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Old 08-22-2013, 05:39 PM   #1
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Battery help

So I know that my battery should put out 12.6 volts at least when there's no load on it. I just took a meter to it and it's only putting out 12.43 volts. Should I just try charging it a little? Or does that mean that it might be on its way out?
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WatermelonJim View Post
So I know that my battery should put out 12.6 volts at least when there's no load on it. I just took a meter to it and it's only putting out 12.43 volts. Should I just try charging it a little? Or does that mean that it might be on its way out?
With the car not running ? That's normal. Voltage can vary. As long as its above 12v its good. Can vary from 11.5 to 12.6 (not running) depending on if the vehicle has been sitting over night or just turned off. As long as the alternator is putting out more voltage than the battery does sitting, it will charge. Just the more voltage (or amperes) the alt puts out, the quicker the charge. If it takes along time to charge, then there is an issue. If battery seems weak all the time, it could be going bad or is bad. Or alt. Both can be checked at any auto parts store. Plus the parts stores can also test the charging system, straight from the car. Heat is also a factor. Weather heat and engine, alt heat. Voltage will drop a little from a cold start to operating temp.
A .17 volt drop is nothing to worry about.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:14 PM   #3
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Okay, thanks. I guess it is running lower in the heat we've been having than it did in the winter/fall. Just thought I'd ask!
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:42 PM   #4
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You are welcome. Ya, voltage can be a weird thing. Engine running vintage can be between 13.6 and 14.4 depending how good the charging system is. And how much if a load it is under, i.e. lights, A/C, stereo or all the above. Any electrical/charging system should be able to keep up with all of said loads tho. If it can't, then there's an issue. And that's usually a bad battery, not be able to/keep a charge, or the alt. not charging at all. Then there's the other side, an alt charging too much, 16+ volts, that would be faulty voltage regulator.
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