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996 Dash Voltmeter

Electrical and Electronic

Vehicle Information: Year: 2001; Body Type: Coupe; Total Mileage: 5900;

Please help me understand the voltmeter readingson my 2001 Carrera 4. When driving, I understandit reads the output of the charging system (usually about 14 volts). Before starting the car,it reads about 12 volts if the car has been drivenrecently, or 11.5 to 11 volts if it has been sitting for a week or two. I have been interpreting this as a measure of the state ofcharge on the battery. Is that a correct interpretation and is that voltage decline normal?Would I get better battery life if I charge the battery during periods of infrequent use? If so,should the "jump start" connections in the enginecompartment be used, or should the charger beconnected directly to the battery terminals?

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