Wondering how to read the battery gauge in a car? If so, here you will learn a step by step guide to read a car battery gauge.
Especially those who just bought a car or who don’t know the proper way to read the battery gauge in a car.
Surprisingly, many car owners don’t know the proper way to read the battery gauge. To detect what drains your car battery, you must know how to read the battery gauge in your car.
Even after driving a car for a long time, car owners find out how the car battery indicator works.
Reading the battery gauge in a car is really simple, and I believe you will read the battery gauge properly after finishing this article. So, you should read carefully and check your car dashboard.
What Is A Battery Gauge or Battery Indicator
You should know what a gauge means on a car; gauges are the diagnostic tools that display information about a car’s various systems.
You will see many types of gauges on your vehicle dashboards like Speedometer gauge, fuel gauge, temperature gauges, and many more. It depends on what type of car it is. And one of them is a battery indicator or voltmeter.
You may know that a Battery indicator (also known as a battery gauge) is a device that gives information about a battery.
The car battery gauge has a role on almost every battery-used device. Battery gauge used for automobiles, electronic devices, computers, actually any device which contains a battery. The battery gauge shows the condition of a battery.
When it comes to a car, the Battery gauge monitors or measures the battery condition and shows its current condition on the car’s dashboard.
A battery gauge is a voltmeter or ammeter. Voltmeter or ammeter used for displaying the stage for your car battery. All of the battery gauges reading system is the same.
How To Read The Battery Gauge In Your Car
The easiest way to read the battery gauge in your car is by checking the voltmeter on your car dashboard. By following two methods, you can read a car battery gauge easily.
Step 01: Check the voltmeter on the dashboard of your car
In order to read the battery gauge in your car, you need to check the voltmeter of your vehicle. The voltmeter on your car’s dashboard will show you the current stage of your car battery.
As you know, a car needs above 12 volts to start the engine and a normal car battery 12.6 volts.
First, you need to put your car key in the ignition and turn it partially, but make sure you don’t start the car’s engine, or the engine is not running.
After that, you need to check the voltmeter on your car; if your battery gauge reads 12.5, that means your car battery is fully charged.
Step 02: Look at the voltmeter while your car is running
After you read the voltmeter when the car’s ignition is turned partially, now you need to look at the voltmeter while your car is running.
While driving the car on the road and seeing 14 to 14.5 volts on the battery gauge in your car, you should not worry about anything. 14 to 14.5 volts means your car battery is in good shape, and it has a great operating system. That’s why a high battery gauge reading high is a good sign for your car battery.
But, while you are driving your car and you see below 12.5 volts on your car’s battery gauges, this means your car battery’s operating system can’t work properly.
Below 12.5 volts while you are driving also means your car battery can’t provide sufficient current.
If you notice this voltage decreases day by day, your car battery will eventually be dead. If your car battery gauge reads low, then you should take care of your battery.
For the ammeter on your car’s dashboard, your reading will be different from others.
You might know that the manufacturers offered ammeter on the vehicle dashboard in the early days of the vehicle. So, if your vehicle has an ammeter, you need to read the ammeter differently.
If you read below zero on the ammeter, this negative figure means your car battery can’t charge properly and can’t work properly. This also means your car battery is going to be dead.
On the flip side, if the ammeter reading is more than zero on the gauge while you are driving the car, this means your car battery’s operating is completely ok, and your car battery is fully charged. This is how to read an ammeter.
What Should The Battery Gauge Read In A Truck
Whenever you want to read the battery gauge in any vehicle, one thing you should remember is that every automobile battery should measure at 12.6 volts or above. This battery measurement is not only for cars or trucks but also for every vehicle out there.
When you are running a truck engine, your battery measurement should be 13.7 to 14.7 volts. This means your vehicle battery is in good health, and the battery can operate efficiently.
On the other hand, if your battery gauges display below 13.6 volts while you drive the truck, this means your truck battery’s operating system is not right. If this battery voltage stays for a long time, your battery will be dead.
Battery gauge reading high and battery gauge reading low are not good for your vehicle battery condition. That’s why as a vehicle owner, we should test our car battery regularly and maintain it properly.
Many battery retailers offer 5 to 10 free battery tests or check. You should check your nearby battery retailers.
Why The Battery Gauge Reading Is Important
First of all, you need to know what battery gauge reading actually is and how they work. I talked about all of this earlier in this post.
The vehicle gets the power from the battery to start the engine, and the battery gauge will tell you how your vehicle’s battery works; this is the job of your car battery gauge.
