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?

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: Battery replacement

Your battery is generally held in by a strap or a set of bolts and connected to two cables (positive and negative). Depending on your ability and access to tools, this generally requires very little time and a couple of...

Q: Sugar in gas tank.

Hello. I am so sorry to hear that this has occurred, as it can be a very expensive repair. If the vehicle has not been ran since this occurred then the fuel tank needs to be removed and cleaned. If...

Q: Car making rattling noise

Sounds like you might need new struts. Struts perform the same function as shock absorbers. When they go bad, a dull rattle sound can be heard when going over bumps or uneven roads. The repair usually entails replacement of the...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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.