Hi, I'm Luis Johnson, an automobile technician, and power equipment professional. By profession, I'm a businessman and operate a car workshop. I have created this...Read more
When you see your battery gauge drop while driving, you can get tense, but luckily the issue is not that serious. However, it indicates a few issues with your car’s internals, and you should fix them as early as possible. You may initially think the main problem is the battery, but the problem can be somewhere else too.
Your car’s battery gauge might be defective for a number of reasons, including weak connections with the alternator, a faulty alternator, corrosion in the battery terminals, and more. The most frequent causes of the battery gauge dropping while driving are those listed above.
Hence, if your car’s battery gauge drops while driving, we are here to help to solve this problem in no time.
What Does It Mean If My Battery Gauge Drops?
A battery indication is another name for a battery gauge. You may get information about your automobile battery through a battery gauge or indicator sensor.
For the car to operate, the battery is a need. The engine receives power from it; thus, the performance of your car might be greatly impacted by the battery’s malfunctions. The battery should be fully charged when it is between 13.7 and 14.7 volts when you are driving. When this fluctuates quite a bit, it means there is a problem somewhere.
The automobile’s battery voltage reduction might indicate that the battery is deteriorating or that something is interfering with its capacity to maintain voltage or charge while driving.
What Causes The Battery Gauge To Drop While Driving?
The battery gauge is in charge of using the meter and lights to display your battery’s state. Additionally, there might be a variety of causes for your battery gauge to decrease while you’re driving. We have listed all the likely causes of this problem below.
- Weak or Loose connections
- Faulty Alternator
- Old battery
- Corrosions in battery terminals
- Car sitting is ideal for a long time
How To Solve Battery Gauge Drops While Driving Issue?
Battery gauge dropping while driving can give you serious panic, but this problem is nothing of that sort, and you can relax as below we will show you how you can fix them.
1. Tighten The Weak Or Loose Connections
Weak or loose connections in the battery and alternator are one of the most frequent reasons causing the battery gauge to drop. It is possible for flux to build at the joints of loose wire connections.
Your automobile battery finds it challenging to transmit electricity to the necessary areas as a result of this acting as a resistance. So, to solve this problem, you will need to check both the battery and alternator connections.
Tighten The Loose Battery Connections
Simply open the battery from your car, disconnect all the wires and clean them to remove any dust or debris. Once cleaned, reattach the cable to the battery; make sure they are tightened enough and won’t open up easily.
Check And Tighten The Loose Alternator Connections
First, open and access your alternator; now, check all the cables whether they are properly connected or not. If you see loose cables, open them up and clean them properly. Connect back the cable and ensure they are secured tightly.
2. Replace Faulty Alternator
An alternator charges the vehicle battery. The alternator in your automobile is what transforms the mechanical energy produced into electrical energy and uses it to power the vehicle.
Your car’s alternator may be the primary cause of your battery gauge fluctuating while you’re driving if it’s damaged or overcharged. If this is the case, read below to know how you can fix it.
Step 1: Check The Belt
The alternator system’s alternator belt revolves to provide electrical power. Therefore, you must determine whether the belt is damaged or worn out. Additionally, make sure the belt is correctly fastened. If the belt is damaged, you will need to replace it.
Step 2: Check The Alternator
If the belt seems okay, you will need to check the alternator, and for it, you will need a voltmeter. With the engine off, test the battery voltage in your automobile using the voltmeter.
The battery should have a voltage of 12.5 to 12.8 volts. Your battery is unstable if the reading falls below this level. Otherwise, if the reading jumps, your alternator is the issue. In case of a bad alternator, you will need to replace it with a new one.
3. Change Old Battery
Another key reason for the battery gauge to keep dropping is the battery itself. Since the battery helps to power up the engine of the car, driving it becomes all but impossible when it begins to fail. The battery’s capacity will decrease with age in direct proportion. In addition, squalor and flux accumulation near the battery may be making things worse.
If your battery is damaged, then there is no option but to replace it with a new one. Ensure to properly maintain the battery and prevent any flux buildups on it. This way, you can increase the longevity of the battery.
4. Clean The Corrosion On Battery Terminals
Sometimes, the battery is working fine, but the terminals are the main source of the problem, which causes battery gauge dropping issues. When you do not properly maintain your car, acid can leak from the battery, which reacts with the battery terminals causing rust and corrosion in them.
Follow the steps below to know how to clean battery terminals properly.
Step 1: Open The Battery
The first step is to open the battery from the car to clean the terminals properly. Unplug both the positive and negative terminals of the battery. You can use a wrench to loosen them up.
Step 2: Clean The Terminals
You do not need to buy any cleaners from outside to clean the terminals. Simply make a mixture of baking soda and water. Now use a soft brush to dab the solution and rub it gently in the terminals. Keep rubbing until all the rust and corrosion comes out.
Step 3: Putting The Battery Back
When the battery dries up properly, put the battery back inside the car and reconnect all the cables. Your battery gauge should be working fine now.
5. Check All The Internals Of Car Sitting Ideal For A Long Time
The engine of a car is destined to seize if it is left or not driven for a while. The periodicity of the battery gauge might be disturbed by the breakdown of the engine and the related systems.
Additionally, the batteries may stop holding charges between plates that are charged in opposition, making it difficult for them to get an effective charge.
So, if this happens, the best solution is to get your car checked by a professional mechanic.
After reading our guide so far, there can be a few questions that are confusing you, and you need answers to them. Down below, we will try to answer a few of these questions to further help you to understand the topic more carefully.
What Are The Signs Of A Weak Battery?
When the car battery is weak, you may have problems like the engine cranking but not starting or not cranking at all, no noise when you are trying to start the car, and no interior lights. Additionally, you’ll need to jump-start your vehicle frequently.
How Do I Know If My Alternator Is Going Bad?
If you hear a scream or if the sound changes as you push the accelerator pedal, your alternator is definitely damaged. Additionally, the battery gauge may drop, and your dashboard will display battery warning lights. Additionally, your car may regularly stall, which is a strong sign that the alternator is malfunctioning.
What Should My Battery Gauge Be At While Driving?
Above 13 volts and below 15 volts should be displayed on the gauge. Readings of more than 15 volts or less than 13 volts signify a failing charging mechanism and require quick attention. With the engine running, the optimal value is between 14 and 14.5 volts.
What Do The H And L Mean On A Battery Gauge?
Your dashboard’s battery gauge is attempting to inform you of the battery’s power level. Your battery has to be recharged if the pointer is near the letter “L.” Your battery is full and should not be charged if the pointer is directed to the letter “H.”
What Happens If The Battery Gauge Is High?
The voltage regulator, an integral part of your alternator, is to blame for the excessive voltage by faltering or failing entirely. It implies that the faulty battery must also be replaced together with the complete alternator.
Battery gauge dropping while driving can be quite annoying to see, so you must check up on a few components inside your car. Thus, today in this guide, we discussed all the probable reasons for this problem and how you can solve them easily at home.
The essential component of a car is its battery. The battery powers the whole electrical system of your automobile. Therefore, there is no way to neglect any battery problems in your car.
We recommend checking the alternator first, as faulty alternators are the most common reason causing fluctuations in the battery gauge. But, if it is in working order, then check all the connections and the battery itself.