where should the battery gauge needle be while driving

Asked by Mar 16, 2016 at 09:49 AM about the 2004 Ford Explorer

Question type: General

2004 Ford Explorer.  Had alternator and battery replaced.  Where should the
battery gauge needle be while driving?

5 Answers

83,045

should be running between 13 and 14 volts, but don't trust the gauge, get a volt meter and hook to the battery and see what it really says, low side will be at 13.2 high side will be between 14. and 14.8 volts. HTH

My gauge only shows 3 positions, low, high and middle. Does not show volts. Holds steady in the middle when driving. IIs this normal?

216,595

Middle range is normal, but get a multimeter like shoes recommends to know exactly what the alt is pumping out.

83,045

And if you want you can still buy those little power port voltmeters, they just plug into the power port or lighter and give on the go voltage as you drive, the cheaper ones have an analog gauge the more expensive ones are digital readout.

16,010

If it is somewhere in the middle, it should be ok, but the dash gauge is not totally accurate. When your alternator goes out, it will be way down toward the lower end. If you want to check, purchase a fifteen buck multi-meter, set it to DC volts, and connect it between the two poles on the battery when the car is running. If your battery is fully charged, it should read a little over 14 volts.

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