and without interfering with the battery connectors (avoid touching).having observed those conditions; I don’t see any reason for your laptop not to function normally.
Effects of having a dead battery plugged in your laptop
Having a dead battery connected to your computer can cause serious malfunctions. Besides the internal damages, a dead battery can cause fire due to overheating. This can damage your laptop. Ensure you get rid of the dead battery as soon as you realize it is of no use.
Now that you know how to test your laptop’s battery using a multimeter, ensure you regularly do it. The steps are too simple to follow and easy to handle .it will help to keep a keen eye on the battery performance to avoid future damages to your laptop.