So, car battery gauge reading is important as a car battery because you won’t know the car battery condition without a car battery gauge reading.
Here are some reasons why the battery gauge reading is important:
- Know the battery’s performance:
The car battery gauge or battery indicator gives you information about your car battery. Typically, battery gauges are fitted on your car’s dashboard, so you don’t need to open the car’s hood to know the condition of your car battery. For instance, if your car battery gauge reading is too low, that means your car battery’s performance is not good.
- The current condition of battery:
Without a car battery, you can’t drive your car. That’s why knowing the state of a battery is important. By car battery gauge reading, you know the current stage of your car battery. If you are preparing for a long journey with this car and you don’t know the car battery charging level, this can put you in a bad situation. But, If you know them before you leave your home, this will help you avoid emergencies on the road. That’s why reading the car battery gauge is important.
- Condition of alternator:
The vehicle alternator is a fundamental part of every vehicle. Whether it is a car or a bus, your vehicle battery cannot be charged without an alternator; also, the vehicle won’t run. That’s why knowing the state of your car alternator is important. With battery gauges, you can read the car’s alternator current situation, whether it’s bad or overcharging. And knowing the proper state of the car alternator through the car battery gauge, you can take action before it screws up your whole car.
What To Do If Your Battery Gauge Won’t Work
Car battery gauges won’t work, or battery gauges fluctuate while driving. Both of them are not good for your car. You should remember that many other components are connected to your car battery.
So, it is obvious that you need to be aware when your car battery gauge won’t work properly. Every time you drive your car, you need to make sure that your car battery gauge is functioning properly.
There are some indications these will help you to know why your gauge stops functioning and won’t work.
Right below, I will tell you what to do if your battery gauge won’t work. To diagnose the main reason, you might need to get help from a professional.
Things need to be checked if your battery gauge won’t work:
- Check The Alternator Properly
- Battery Gauge Connection
- Look For Corrosion
- Check Your Car Battery
1. Check The Alternator Properly
The alternator has a very big role in any battery issues and for battery gauge. Test your car alternator.
If you can test the alternator by yourself, then it is fine, and check the alternator as soon as possible. If you can’t test the alternator, you should go to an automobile service store and test the alternator.
2. Battery Gauge Connection
Ensure your battery gauge is well connected, and make sure all of these connections are strong enough. Sometimes for battery gauge loss connection, the battery gauge won’t read fairly.
3. Look For Corrosion
Wire corrosion can be another reason why your car battery gauge can’t work as it should be.
Corrosion makes your battery gauge connection weak. That’s why you should always keep wires clean and corrosion-free.
4. Check Your Car Battery
Another reason can be the battery itself. Because if your car battery is not in good shape, this causes many problems.
For instance, if your car battery won’t hold charge, your battery gauge shows the too low voltage. That’s why I always recommend you try to buy your car battery from the best place.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
How many volts should a car battery have?
Anywhere between 12.4 and 12.8 volts should a car battery have. And 12.6 to 12.8 volts means your car battery is fully charged.
So, if your voltmeter is displayed at 12.4 to 12.8 volts, this means your car battery is in good health.
But, if your voltmeter shows too low than 12.4 volts, this is not a good sign; this means your car battery is going to be dead.
Likely, if the voltmeter shows too high voltage, that means your battery has excessive voltage.
What should the battery gauge read?
Around 12.6 to 12.8 volts should the battery gauge read. The battery gauge always displays the current-voltage of your car battery.
Therefore, if you read less than 12.6 or you read too much higher than 12.8 on the battery gauge, this means your car battery is not in good shape.
Car battery gauge at 18?
if your car battery gauge shows 18 volts, this might be an issue in your car alternator.
If your car battery gauge reads too high, this can happen for other reasons like the battery’s excessive charge and, of course, for a bad alternator. Hence, test your alternator.
Whether you drive a modern car or an old school car, you will see a battery gauge on the car dashboard. Before you run your car, you should read the battery gauge.
There is no way to ignore the battery gauge reading. You should treat a battery gauge like your car battery and take care of it.
I hope after you read how to read the battery gauge in your car. Now, you need to remember what you read and follow them precisely.
Car battery gauge reading is important, and this is worth your time. Frequently reading your car battery gauge can save your money and make your car battery last longer.
How is it going?
I’m Meraj Sarker. I am a Car Mechanic and a student of Automobile Restoration here in Florida, USA. I’ve been studying automotive for around 9 years now. So you can rely on my recommendation. For me, studying and getting knowledge about automobile it’s really fun and entertaining. I will help you to get solutions for your car through this website. If you need any help let me know.