Car Charging at 15.2 Volts With New Battery
My car is exactly 3 years old. Yesterday my car didn't start, battery low, 15 degrees outside. Called AAA and they checked the charging system and didn't see a problem but suggested the battery be replaced. Happen to notice that the "battery voltage" on my display was reading 15.2 volts while driving around town and highway but did see it go down as low as 14.5 after restarting the car. Is this high charging voltage ok? It just seems that in the past it basically stayed in the 14 range but never kept track of it. Checked all the lights and didn't leave anything on that would have drawn down the battery.
15 volts is a bit high but I would check that against another tester. Is your battery boiling dry? In any case clean up the battery terminals and cable ends to make sure you have a good connection.
This might help you ----- http://www.aa1car.com/library/charging_checks.htm
They are right, alternator is trying to charge a bad battery, and everything is running off of just the alternator. Battery voltage may be fine, but I bet the cranking amps are not even close. Replace the battery and the alternator will settle down to the 14.7 Charging volts.
I had the battery replaced by AAA yesterday. Today is when I noticed the 15.2 volts that the car display is showing. When AAA checked the the new battery after it was installed it showed everything was good.
New batteries are not necessarily fully charged. The charging voltage may drop down after a while. Cold weather can also play a factor in charging voltage.
The factory battery in your Chevy was only a 3 year battery to begin with. Some batteries, like AC Delco for example, will just drop dead without warning. I know, ahem, from personal experience. I don't think that the voltage reading, given the cold temperatures, is excessive. But keep an eye on it. A battery that's being overcharged will gas and you'll be able to smell it. It's a strong distinctive odor. In addition with a newer vehicle if the computer detects an overcharge condition the red battery light on the dash will come on just like if the alternator wasn't working. On a side note, if the mechanic who replaced the battery didn't put Vaseline on the battery terminals you'll want to do that. It prevents the terminals from getting corroded. I always did that on my '93 Caprice and in nearly 20 years of owning the car I never ever had a spot of corrosion on the battery. HTH. - Jim
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