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I know this question has been beaten to death but I need a second opinion so I can sleep tonight. My 2002 TJ will not crank. The gauge blink and the needles jump all around. The battery is reading 12.4 volts but when trying to crank it drops to 6.8 volts. It returns to over 12 after you stop trying to start. Everything I read says bad battery. It has been lazy starting since I bought it a month ago and the battery is at least a couple years old.
 

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Your problem very well could be the battery but before taking it in to be load tested or replaced, I would make sure the connections at the battery are clean and tight. I would also make sure the same is true for the battery connections for the vehicle ground and to the starter.

Having said all that, a battery voltage less than about 9 volts will not start your Jeep.

Good luck
 

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You should be reading about 13 to 14 volts on a fully charged battery, 12.4 is on the low side
 
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