The battery of the vehicle supplies electric energy to your car. It powers the lights, ignition system, the radio, headlights, and much more. It is essential to the vehicle operating properly. All vehicles have a built-in recharging system, so the battery recharges itself.
Whenever the Battery Light is on it is a sign that there is an issue within the system. The battery sign is never a sign of a healthy battery, so the issue needs to be diagnosed.
Here are some of the common reasons why the Battery Light comes on:
The battery is faulty: This can be because the battery cannot receive a charge due to a bad cell. The voltage in the battery will drop, which causes the Battery Light to come on. If this happens, it could be time to contact a mechanic for a battery replacement.
There is a problem with the alternator: The alternator is used to charge the battery and help power the electrical system while the engine is working. The perfect charge for the alternator is between 13.6 and 14.6 volts. If your alternator is receiving 12 or less volts, the Battery Light may come on and your vehicle may lose power. If the alternator is faulty, necessary parts of your vehicle may not work correctly, such as the ignition system or headlights. If this is the case, it may be time to have your alternator replaced.
There may be excessive resistance or bad wiring: The wire can become broken or the flow of electricity can be interrupted, which causes the Battery Light to come on. Furthermore, if buildup on the battery terminals gets too bad, the light will come on as well. Putting an anti-corrosive coat or cleaning the terminals can clean the buildup off the terminals. If you clean the terminals and your Battery Light is still on, it may be time for a battery terminal end replacement.
Driving with your Battery Light on is not a good idea. If the battery is bad, the alternator is faulty, or the wiring is bad, these can cause the vehicle to lose power and not operate like it normally would. The battery powers essential parts of your car, so it is a must have piece of equipment. If you are still unsure why you're Battery Light is on, have a Battery Light inspection by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is it Safe to Drive With the Battery Light On? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.