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Battery holds12 volts bad test said it is bad

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Should be at least 12.5+ V but no crank power.

Posted on May 07, 2013


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I have a 2001 pontiac grand am gt 3.4l . I was driving it home after a fuel pump replacement and as i got off the interstate it shut off then would not turn over at all after pulling over checked battery...

Here are the most likely causes:
1. Bad battery connections; look for loose and/or corroded battery terminal connections including every wire attached to the battery. Give them the tug test because the battery acid can get into the crimped connections under the plastic covering and cause a problem. This is especially true for the lame General Motors side terminal battery connections.
2. Bad ground connections; check where the battery negative cables are bolted to the engine and frame.
3. The alternator is not charging the battery; jump start the car and put the volt meter across the battery, at 2000 rpm or so it should read around 14.5 volts.
4. Bad battery; batteries can develop internal open circuits and shorted cells. Test the battery with a volt meter, it should have a little over 12 volts with no load on it and if the voltage drops to less than 11 volts with the headlights on, it probably is not good.
5. It may be a fusible link: Fusible links are usually a smaller diameter wire spliced to the larger wire with a rubbery high temperature insulation that remains intact even if the wire inside is burned up. The tug test is the easiest way to test these.

Feb 01, 2015 | 2001 Pontiac Grand Am


12 volt battery test

I have seen many times a 12 volt car battery pass the diagnostic test performed at a repair shop but still fail while being used in the car.
A simple test to do at home is the cranking amps test. Place your 12 volt meter on the battery and check for 12 volts. Then looking at the meter crank the car over. If the voltage drops to 10 volts with all accessories off then the batteries cranking storage amps is weak. A bad scenerio would be the battery drops to below 9 volts. Below 9.6 volts there is not enough electricty to provide good spark to fire the engine.

on Aug 14, 2010 | Chevrolet C1500 Cars & Trucks


Battery Testing

Batteries can be measured with a volt meter, this usually gives a reading in volts such as 11.5 or 12.0. The voltage reading will not indicate battery condition.

All electrical requirements are established in amperes. Amperage of a battery can not be determined with a volt meter. The battery is a storage of amperage, however in order to measure this amperage it must be on the move, meaning operating something that requires power.

The only way to determine battery condition is by the use of a load tester. A load tester basically shorts the positive side of the battery to the negative side of the battery through a large resistor, this measures the amperage inside the battery, thus giving battery condition.

You can and will get readings, from a volt meter, anywhere from 10.5 to 12.0 volts on a bad battery. So if you suspect you have a bad battery, have it load tested to determine it true condition.

on Mar 27, 2009 | 1999 Ford Escort

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What would cause the battery gauge on a 93 jeep grand Cherokee Laredo to bounce between 14v and 9v. this is also running the battery dead and not charging the battery back up.

Several things need to be checked before an accurate diagnosis can be made, however in general it is most likely your alternator going out OR a bad connection in your alternator/charging circuit wiring.

It's also important to test/verify that you have a good fully charged battery (with no dead cells) before any tests of the charging system. An alternator needs ample battery power into it before it can produce good charging voltage and amps out of it and back into the battery.

If you test the voltage directly out of the alternator's output post/connector (with the output wire disconnected), you will be reading direct alternator voltage output, which should be approx 13.5 to 14 volts, steady. If the voltage is at ~14 volts, then suddenly cycles down to 9 volts (or anything less than 12 volts), then you have a defective alternator.
If the alternator, while isolated, tests out at a constant 13.5 to 14 volts, then the problem is most likely a bad wire or connection in the charging circuit wiring.

There is also the possibility of the battery (how old is it?) shorting out internally, causing the voltage fluctuation. That's why I previously said you need to verify each battery cell is fully charged and good. You can usually test this with a battery hydrometer (if it's not a "sealed" maintenance free battery).

