A an essential component in any vehicle is the battery. If the battery is not functioning right, then the remainder of your automobile will not job-related right either. The main trouble that happens through batteries is the they lose charge or prevent charging successfully over time.

You are watching: How to read the battery gauge in your car

As batteries age, they struggle with holding a charge. Part vehicles have a battery gauge top top the dash and sometimes the needle jumps around.

Does the needle jumping typical your battery is bad? Well, read on to uncover out the answer to that question and also to uncover out what the really means when your battery gauge go up and also down.

The easiest means to check the alternator at residence is to attach a voltmeter come the battery

If the belt seems fine and it is the correct tightness, however you are still having problems with the battery gauge jumping, then you will have to test the alternator.

The easiest means to test the alternator at house is to connect a voltmeter to the battery. The battery must read roughly 14.4 volts with the vehicle running and also not fluctuate.

If that is reading much less than this, however not changing, climate the battery is weak, however the concern isn’t the alternator.

If the analysis is jumping, then you will need to have your alternator viewed by a professional because it isn’t working right. It can be as basic as a poor wire or connection, or it can be that your alternator requirements replaced.


Before condemning the alternator though, one various other thing that can cause the battery gauge to walk up and also down is if the wires aren’t connected well or space corroded.

It is necessary to store your wires clean and also connected tightly to the battery. Clean off any type of corrosion and also tighten under any loose wires before replacing the alternator unless you understand for sure it is bad.

Bad relations can reason reading spikes, and also it is a lot cheaper come clean and tighten wires 보다 to replace the alternator


Now you recognize though what it means when your battery gauge jumps up and also down. You know that that doesn’t mean that the battery is bad, however instead normally method that you have actually an concern with the alternator.

You have to understand far better why the is the case and you additionally know some points to check and also ways to solve the problem. You know to inspect all the cable connections and clean any corrosion.

You likewise know to examine the alternator belt and replace if worn or make sure it is tightened correctly. Lastly, if neither of these things solves the difficulty then you understand to check the alternator and also replace that if bad.

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Your battery is key to driving your car, so you desire to make sure it is charging right prior to you gain stranded somewhere and if you notification your battery gauge jumping, then you should have things taken treatment of right away.