Can A Battery Show A Good Voltage And Still Be Bad?

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases (at no extra cost to you). Learn More

Everyone intends to use whatever electronic gadgets that were bought for a long period. The pain of having to purchase one part or the other due to lack of functioning can be tiresome. As you know, the battery plays a huge part in a car to keep it going during your drive.

So, if the battery has any issues, you would be needing a new one to help your car function. With that being said, does a good voltage mean your battery is good enough to keep your car moving? “Can a battery show a good voltage and still be bad?”

Yes, a battery can show a good voltage and still be bad. Your battery can show the actual 12.6 volts and turn off when you intend to use it. This is why a load test is important for your battery after checking the voltage. The load test would help you know if your battery is bad or not.

If your battery drops to 8 volts during the load test, then your battery is bad. However, before doing this test, ensure the battery is fully charged. You have a good battery when the voltage reads 11 or 12.3 volts under load. 

So, you might have noticed that professional car mechanics don’t just test for the battery voltage, they also start the car to be sure the battery is healthy enough for you to use. Starting the car is a way of placing a load on the battery, plus some other components in the car would be turned on too.

Although when the battery drops significantly when placed under load, it might not mean it is all bad. You might just need to charge the battery till it is fully charged and you are good to use the battery. 

Table Of Contents

Can a battery show 12 volts and still be bad?

Yes, a battery can show 12 volts and still be bad. There is a lot attached to the volts your car battery or any battery shows. It indicates if the battery is good or bad, plus the volt could let you know the battery’s charge. How? I would be explaining this voltage In terms of physics for you to understand.

Voltage in a battery means the difference in electric potential between the two terminals (negative and positive) of a battery.

Technically, the regular motorized battery in a contemporary car is a battery of 12 volts. 6 cells are present in a battery, plus one cell consists of 2.1 volts when the battery is completely charged. So, in total, when the battery is fully charged, it would read about 12.6 volts or more than that. 

If your battery shows less than 12.6 volts after the battery charger indicates that the battery is fully charged, it could be that your battery is sulfated.

Technically, the volt your battery shows when it is not under any weight is not so important, but the volt your battery shows is more important. Your battery’s volt shouldn’t drop drastically when it is placed on load. If it does this, you might need to purchase a new battery for your automobile. 

In addition, ensure you load test your battery after checking the volts when it is fully charged. This would help you become aware of your battery state earlier. Plus, there are a few ways by which you could know that your battery is bad even when it reads 12 volts.

They include- the car might refuse to start when you turn on the ignition, the dashboard lights might be very dim, and if it the car clicks like there is a dead battery in the car. All these could keep you aware of how bad your battery is. Plus, in some of these cases, you might just need to jump-start the battery. Also, you might just need to change the battery terminals. 

Trending Searches

Can a battery test a good voltage and still not hold a charge?

Yes, a battery can test a good voltage and still not hold a charge. However, there are a lot of things that could make your car battery not hold a charge. One of those things is the vehicle alternator’s belt. As time passes, whatever you bought is bound to degrade and you would have to change some of the components in it to keep it going.

This is the same with the alternator’s belt and the battery In a car. Once the alternator’s belt starts wearing out, it would look very slack or sprawled.

If this is the issue, the alternator would not be effective enough to perform its work. It would not be able to recharge the battery as it is supposed to when the car is running. So, if the battery is unable to get recharged when the car is running, it would leave the battery dead and you would be left stranded on the highway. 

Aside from the alternator’s belt, a battery with weak cells would not hold a charge. A battery was manufactured to last for at least 5 years, although this would depend on how you maintain it. However, if your battery is old and has weak cells, it wouldn’t be possible for it to hold a charge.

Plus, It would not charge no matter how you jump-start it. The alternator could also stop the battery from holding a charge. You need a good alternator to recharge your battery when your car is running.(Read Also:Will Dead Battery Hurt Alternator?)

So, when the alternator is faulty, it is best to replace it because your battery wouldn’t be able to hold a charge with a faulty alternator. 

In addition, the immoderate deterioration could stop your battery from holding a charge. I mentioned earlier that you need to maintain your battery for it to last longer. When your battery starts deteriorating, it would prevent it from holding a charge.

Although when a battery is deteriorating it means it is old, that is not usually the case. Lack of maintenance could breed deterioration. So, ensure you take care of your battery appropriately for it to serve you longer. 

How do you tell if a battery is bad with a voltmeter?

You can easily test your car battery with a voltmeter to know when it is good or bad. By doing this, you would know if you need a new battery or alternator for your automobile. However, you would need to heed a few steps to be sure of what you are doing.

No need to panic, I would provide those steps you ought to follow. Before you begin with the steps, ensure you have your voltmeter ready. You can Check AstroAI Digital Multimeter, Voltmeter 1.5v/9v/12v Battery Voltage Tester Auto-Ranging/Ohmmeter/DMM with Non-Contact Voltage Function, Accurately Measures Voltage Current Amp Resistance Capacitance, After getting the voltmeter, you can proceed with the steps.

Step 1

Drain the remaining charge of the battery

You can do this by turning on the car dashboard lights fr about 3 minutes. 

Step 2

Change the voltmeter settings

Change the voltmeter settings to 16-19 volts. After doing this, switch off the dashboard lights. 

Step 3

Attach the cables together

Attach the positive and negative wires of the voltmeter to the car battery. Ensure you attach them appropriately by connecting the two positive wires together and the negative wires.

Step 4

Check the battery voltage readings

If the battery doesn’t read at least 12.5 volts, this means your battery is bad. However, if your battery reads 12.6 volts, it still doesn’t mean it isn’t bad. You can confirm by doing the next procedure. 

Step 5

Perform a load test on the battery

I mentioned the load test in my previous explanations. This would help you decide if you have to get a new battery or you just have to recharge the battery. Turn on the car’s ignition and read the battery’s voltage on the voltmeter.

If the battery reads below the actual volts, I mean 6 or 8 volts, then your battery is completely bad. The battery shouldn’t drop drastically to 6 volts when the car is running. Although, If the Battery reads 11.5 volts when the car is running, you might just need to jump-start the battery.

What are the signs of a bad battery?

Faded dashboard lights, cracking sound when you turn on the ignition, the car would not start. A battery is one of the important components of a car, before it shuts down completely, it would show some signs. These signs would let you know if your car needs a new battery.

 However, It might also mean you need to change the car’s alternator. You should take note of these signs before you check the voltage of the battery. Your car shouldn’t have any problem when it is turned on, or when you need to use the car components. 

Can A Battery Show A Good Voltage And Still Be Bad – Conclusion 

Can a battery show a good voltage and still be bad? A good battery voltage doesn’t mean your battery is in a good condition. Withal, I’ve provided enough information for you to know more about your car battery. Ensure you heed the steps provided to read the battery’s voltage and drop your comments and suggestions in the comment section below. 

Leave a Reply