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Hello!
I have a 2014 Malibu 2.5L. I just replaced my battery a couple days ago (the battery prior to the new one was in there since the car was manufactured- don’t know how that lasted so long. I bought the car 3 years ago.) I only replaced it because of the age, and I noticed my voltage would drop high 12’s to low 13’s even while driving. After replacing, the first couple days it was mid 13’s low 14’s at times. But today I noticed it was only in the low 12’s. Start/stop works fine, no lights on the dash. No issues with radio, etc. The temp out today was high 70’s. I do live in an area that I’m required to stop/go quite a bit. I did notice once I pulled into a parking garage that it shot up to 13v.

Really I’m just looking to see if this is normal/okay?
Thank you!
 

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Was this happening before you swapped out the battery? If not, I guess the first thing I would check is all your connections, just to be safe.

Because of some issues with mine, I literally drive the vehicle with the voltage displayed at all times. I get very nervous when I see it go down into the 12's, with the knowledge that if it drops into the 11's, the car is going to go into battery saver mode which is not a fun day. And I suppose so long as you are at >12v (enough to run the car and keep the battery charged) you are probably okay.

What happens when you put a full load on the battery, i.e., at idle, headlights/highbeams on, heat on high, blower on high, rear defroster on - does the voltage react accordingly? If it does, you're probably okay.

When you pulled into that garage, were your headlights on auto? Might be, if the garage is dark, your headlights kicked on and thus the increase in voltage to the battery, which is what you would want to see.

And lastly, did you replace the battery with a Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery. That is what is called for in these vehicles - something to do with "increased charge acceptance", better charge cycles, blah blah, etc. I didn't do that in my vehicle and there doesn't seem to be any fallout, however, I'm sure the battery I purchased will have a shortened life. But to be technical, the vehicle calls for an AGM battery.

Respond back with the load test - I'm curious.

kd
 

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Good fresh battery the smart charging system will let volts drop to 12.5 and then go up into the 13's to 14's.
Look it up in the owner's manual, it's usually stated in there somewhere.
 

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I want to second what repairman54 just said. I replaced my AGM about a year ago on my 2014. It showed a reduced life on my battery tester and had been in there for 7 years--it was time.

The battery charged at 14 or over for a day or so after installing. Then it started running at 12.6, 12.4, and even 12.3 at times. I am not an expert on the logic in the charging control computer, but a brand new battery checks at over 100% life on my tester. I believe after a short charge period upon restart or sitting with lights on and engine not running, the battery is sensed at being charged and the system drops to a maintenance amount of current flowing just to replace what is being used.

I also read that the system does a drawdown to sense the condition of the battery. That might occur after the car has been shut down. But I also wonder if the lower readings while running were that the system is charging the rear AGM battery and the front battery is supplying power to the running engine with no replenishment from the alternator while the alternator is chargin the rear battery.

I too was intrigue in earlier days when on longer drives with the original battery I would find the car running at 12.6 or so. Then the replacement
battery really intrigued me. But if you have no other symptoms, I'd just be happy. I do want to comment that I would notice after the stop-start has been activated for short to long times, the voltage would jump back up to the 14.6/14.4 range for a couple of minutes, replacing what was drained while the engine was off but the body is using low power along with a transmission pump and a coolant pump, if I have that right. Watching the voltage during stop-start, if the voltage drops to 2.2 or 2.1, the car restarts to keep from draining the battery too much, and I found that true.

My battery was a Walmart and I had to go 40 miles to a Walmart that carried the AGM. I was told most Walmarts would get the AGM batteries. Finding a store that had them was tricky using their inventory search method. I had to input various zip codes to have the website find a Walmart "near me" with one in stock.

I recommend turning the DIC back to tire pressures, because I was becoming neurotic about the voltages on the new battery. LOL
 
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