Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: The battery needle oscillating on a 2006 Dodge Cummins

asked by on

I have an 'O6 Dodge Cummins. The battery needle jumps 8-16 amps. What do I do with it?

A: The first thing you have to realize is that...

The first thing you have to realize is that, a lot of times, those gauges are built on those dashes are reasonably cheap and not all that accurate.

The first thing I would advise doing would be to have a mechanic hook up his gauges and see if the battery is okay. See if that the alternator is charging right or not. Because it could be that those that gauges just aren’t accurate.

They are highly inaccurate gauges to begin with. But if it is accurate, that would mean that you charging is oscillating too much. It would generally mean that either you have a wiring short somewhere that is draining a bunch of power or you have a problem with your voltage regulator which is built in the alternator. So, have the alternator load tested too, to see if that has got a problem in it. If it’s not that, then it has got a wiring problem somewhere that’s making them jump up and down.

If you want to have this diagnosed for you by a professional, a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your home or office to inspect your battery and see if there are any services that are needed.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Electrical short

First measure the "total" parasitic load while the battery is connected (use ammeter or volt ohmmeter). Make a note of that. Ordinarily, you could have 20 to 50 milliamps or so of current draw to run the car alarm and...

Q: HOT OIL TRANSMISSION ISSUE

It sounds to me like you are having an issue with the cooling system for your transmission fluid. The transmission fluid is either cooled by the radiator or a separate transmission cooler. The fluid is transferred from the transmission via...

Q: OBD2 error

You should be able to check the vehicle owners manual for the location of the fuse that will power the diagnostic port. The fuse is not always the same as the accessory or cigarette lighter socket. If you would like...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.