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I don't know if this has been addressed before, but I noticed that lately the battery gauge has been pointing to about 15-16 area even after taking a 4 hour, expressway speed trip. The gauge was normally at the 13 level when I first got the vehicle. This is something that has been happening the last few months. If I put a trickle charger on overnight, the gauge returns to the 13 level but only for a day or so.
 

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Voltmeter Gage

When the engine is not running, but the ignition is turned to ON, this gage shows the battery’s state of charge in DC volts.

When the engine is running, this gage shows the condition of the charging system [not the battery]. The vehicle’s charging system regulates voltage based on the state of charge of the battery. The voltmeter may fluctuate. This is normal. Readings between the low and high warning zones indicate the normal operating range.

-- Owner's Manual, pg 221
 

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Given all the battery issues with Lambda's I decided to get this doodad -- The Battery Bug. Peace of mind. Easy install.

Product Description
The BatteryBug installed battery monitor provides real-time information on the health of your battery and tracks your battery's changes with age and use so you won't be left stranded with a dead battery. As your battery gets older and nears the end of its life, the BatteryBug will alert you with an audible alarm that your battery should be replaced. Additionally, the BatteryBug shows present battery voltage, alternator/charging voltage, data from the battery's worst start, and data from the battery's last start on its LCD display. The BatteryBug also recognizes that on cold days, a battery has less capacity than on warm days or with a warm engine and tracks this decrease over time, then alerts you when the time is right to replace your battery.
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http://www.amazon.com/BatteryBug-Battery-Failure-Warning-System/dp/B000NV7OBE
 

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This is a similar device that plugs into the cigarette lighter: $22.00 with free UPS ground shipping. I have ordered one of these.

http://store.schumachermart.com/bt-25.html

BT-25 - Automotive Power Alert
Constantly check your car’s power system from the comfort of the driver’s seat. Stick this monitor on the dash board as your third eye to make sure your electric system is in good condition and pre-alert you to go to a repair center when needed.

• LCD readout.

• Two LED warning lights – alert you when your car’s battery and charging system are running into problems:

A. Detects charging input voltage within 0.1V variance.

B. Detects car diode for any variance more than 0.8V.

C. Alerts in advance once the car battery drops down too low, which allows you about one hour to go to a repair center before you are completely stopped on the way
 

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this should come as a standard equipment along with the portable jump starter.....
 

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I have noticed mine not reading correctly all the time some times 15/16 others 12/13 why??
 

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bmw575 said:
I have noticed mine not reading correctly all the time some times 15/16 others 12/13 why??
Not unusual. When the car is under high electrical demand the gauge will read higher.
If its constantly high or low, and stays there, I'd probably have the charging system checked. But
fluctuations aren't abnormal.
 

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f3qu3t said:
Voltmeter Gage

When the engine is not running, but the ignition is turned to ON, this gage shows the battery’s state of charge in DC volts.

When the engine is running, this gage shows the condition of the charging system [not the battery]. The vehicle’s charging system regulates voltage based on the state of charge of the battery. The voltmeter may fluctuate. This is normal. Readings between the low and high warning zones indicate the normal operating range.

-- Owner's Manual, pg 221
This is a good explanation; funny what the owner's manual has to say
 

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just got back from 500 mile trip in our 2011 and just happen to look at volt gauge. Was running just below 13 with A/C and stereo on. Evey once in awhile it would jump up and the slowly come down to just below 13. now if it is reading true voltage at the battery--this should not happen--should be a constant reading unless there is a lot of accessories on that require a lot of voltage draw. If it were to be reading amperage I might agree with it.
Going to see what dealer says and will read voltage at the battery when it is reading 13 at the gauge
Just a few more to add the list for warranty work
 

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If I read the manual correctly---when engine is running- its reading the alternator output. which does vary on this vehicle depending on the load.

When engine is off--- it reads batt voltage.
 

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reborn55 said:
just got back from 500 mile trip in our 2011 and just happen to look at volt gauge. Was running just below 13 with A/C and stereo on. Evey once in awhile it would jump up and the slowly come down to just below 13. now if it is reading true voltage at the battery--this should not happen--should be a constant reading unless there is a lot of accessories on that require a lot of voltage draw. If it were to be reading amperage I might agree with it.
Going to see what dealer says and will read voltage at the battery when it is reading 13 at the gauge
Just a few more to add the list for warranty work
That is normal operation, the computer turns off the alternator when the battery is fully charged to get better MPG's. GM has been doing this for years now, my 2008 Trailblazer did the same and at first I thought it was a problem but it is not.
 
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