When your Reduced Power Light comes on, that is your vehicle’s way of telling you that there is a problem, either within the charging system, or within the battery itself. It could indicate that your battery is dying, that the connection or terminals are corroded, or there are problems with windshield wipers or headlights. Not all vehicles have a Reduced Power Light, but in those that do have one, it invariably indicates a problem with the battery connection.
So, what can you do if your Reduced Power Light comes on? And is it safe to drive with the light on? Here are some things to know about the Reduced Power Light:
The Reduced Power Light is usually bright yellow or orange, and is located on the dash of your vehicle. It indicates a problem with the power source, and will come on when the battery, or other parts of the electrical charging system, stop functioning the way they should.
Much of the time, the Reduced Power Light alerts you to problems that are related to moisture damage or corrosion.
Identifying and correcting issues that can cause the Reduced Power Light to come on requires the use of a car computer analyzer to pinpoint the precise cause.
Can you drive safely with the Reduced Power Light on? It depends on the cause of the reduced power. Often, the problems are minor. In rare cases, though, reduced power can cause more serious problems like a seized engine, or even an electrical fire. Simply stated, you have no real way of knowing whether the fact that your Reduced Power Light is on is due to a minor problem, or due to something that could be considerably more serious. The safest measure would be to have your reduced power light inspected by a certified mechanic to ensure your car is safe and ready to drive.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is It Safe to Drive With the Reduced Power Light On? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.