My car has been out of commission and out in the extreme cold for a few weeks. I have a brand new battery that read 3.3 volts when I started charging an hour ago. It now reads 9.2 volts but the ammeter has shown 0 amps the entire time. Is this normal?

The battery has a bulge on one side. I bought it a month ago. I was able to start the car with a boost a few days ago. I'm currently warming it up in front of a space heater.

UPDATE- The battery is charging normally after a few hours. Once it climbed to 10 volts I disconnected it for 20 minutes and when I reconnected there was current.

2 Answers 2


It sure sounds like you have a bad battery and possible a bad alternator as well.

Get the battery load tested. Just because it's new doesn't mean it's not damaged. If the alternator overcharged it, it may well be ruined.

Have the alternator tested also.

  • The voltage going up isn't an indicator of charging? I've driven this car maybe 10 hours cumulative in small trips since replacing the battery.
    – user47989
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 20:17
  • 1
    Perhaps a photo of the "bulge". That is NOT normal.
    – jwh20
    Commented Jan 28, 2022 at 20:24

Apparently when a battery isn't charged (or fully charged) it's more likely to freeze. A frozen battery might explain both the bulge and the failure to charge until it was warmed up. I'd advise consulting your local battery specialist...

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