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Old January 8th, 2013, 08:05 PM   #1
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Battery voltage fluctuation


Last night I noticed that my voltage meter on my dash was fluctuating badly between normal and low. The car runs fine but my radio turned itself off and my headlights were flickering. This all started after my buddy welded up my exhaust.

Any ideas?
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Old January 8th, 2013, 08:07 PM   #2
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The voltage gauge is a dummy light. Doesn't actually do anything.

Was the battery disconnected during welding?
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Old January 8th, 2013, 08:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by AnotherS197GT View Post
The voltage gauge is a dummy light. Doesn't actually do anything.

Was the battery disconnected during welding?
No.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 08:11 PM   #4
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Try disconnecting the battery and then touch the terminals together (NOT the posts, lol), reconnect and see if its better.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by AnotherS197GT View Post
The voltage gauge is a dummy light. Doesn't actually do anything.

Was the battery disconnected during welding?
srsly?
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Old January 8th, 2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by graystang01 View Post
No.
In the future, disconnect the battery first. You may have toasted something. It could also be pure coincidence. I would check the alternator since those are also shitty alternator signs.

Originally Posted by crackpotfox View Post
srsly?
Yep. Same with the oil pressure gauge.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 09:51 PM   #7
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^Ya, notice how the gauge never actually moves?
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Old January 8th, 2013, 10:02 PM   #8
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Battery gauge is not a dummy light like the oil pressure gauge. Trust me, I'm on my fifth alternator. I once drove 50+ miles on the battery and watched it slowly get lower and lower until the car died. It might not be that accurate but it will reflect the charge in your battery.

Aaron, you should have unhooked the battery before welding. From someone who is well versed on alternators, go change yours before you get stranded somewhere. It will go out at the most inconvenient time if you don't.

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Old January 8th, 2013, 10:12 PM   #9
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I've had my car dead in my driveway several times from a bum battery, and the gauge was still reading normal. Its about as precise as a butter knife for surgery.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 10:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by AnotherS197GT View Post
I've had my car dead in my driveway several times from a bum battery, and the gauge was still reading normal. Its about as precise as a butter knife for surgery.
Your gauge must be bad. If your battery was dead it should have reflected that. I've seen mine read from dead, to pegged, when it was over charging, and everywhere in between.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 12:09 AM   #11
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my gauge works.... bounces with the bass/subs when I crank it up...

Boss, they might have gone to dummy gauges after 07....IDK
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Old January 9th, 2013, 03:00 AM   #12
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Almost didn't make it home tonight. All of my lights shut off and the car sputtered a few times.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:28 AM   #13
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after you get it charged back up..check your ground connections.. and do the old school Alt test... pull the neg cable off the battery after you start the car... if it dies it is your Alt... most likely gonna be the Alt anyway... if it is the stock one then it is over due to die... I am on my third
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:28 PM   #14
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I've gone through the same thing twice now. I'm on my third alternator. Last time I upgraded the wiring and got a high performance alternator. It's been good so far but I did have a battery issue and I'm working on tracking it down now. Most likely a common ground issue. I bet your alternator has that diode issue that Ford alternators have.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by AnotherS197GT View Post
I've had my car dead in my driveway several times from a bum battery, and the gauge was still reading normal. Its about as precise as a butter knife for surgery.
A bad battery can still produce 12v and not be able to start a car. The CCA (cold cranking amps) are what determine the starting power of a battery.

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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:09 PM   #16
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me and Tax have the exact # of posts... what are the odds???? well this ruined it...lol
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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by (Kohrs93) View Post
A bad battery can still produce 12v and not be able to start a car. The CCA (cold cranking amps) are what determine the starting power of a battery.

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I'd venture to say it was voltage since I had left my interior lights on for a few hours each time lol
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