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What does the battery light mean?

What does the battery light mean on my dash ?

Battery Light On Dash

If the battery light comes on your dash which you are driving, that means there is a problem with the car's charging system. About 90% of the time, the alternator is under or over charging the battery. You probably have less than 15 minutes before the car will stop running.

Can you drive with the battery light on?

You can drive the car with the battery light on but you will only have on average 15 minutes. After roughly 15 minutes, your car will run out of electrical power and the car will stall. 

What can you do when the battery light comes on while driving?

Since the vehicle is only running on the power that is remaining in your car's battery, you will want to turn off all electrical components that allow you to still safely operate the car. Depending on the battery condition and the electrical loads on your system, you probably have about 10-20 minutes of driving until your vehicle starts to stall.

I would recommend to get you and your car to a safe place or a local auto repair shop. Also call to get a ride coming for you. 

Is it safe to drive with the battery warning light on?

It is not safe to drive with the battery warning light on.

Many things are ran from electricity on the newer cars including some important safety components. Get to a safe spot and find a qualified technician to diagnose the problem.

What items you can I check when the battery light comes on?

Battery Connections

If you are able to locate the alternator for your vehicle (which is under the car's hood) there are a few things you can check.

1. Look at the wires and connectors that go to the alternator and make sure that they are fully plugged in and tight.

2. Make sure that your engine drive belt(s) is on the pulley of the alternator.

3. If both of these are okay, you can find a blunt object and bang on the outer case of the alternator while the car is running. (This process is described in more detail below)

Alternator Connections

Banging on the alternator

Let me describe banging on the alternator in more detail. The blunt object should be wood so you don't short out the electrical system.

You should bang on the thicker outer portion of the alternator, not the center or the fins. You don't want to break the alternator.

And lastly, the car should be running while you do this. What's happening when you bang on the alternator is that you are shaking up the electrical contact points (or brushes) so it's possible that a poor connection could temporarily be fixed. 

You will know if you applied the temporary fix worked if the battery light turns off and you might hear the engine change speed.

If your battery is dead, learn how to properly jumpstart your car.

How long should my car battery last?

The battery warning light comes on intermittently

If the battery warning light turns of and off intermittently, most likely your alternator will fail soon. The alternator's job is produce voltage and amperage to fill up the car's battery and keep the vehicle running. The battery warning light will come on to alert you that the battery voltage is not correct.

650-946-1856 or https://aplusjapaneseautorepair.com/

Written by Eric Sevim | A+ Japanese Auto Repair, Inc. | 780 Industrial Rd, San Carlos CA 94070

www.aplusjapaneseautorepair.com | 650-946-1856

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for general informational purposes only.  It is not intended as advice for your particular vehicle, and should not be relied upon for that purpose.  Please consult a qualified automotive maintenance professional to determine the maintenance and repair needs for your vehicle.

 

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Car Maintenance
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