August 19th, 2021 by Fix Auto USA
If your battery light came on while driving, the charging system stopped working. But, the problem may lie deeper than the battery.
What Does The Battery Light Mean?
When the battery light on your dashboard illuminates, it indicates you may be dealing with multiple issues, such as:
- Corroded or loose battery cable
- Faulty alternator or voltage regulator
- Damaged battery cells or plates
- Defective wiring in your car’s electric charging system
Your battery light turns on when you start your car. However, the light should turn off within a few seconds. If it doesn’t, there’s a battery charging problem. At this point, your car isn’t getting sufficient voltage to ensure your battery can perform as expected. And, if left unaddressed, your battery can run out of juice while you’re driving.
How To Troubleshoot Your Car Battery Light
If the battery light on your dashboard turns and stays on, it may be time to replace your battery. Conversely, the light can be triggered by any of the following minor issues:
Car fumes can accumulate on top of the battery terminals, resulting in corrosion. This is more common in summer or areas with year-round warm weather.
Before you check for corrosion, put on protective gloves. Next, remove your battery’s terminal covers. If you notice a white or green substance on the battery or around its terminals, your battery has corroded.
2. Dirty Battery Terminals
Look at your battery terminals. In addition to corrosion, grime, dirt, and other debris around the terminals can cause your battery light to turn on.
3. Loose Cable Clamps
A poor connection between your battery and its respective cables can cause your battery light to illuminate.
You can clean your battery terminals or tighten any loose cable clamps, which may cause your car battery light to turn off. If you do these but still find the battery light on your dashboard remains on, you may be dealing with a mechanical or wiring issue. At this time, bring your car to a certified automotive technician who can diagnose and correct the problem.
What Should You Do If Your Car Battery Light Comes On While You’re Driving?
If you’re driving and your car battery light comes on, find a safe spot to stop. You could potentially lose your power steering, which can make it difficult to steer your car. If you experience complete power loss, you face a greater risk of an accident.
Alternatively, if you are close to your home or a certified automotive technician who can check out your car, you may be able to drive for a short period of time without losing power. Verify that all unnecessary electrical systems are turned off in your car. This can help you increase the distance you may be able to drive.
Is It Safe To Drive With The Car Battery Light On?
It is unsafe to drive with your car battery light on. Issues that activate your car battery light, like a defective battery or faulty alternator, can cause your car to lose power. In these instances, your car won’t operate as it normally would.
As the battery is an essential piece of car equipment, you need to ensure it’s always operating properly. If you’re uncertain about why your battery light is on, troubleshoot the problem. And, if the problem persists, have your car inspected and repaired by a certified auto technician.
This blog was contributed by Fix Auto Capital City, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing Sacramento, Arden-Arcade, Natomas, North Highlands, Rancho Cordova, Rio Linda, Rosemont, and other surrounding communities.