When one of your vehicle’s warning lights comes on, the first thing that comes to mind is, “Oh, no, what’s wrong now?” When it’s the battery light, it means there’s something wrong with your vehicle’s battery or charging system. And because both are important for your vehicle to work properly, it’s a good idea to get it checked out. Here are some things that may cause a battery light to illuminate.
It could be that your battery has failed. It could be on its last legs or completely dead. Your vehicle lets you know when it isn’t showing it has the voltage it should.
If it’s not the battery itself, it could be the system that charges it. The alternator is part of that system and could have a problem. It could be putting out no power, too little power, or too much. The alternator may not work because the belt that drives it (using the engine’s mechanical power) could break or slip. Or the alternator pulley may be broken.
The alternator needs to have a solid connection to the battery, and sometimes, the posts that connect to the battery cables get so corroded that they can’t conduct enough electricity. Or it could be that a battery cable isn’t conducting power properly.
Because the alternator supplies power to other parts of your vehicle, it will also cause your battery light to come on if it gets overloaded. Other possibilities are an electrical short in the charging system or a failed voltage regulator.
Your vehicle may be hard to start, or it may not start at all if you have any of these problems. It’s important to bring it into us so we can diagnose and repair the problem before you wind up stranded… and feeling really powerless.