Ii previously asked this question New batteries keep getting drained, any ideas of cause? Sorry was not sure how to link question.

Anyway I got a multimeter and here are my findings. Firstly the battery without start was reading around 12.16 to 12.33 maybe probes were a bit loose hence fluctuatiNg. When I started the car it went down but did not drop below 10 volts and went back up to 12.16 to 12.33. Would this mean there’s definitely an alternator issue and not a drain issue when I’m starting the car does not go to 13-14 volts which would mean the alternator is charging.

i then put headlights, fog light, stereo and ac in however these didn not cause it to go below 12.6 to 12.33 volts. Surely the extra usage should have? At least from the diy videos I’m seeing.

The car also had trouble starting up which I think is related. Today it developed into a no no start with clicking sounds. However I then realised if I turned/manouvered the third part of the crank very slowly it would start up. Alternatively if I just held the crank on the start position and not let go the car does eventually start up. This made me think it was the ignition switch since this is how I diagnosed and fixed an ignition switch in my other car. However if so why did my other batteries drain out and the multimeter not go above 12.33 volts when starting.

Anyway based on the above how do you explain it all, might the problem be the ignition switch, alternator or parasitic drain, or maybe both the alternator and an ignition switch etc?

Can you explain what my various findings are pointing to? Note this is the first time I used an multimeter could have made some noob errors but I think I did it same as Chris fix video using the same multImeter.


  • see mechanics.stackexchange.com/a/71804/10976
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 17:20
  • @SolarMike well I checked the glovebox wasn’t that and I’m working with the multimeter now as people suggested I should. My question is asking how to interpret the multimeter results and the fact that holding the ignition on start position does eventually start the car, is it indicative of specific issues. – James Wilson 6 hours ago Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 23:52

1 Answer 1


The fact that the additional load doesn't cause a noticeable drop would suggest that the alternator is working (at least to an extent) but that it's not providing a suitable level of charge. I'd be leaning towards the voltage regulator being the culprit personally - not sure if they are a separate part or integrated into the alternator on that age of Civic.

  • Well you are totally right about this. tested for parasitic draw that was fine too. there was a loose fuse box cable attached to the main battery terminal however i was told it was for an aftermarket headlight so made nothing of it until i decided to check out of frustration . Car starting when holding key in start position , batteries being drained as well as alternator not charging high enough are all symptoms of a loose connection. mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/72012/… thanks! Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 0:05

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