The battery is a mandatory component of the vehicle to run it. It provides power to the engine. Improper working of the battery can significantly affect the performance of your vehicle therefore it is suggested to maintain it in a timely.
Due to the aging of the battery, it starts to wear out and its efficiency reduces which directly affects the performance of the vehicle.
The battery gauge indicates the current condition of the battery through meters and lights given on the dashboard. Sometimes, the battery gauge drops while driving. There are multiple reasons behind this which can be fixed through different methods. let’s dive in!
Battery Gauge Moves Back and Forth Common Causes and Solutions
Problem with an alternator
The alternator is the vehicle that is responsible for converting the extra mechanical energy generated by the vehicle into electrical energy and provide it to the vehicle.
If the battery gauge is jumping up and downtime and again it means that the alternator is not working properly. It happens when the alternator of the vehicle doesn’t convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy consistently.
In such a case you do not have to get the battery of the vehicle checked or replaced, the problem is simply with your vehicle’s alternator. Replacing the alternator will solve this problem and will save a lot on your pocket.
The battery is the powerhouse of the vehicle and once it starts to malfunction, it becomes almost impossible to drive your vehicle.
The wild fluctuation of the battery gauge could very well be because of the old battery, which will eventually die out shortly. To further add to this problem the uncleanliness and the flux build-up around the battery could be intensifying the situation.
These problems are also among the primary causes for the wild fluctuation or the complete drop of the battery gauge. It is also seldom noted that its battery gauge, though very low, is still up on 13 to 14 ampere but when you start the vehicle it completely dies or is on a very low level such as 5 amperes.
This is also caused by the aged battery. The only viable solution to this problem is to get your vehicle to a mechanic and get the battery changed as soon as possible before it wears out any other function of the vehicle. Loose connections
are one of the biggest threats to all the electrical system of the vehicle. It also causes battery gauge fluctuations. The loose wire can give plenty of space to the flux to form at the joints and the resistance will build-up making it difficult for the battery to deliver the current to the required places.
Furthermore, it will also affect the efficiency of the alternator, and it will not be able to provide the battery with the electrical energy produced from the mechanical energy.
In such a situation of loosening of the battery terminals and build-up of the flux and corrosion, it is recommended to get your vehicle serviced by the professionals or you can clean the terminals of your battery too.
You just have to undo the connections of the battery, clean the terminals of both the battery and the connecting wires, then attach the wires to the battery again.
Make sure that all the connections are tight and there is no flux or corrosion left on the terminals. In the case of corroded terminals, it is advised to replace the connecting wires and terminals.
Vehicle not been used since long
If the vehicle is abandoned or is not used for long, its engine is fated to seize. This failure of the engine and the respective systems that are connected to it can also disrupt the rhythm of the battery gauge and may worry you that your battery is not working properly.
in this case, it is recommended to get your vehicle checked and fixed by a trusted auto mechanic. Electrical overload The loads on the vehicle battery are not only to provide the spark to the vehicle’s engine.
It also provides power to the different electrical systems of the vehicle and also the additional accessories that require power from the vehicle.
A normal mid-sized SUV can generate an adequate amount of energy to run the vehicle itself and provide power to all the electrical systems of the vehicle and restore an equal amount of the energy as consumed by the vehicle at the speed of 24 kilometers per hour or 15 miles per hour.
The most common types of loads are as following The Amperage Load inflicted by the system:
- Defogger (Rear Window)
- Portable Air Pump (Electric)
- The Heated Seats
- The Headlights of the Vehicle
- Taillights of the Vehicles
- The Windshield Wipers
- The Ignition System of the Vehicle
Batteries of the vehicle lose the effective charging they once had when they become old. The batteries also lose their strength to hold the charges between the oppositely charged plates and hence their ability to be charged efficiently.
This practice is normal for the batteries when they become old. If you have a voltmeter you would have observed the frequent jumping up and falling down motion of the needle of the voltmeter.
Many of us will become cautious in this situation and will consult the area’s local mechanic at least. However, the fluctuation of the voltmeter is commonplace in vehicles with old batteries
Conclusion on battery gauge fluctuates while driving
The Electrical Power Management system of the vehicle observes the current state of the battery and will try to charge the battery most effectively. When the charge of the battery is too low, more voltage is given to the battery to charge it instantly.
Whereas, if the battery is almost fully charged, low voltage is applied to efficiently and safely charge the battery. If this feature is not available, the life of the vehicle’s battery will depreciate drastically and will be a complete let down monetarily. Also, this helps prevent the battery from overheating and bloating. Hence the fluctuating voltage gauge of the battery is completely normal. If there would be an issue with your battery it will be displayed on your dashboard in form of an alert
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.