There are two ways to test the charging system:
A - Check the battery indicator (not all batteries have one)
B - Use a regular multimeter
A. How to check the battery indicator of your Silverado 1500
Some batteries have a colored indicator that shows you if they have enough power. Like this, if you look closely at the element highlighted in the picture, you can see that if its color is green, that means that the battery charge level is correct, and if it is red, it is not properly charged.
If your battery does not have this function, you should keep on reading to see in what other way you can check its status.
B. How to use a multimeter to check the status of your Silverado 1500‘s battery
If during this measurement process the voltage went up outside the mentioned range, the voltage regulator must be damaged.
If this increment was below the range, the alternator is probably damaged.
Batteries cannot be repaired, so if these measurements were different than the recommended ones, you should buy a new one.
You should take into account the electrical characteristics stated in the owner's manual. If you read your manual, you will be able to see which capacity and power your Silverado 1500needs to start. If there is an emergency, you should buy the same battery your car already had. Afterward, when you have time, you can check which battery is required according to your car’s manufacturer.
⚠️ You should always buy batteries that were manufactured no more than 6 months ago, because they work with chemical processes, and there will always be internal wear with time which will decrease its lifespan. You can check the fabrication date on the battery tag.
Recommendation for liquid batteries: Nowadays, most of the batteries are sealed and do not require any maintenance, but if the battery of your Silverado 1500includes filler caps, you should check its liquid level and, if it is low, add liquid up until the indicated level. In this case, you should let the battery rest for 10 minutes and then turn the engine on for 5 minutes, turn it off and check again.
The charging system provides energy to the whole car, and it is composed of:
The alternator creates electricity. This cylindric item transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. Thanks to the accessory belt, also called Poli-V, it receives the mechanical movement of the engine that will be transformed into electrical energy.
The voltage regulator
The voltage regulator is in charge of regulating and stabilizing the voltage created by the alternator while taking into account that the higher the rotational speed is, the higher the voltage created by the alternator will be. This device is a small electrical module that is inside the alternator itself.
The battery is where the generated electrical energy is stored to be used when the engine is off or when the required electricity levels are very high, for example, when we turn the car on.
The electrical system of a car is measured in volts (V), just like in homes, but, unlike these, the voltage used in batteries only has 12 V of continuous current, which makes it safer to handle. In other words, there is no risk of getting shocked if we touch the terminals of the battery.