Nov 05, 2014 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Alternator problem

Easy way to check with a voltmeter. Check battery voltage on the battery terminals with key off, engine off, and then check voltage with engine running.
Engine off, a good battery should have voltage between 12.6 volts and 12.9 volts. With engine running, battery voltage should be a minimum of 13.5 volts, somewhere between 13.5 and 14.5 volts. This would indicate the alternator is good and is charging the battery. If voltage is less than 13.5 volts, if it only shows same volts as when not running, the alternator is not working right. Take it off and have tested for free at a parts store. It could be a bad alternator or it could be that the wiring between alternator and battery has a problem. If alternator tests good, start looking into the connections between alternator and battery.
Does your battery or alternator light stay on when engine is running? This would indicate a charging system problem. Time for the voltmeter test.

Apr 10, 2014 | 2000 Toyota Avalon

2 Answers

HoW Do I diagnose alternator problems in 1990 mercury sable

one is by disconnecting negative cable from battery for an instant with car running, if car stops running, your alternator is bad, other way is to read voltage at the battery with car running, what your reading is alternator voltage, should be between 12v and 14.9v any reading off means your alt. could be bad, but if your not shure, if you can, take the alternator out and have an autoparts tested for you they will tell you if is good or not. thanks

Jul 13, 2011 | 1990 Mercury Sable

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Battery indicator light is on,replaced alternator,had battery tested,belt is tight,what could cause this?

voltage regulator?
bad alternator - yes you may have gotten a bad one.
main fuse.
wiring - did you put all the wires back the right way?
test the battery in the car.
1. voltage at battery not running 10-12 volts
2. votage at battery car running 13-14 volts
if all is well - you may need to reset computer / replace computer.

Mar 25, 2011 | 2003 Ford Crown Victoria

1 Answer

Have a 2004 saab aero 9-3. Recently battery died. It was shorted. But 6 years old. Replaced battery. Now often when trying to start, makes one loud click and won't start. Displays flicker and/or go black,...

I was having the same problem with my 2004 9-3. I assumed the starter was bad and replaced it. I then charged the battery and found it wouldn't fully charge. After charging for several hours when I removed the charger I only showed 11 volts at battery posts. The new battery tested 12.8 volts and the car started well. With the car idling I tested and showed 14.6 volts at the battery post which confirmed my alternator was charging.

I do believe I replaced the starter in error and that it was just a bad battery. When my battery was failing I had dim headlights and flashing displays that you described and the clicking noises also. When I put jumper cables on my saab and let the bad battery charge for several minutes the car would start right up and the headlights would brighten up and even though the battery was bad the idle voltage at the battery posts was increased to 14.6 volts coming from the alternator.

Remember to remove the jumper cables quickly once the car starts to avoid possible electrical problems.

I have had bad starters in other vehicles that would draw a huge load on the battery and jump starting them would sometimes give enough voltage to turn the engine over and start it.

Bench tests aren't always correct because the components aren't under a true load. I had a brand new alternator fresh out of the box last year that was bad and wouldn't put out good voltage even though it bench tested perfect. Go figure.

Check your battery voltage with the engine off. It should read over 12 volts if its charged.

Sep 05, 2010 | Saab 9 3 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2003 buick wont start

put a load test on the battery. the battery could have 12 volts until a load is put on it then it looses voltage fast. have the battery tested not just checking how many volts it has,also check the ground to engine and power to fuse box in engine compartment. ive seen these cars melt the connection that runs from the battery to fuse/relay box, the where the connection connects to the fuse box you may find the bad connection there but first have battery tested.

Jul 09, 2010 | 2003 Buick Century

1 Answer

Over chargeing up to 16.8 volts, two bench tests of alternator says it is ok

How are you measuring the 16.8 volts? Is this what your cars readout or gauge reads? Maybe gauge bad. Or are you measuring with a volt meter at battery with engine on? Then regulator on alternator has to be bad. After you drive car is battery overheated? If you look inside battery is it almost boiling? Bad alternator regardless of tests.

Mar 15, 2010 | Cadillac Eldorado Cars & Trucks

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