Dash Gauge on My Camaro Reads Low – Alternator and Battery Are New

Reader Question RE: low voltage / 1989 Camaro 5.7

I have read your posting regarding alternator problems, but can you help identify the problem with my 1989 IROC / 5.7 Camaro? I bought the car new and within a couple of years my volt gage would drop as low as 8 and it never was over 12. I have replaced alternators, checked cable connections etc. I have also replaced batteries that failed early. Sometimes when I initially start the car in the morning the gage will read near 12, but after a few miles it will begin to discharge. Battery is new this spring. Any thoughts?

Thank you,


Howard, how are you?

My first thought would be a faulty dash voltage gauge. Most of those dash gauges are just there as a “approximate guess” they are not to be used as an exact reading, especially in a 17 year old vehicle.

I would test the alternator output at the battery, but since you did not mention you are having a battery issue I would suspect that you are just having a gauge problem. As long as the voltage is ok at the battery/alternator I would look into replacing the gauge. If the voltage was NOT at least 12 volts…you would be jump starting the battery often.


Austin C. Davis

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