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Discussion Starter #1
Hey fam, new to the community. Thanks for having me.
Ive got a 2012LTZ AWD. Brand new battery, brand new alternator- both double checked because issues persist.
the battery gauge reads like the battery is dying almost immediately upon starting the car. Interestingly, when I turn on the high beams, the batterycharges and the gauge reads in normal operating range. Anybody ever experienced this? Thanks in advance.
Jason
 

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Sounds normal. Read the section on the Voltmeter (page 5-14 in the 2011 Owners Manual) and Battery Load Management on page 6-7.
 

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The power manager does the work depending on the power draw required and the capacity of the battery. It will try not to over charge the battery, that is why the gauge shows lower reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Typically how it reads as I’m driving:
9799

When the car first starts and occasionally as I’m driving
9798
 

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I have seen the low reading in my 2015 as well. I had my A/C on and I turned it off, yet no changes. After a while it went up to 14+. The same happened when only the daytime running lights were on. It looks normal to me.
 

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One of my pet peeves with GM is the lousy range and markings on the voltmeter. There are 1.25 volts per mark. Why they couldn't put 4 marks between 9 and 14 instead of 3, so each mark would be 1 volt, I don't know.

The first mark below the 14 volt mark is 12.75 volts. I still think you're OK. Give it some time.
 

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Normal operation with a fully charged battery in perfect condition.
Your pictures show a properly operating system.
As time goes on with short drives you'll see it read higher longer as battery gets less charging time.
 

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When we first got our 2012, I thought the readings were a bit screwy especially since I have a GM truck that doesn't act that way, but when I hooked up my own scan tool and drove for a couple of days, it showed normal operation. Still have original alternator and just replaced the original battery in August, 2019. 130,000 miles.
 

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When we first got our 2012, I thought the readings were a bit screwy especially since I have a GM truck that doesn't act that way, but when I hooked up my own scan tool and drove for a couple of days, it showed normal operation. Still have original alternator and just replaced the original battery in August, 2019. 130,000 miles.
I should have also added that the voltage readings I was getting did not match the gauge. Perhaps a lot of 2012's received volt gauges that were not calibrated properly. Also the long run of the battery cables to the battery in the back seat affects charging rates and voltage. Battery in the back seat also lasts longer due to not being exposed to engine heat.
 

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It's common in newer vehicles for the computer to only active the alternator when it's needed to charge system. It saves gas and gives you a bit of power when it's off. It's activated right at start up and when vehicle is put into park prior to shut down as well as when needed during a drive. Hope info helps...
 

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Hey fam, new to the community. Thanks for having me.
Ive got a 2012LTZ AWD. Brand new battery, brand new alternator- both double checked because issues persist.
the battery gauge reads like the battery is dying almost immediately upon starting the car. Interestingly, when I turn on the high beams, the batterycharges and the gauge reads in normal operating range. Anybody ever experienced this? Thanks in advance.
Jason
It's normal I only change the battery once in eight years
 

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Hey fam, new to the community. Thanks for having me.
Ive got a 2012LTZ AWD. Brand new battery, brand new alternator- both double checked because issues persist.
the battery gauge reads like the battery is dying almost immediately upon starting the car. Interestingly, when I turn on the high beams, the batterycharges and the gauge reads in normal operating range. Anybody ever experienced this? Thanks in advance.
Jason
The way newer vehicles are
 

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Most new vehicles will shut the alternator off until the voltage is required. This helps with fuel economy.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
guys, this has been great feedback. I changed the battery current sensor and it ran the way I thought it ought to run, then we get in today and it stays down near the 12.75 volt mark (thanks @greentraverse for that clarification) Anyway, what y’all are saying makes a lot of sense. This is the newest vehicle we’ve ever owned, so I’m learning a lot.
I will say that it has a bit of a shudder at around 2000 rpms and the throttle surge is bad- all when the voltmeter reads in the 12.75v range. Maybe I’m chasing the wrong thing.
 

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For the surge I'd clean the MAF sensor first, it can affect drivability in many ways. Good scan tool can see what frequency it's running at to determine if it's functioning properly. I've had MAF issues on my old Malibu and drivability hiccups and until it finally set a code I then learned of checking it's frequency range and it was operating near it's limit until it set a code. In my case it was past cleaning.
Your voltage is fine, for example my '20 with the digital gauge showed 14.3 when I left the house and 150 miles later on my trip it was down to 12.8. Only 3k miles on it but it been parked for 7 days prior to taking this trip so I expected to read high when leaving the house.
A lot of sensors can operate at the edge of their normal range and cause erratic issues and not set a code so advanced detective work is needed. My quest to find out why my Tahoe lost mpg turned out to be replacing O2 sensors that were testing fine. Got back 2 mpg, and going from 16 to 18 in that thirsty beast is a big deal.
 
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