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How many volts does a car battery have to have to work?

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Posted on Jul 08, 2010

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I guess you are asking when too little voltage is present to run your car. Is that what you need to know?

Posted on Dec 13, 2009

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12.6 volts

Posted on Dec 13, 2009

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Something's draining battery I go out to my car at lunch and only Bluetooth or radio is on and battery is dead in 5 mins.battery checked and it's good car has no battery issues except that


So you had the battery tested? Possibly the alternator or charging system is not up to par? Before you assume there is a drain, first make sure both battery and charging system are working good.

Best to buy a cheap voltmeter (or multifunction meter) to do any testing. Put a voltmeter on the battery, with key off, volt reading should be at least 12.4 volts-any less, like below 12 volts, then battery is not taking full charge OR the charging system is at fault. Now start the car and put voltmeter on the battery again: the reading should be at least 13.5 volts- somewhere between 13.5 and 14.5 volts. If it is, then charging system is good. If both battery and charging system check out, then you start looking for an unintended drain. YouTube has lots of videos on how to find an unintended drain.

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1 Answer

Battery good all systems work will not start


Have you performed a drop circuit test on the battery? If not I would suggested that first. Hook a volt meter up to your battery and have someone try and start the car. Volt meter should show 11 to 13 volts before trying to start. If the volts drop way down when someone tries to start car it's a bad battery.

Feb 20, 2014 | 1996 Honda Accord

1 Answer

Mondeo elproblem


May be but I doubt it. The alternator is not putting enough power to keep the light out. IT works like this battery power (12 volts) flows through the light to the alternator and puts it on when the alternator starts to charge the extra voltage from the alternator (14.5 volts) flows back through the light and as the 2 volts difference is not enough to make the light work it goes out . IF you are measuring 12 volts at the battery and 12 volts at the alternator then then the alternator is not charging. What you should have is 12 volts at the battery and as you rev up the engine the voltage should increase at the battery up to 15 volts maximum at around 2000 RPM

Jan 13, 2014 | Toyota Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2005 Caddy...clicking noise, won't start...horn works though...any ideas?


check battery volts should be 12.6 volts if 9 volts or lower starter solenoid wont have enough volts to work.if battery okay starter or starter solenoid faulty remove starter let auto parts stores check out starter.

Sep 20, 2013 | 2005 Cadillac Deville

1 Answer

Ignition light staying on at idle put a volt meter on battery with motor going only 11 volts (is this a sfuffed alternator) ?


If you rev the engine with the voltmeter attached to the battery the voltage should rise to over 12 volts if the alternator is working.

May 19, 2012 | 1998 Land Rover Discovery

1 Answer

Altenator or regulator not sure which , is not working


First, measure the voltage between the two battery posts with the engine not running. It should be near 12.6 volts. If it is around 10.5 to 11.0 volts, suspect a shorted cell in the battery. If it is around 11.5 to 12.0 volts, charge the battery at a slow rate for about half an hour. Next, measure the battery voltage again while the engine is running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If it is still around 12.0 volts, the alternator is not working. if it still has a problem check the wires from the alternator to the battery for green corrosion and loss connections.

Feb 07, 2011 | 1992 Saab 900

1 Answer

Bought a new battery for my car. it was working but then it didnt want to turn on. can it be the alternator?


a new battery should read 12.6 volts with a full charge - use a voltmeter accross the positive and negative terminals - if you get a reading of 12 volts your battery is 75% discharged - to test the alternator, you need a good battery reading 12.6 volts - after starting the engine the voltage should increase to 13.5 to 15 volts - if it does not increase to this range, you may have a bad alternator, but the alternator will not keep the car from starting if the battery is good

Feb 07, 2011 | 2002 Mercury Cougar

1 Answer

Can I use a 8 volt battery on a 6 volt tractor or will it trip the voltage regulator and blcck the generator?


YOU CAN USE AN 8 VOLT BATTERY, IT SHOULDN'T HURT ANYTHING. THE ONLY THING IS IT WON'T STAY FULLY CHARGED. THE GENERATOR IS DESIGNED FOR A 6 VOLT BATTERY NOT 8 VOLTS. WHAT I DO IS CHANGE THE SYSTEM TO 12 VOLTS. NOTHING WILL HAVE TO BE DONE TO THE STARTER, IF THE TRACTOR STARTS LIKE IT IS SUPPOSED TO. IT WILL JUST START FASTER. YOU WILL NEED NEW POINTS & CONDENSER & A RESISTOR FOR THE DISTRIBUTOR. ALSO A 12 VOLT BATTERY & A MID 1970'S INTERNALLY REGULATED ALTERNATOR, MOUNTED IN PLACE OF THE GENERATOR. THIS A LITTLE WORK BUT THE TRACTOR WILL START AMAZINGLY FAST. I HAVE DONE THIS SEVERAL TIMES & IT WORKS GREAT. IF THE FUEL GAUGE STILL WORKS YOU WILL NEED A SPECIAL RESISTOR FOR THAT. OF COURSE ANY LIGHTS WILL HAVE TO BE CHANGED TO 12 VOLT GOOD LUCK. DR. VOLT.

Jan 25, 2011 | Ford Expedition Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2003 avalanche stalled while doing 60 on highway,tried to start and engine would not spin,only thing that worked is radio and lights,gauges would not work


CHECK BATTERY VOLTS.SOUND LIKE ALTERNATOR DEFECTIVE.BATTERY VOLTS SHOULD BE 12.6 VOLTS.IF BATTERY VOLTS LOW.ALTERNATOR FAILED.

Oct 26, 2010 | 1992 Nissan Stanza

1 Answer

Battery tested no good, replaced it, next day battery wont start car, noticed blown fuse at postive terminal, replaced it, jump started car, working fine ...... Question, will that fuse prevent battery...


the fuse must be 'intact' for electrical system to operate properly.batteries are rated in months as far as longevity is concerned,36 mo. 60 mo. etc. if you have or have access to a volt meter,battery voltage should be 12 volts with engine off,13 to 15 volts w/ engine running indicates alternator is working.

Oct 17, 2009 | 2001 Hyundai Sonata

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