The battery gauge, also known as the “voltage gauge”, simply measures battery voltage. You will usually see a small picture of a battery on this gauge. Some gauges will have a number 12, which relates to the voltage; however, most of the time the normal position for the needle, when everything is fine with the battery and charging system, is in the middle of the gauge.
If the gauge is numbered and the engine is running, a reading of “12” on the gauge indicates a charging problem. The gauge should read above 13 volts and below 15 volts. Readings above 15 volts or below 13 volts indicate a charging system failure that needs to be addressed immediately.
Pictured below is a typical “Battery Light” that is quite common in vehicles today. If this light stays on while the engine is running, you should seek immediate professional assistance. If traveling, do not pass up the nearest town and continue driving. This will almost surely result in an expensive tow from the highway.
As always, if your charging system or battery is causing you concern, Accurate Automotive Attention is your best alternative for all your automotive maintenance needs.
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